I know I’m a day early but I have something special for the next couple of days and I didn’t want to not do the Reread Challenge that Nath runs.
Last month I missed Nath’s reread challenge for July – mind you I had a good reason – I was a busy little beaver heading off to the RWA convention in Washington, collecting books and meeting people. When I confessed this missed month though, I promised her two to make up for it. And I made it!! I have two for your pleasure. And considering we just had The Great Western Drive and it brought back to mind all the great Westerns I’ve read over the years, it should come as no surprise that both the Reread books for August are.....Westerns.
Why this one: In one of the comment on Wendy’s blog, Victoria Jenssen requested a certain Megan Chance book. Although I hadn’t read that particular book, it did bring to mind The Way Home and I added it to the list of recommendations and as I did, the book screamed at me for a reread. I found it in the ‘library’ and that as they say, was that.
Steam Level: Who says a book has to be steamy to be wonderful? Though there is a love scene or two, they don’t go into great detail
Blurb: Eliza Beaudry was determined to get out in the big wide world – even if it meant trading a few kisses for her freedom. When she met traveling gambler Cole Wallace, she thought her fantasies had come true. But Cole’s daydreams didn’t include Eliza Beaudry. He was a man used to taking what he wanted, so he took what Eliza offered and neither of them thought about what might happen later.
Penniless and pregnant, Eliza found a saviour in Cole’s shy brother, Aaron, who fell for her instantly. He surely wasn’t the man of her dreams, but could her dreams change?
My thoughts: I did good in recommending this book. It really is wonderful. The hero and heroine are both warm and caring people and although Eliza starts off quite young and foolish and at the start of the book, you may wonder how the author can bring her past this foolish move she makes, please, keep reading because she does get into your heart. And while Aaron, the hero, is totally incapable of expressing his thoughts to Eliza, he deeply feels them nonetheless.
In brief, hopefully without giving away any spoilers, Eliza Beaudry is looking for a way to escape her dirt poor life and sees an opportunity is the suave gambler Cole Wallace. Well, Cole has his own plans that don’t include a white trash type like Eliza and when ‘caught’, convinces, bullies, blackmails his younger brother into doing ‘right’ by her. Eliza expects her life to improve, but Cole hasn’t told her the complete truth about Aaron, that he’s a recluse who avoids the agony of going to ‘town’ where he suffers humiliations. Instead Aaron lives mainly in his head and dreams to escape his own lonely existence. The story is of these two lonely souls trying to adjust and communicate and find happiness with each other – and what will happen when Cole comes back and realizes what he gave away.
This is truly a heart warming story and I’m oh so glad I read it again and was oh so glad I included it in my Western Recs. If you love your heroes Beta, then Aaron is the hero for you. And don’t give up too soon on Eliza; she will make you fall in love with her!
Grade: 4.75 out of 5
This is a .25 lower grade then the first time I read it, but still very much a keeper
And now for the second book
Why this one: It was one I recommended for The Great Western Drive and when I came across it in my ‘library’, thought I’d see if it stood the test of time since it was a while ago that I read it.
Steam Level: Nice - not too hot and not too cold
Back Blurb: He was her downfall
Notorious gunslinger Joshua Hawk was to hang in Gambler’s Notch when the sun rose. He had but one regret. He had never found his grandfather’s book with his family’s history – and prophecy that the Hawk line would never die. Yet Josh didn’t die at daybreak because the young widow of the man he shot suddenly lied to set him free. He wanted to know why....
Or her destiny...
Kate Dixon looked into the cold eyes of the Hawk and felt him steal her breath away. He had freed her from her brutal husband only to swoop down and take possession of her heart. It seemed as if some force had brought them together to complete a fate ordained long ago. But, as swiftly as his passion aroused her, his reputation attracted dangerous men. To save her, the Hawk would have to leave her and move on...unless, to save him, Kate stood her ground and fought for the love of her life...
My Thoughts: While the back blurb sounds a bit over dramatic, it basically is the outline – though it ISN’T what I would consider a soul mate story – for those who don’t care for them *big grin*
This is part of a series that Ms. Dare started and not unlike the Futuristic series, the publisher – damn their hide – chose not to finish what she had started and she only wrote three books, a contemporary, a medieval and a Western; with a central theme running through all of them.
Joshua Hawk is tired of living. He is tired of being what he is, a hired gun, and is ready to hang. This makes him the last of the Hawk family. But a mysterious promise, which occurs in the medieval, insures that the name with live on.
It’s an interesting premise and actually starts with the contemporary, Wild Hawk, then continues with this one and then finally moves to the beginnings of the prophecy.
So, when Josh is ready to give it up; to hang for shooting an unarmed man, evidence comes to light that there really was a gun and Josh killed the man in self-defence. Although sceptical, it’s Katherine Dixon, the widow, who confirms the existence of the missing gun, thus saving Josh from a hanging.
Josh feels obligated to stay and help the young widow, even more so when he realizes what a monster her husband was. And at the same time, a mysterious book appears, a book that his confirmed the stories his grandfather has told him about for years. The book tells the history of the Hawk family and the inexplicably added story of his own life.
Although she never thinks to let another man into her life, she feels herself drawn to Josh. And for his part, Josh is drawn more and more to Kate. He doesn’t think he is good for though, a gunslinger who has spent his life killing.
So – does this one stand the test of time? Was it a good recommendation?
Yes! Absolutely! Once again – if I do say so myself, I done good. I loved this one just as much this time through as I did when I first read it in 1996. I originally gave this one a 5 out of 5, but now just a tad lower, not for either the hero or heroine, but an annoying secondary character who didn’t stick out as much as annoying the first time.
Grade: 4.75 out of 5