Author: Nora Roberts
Performed by Luke Daniels
Released: May 2014 by Brilliance Audio
Category: Contemporary Fiction/Paranormal
"Ten years after disappearing from Antietam, Maryland, the bad boy has come home. Cleaned up and successful now—though still dangerously good-looking—Rafe MacKade sets the town on fire…and tongues wagging. Not even lovely newcomer Regan Bishop is immune to his charms. Though Regan claims to not want to get involved with a rebel, Rafe’s pretty sure that her reaction to their sizzling kisses suggests otherwise…."
I’ve had this book on my Kindle for a while but didn’t get round to reading it yet. When I saw it released in audio format with Luke Daniels that was the only incentive I needed to purchase the audiobooks.
For all his macho maleness I liked Rafe, his confused feelings and inner fight were written so well and Regan’s misplaced need to be totally opposite to her mother made her go too far to the other extreme. Rafe and Regan both think they know what they want but discover it might not be what they need.
I wonder if the seeds for the Inn Boonsboro trilogy are in this story. An old building in Maryland being renovated for paying guests, haunted and with ties to the battle at Antietam. Not that it matters in this instance, I love the Boonsboro books and I’m really going to enjoy this series. The writing flowed well and the characters are described in such a way they're easy to like. The sub story of Cassie and the abuse she suffered was handled sensitively and has got to be a storyline that will continue.
All the elements of a classic Nora Roberts, gorgeously handsome bad boy, beautiful independent woman and a good story/romance. I like very much Ms Roberts’ formula of setting the story in a small but interesting town, the paranormal aspect and the sprinkling of humour. The way she portrays families, especially brothers, their closeness to each other offset by the bickering and some great banter.
“He’s hooked,” Jared grinned and lifted his beer. “And his heart looks so pretty, right there on his sleeve.”
"Jared MacKade believes in taking a stand, and he never turns his back on a fight. So when his work as an attorney brings him up against Savannah Morningstar, her rude behavior and strong defenses aren’t nearly enough to scare him off – quite the opposite. Thoughts of the outrageously direct and sinfully sexy woman keep Jared coming back for more. And the more he gets to know her, the more determined he is to stand by her always."
After dipping unsuccessfully into the matrimonial pool, Jared Mackade is sure he won’t try that again. Then he meets Savannah Morningstar. She isn’t the typical female protagonist found in Nora Roberts’ books but she is a very interesting character. Part Native American, she lived on the rodeo circuit with her father until he threw her out for getting pregnant at sixteen. It’s apparent the last ten years haven’t been easy ones for her and Bryan, her son. Now she’s decided it’s time to put down roots in a cabin in the woods near the Mackade farm.
Jared, a lawyer, is the more polished of the four brothers and likes things set out neat and tidy in a way he can rationalise. Savannah does anything but fit that particular bill. Nevertheless they have an instant attraction to each other and also find they share a love for the woods and a feeling for the spirits that haunt them. Their relationship is complex and difficult for them both to get to grips with because they’re both proud people. Savannah makes no apologies for her past, and why should she. Jared’s pride and yes, I have to say, touches of arrogance get in the way until he realises what an idiot he’s been.
When Nora Roberts is on form she’s one of the best. I love the way she writes the rapport between the brothers and the development of Jared and Bryan’s relationship.
"Here’s the thing, Bryan,” Jared scooted away just enough so that he could face the boy fully. ‘I figure I oughta run this by you, since you’ve been the man of the house for so long. I’m in love with your mother.”
“I’m gonna ask you to take my name, Bryan and to take me on, as your father. I don’t just want your mother you see, I want both of you so you both have to want me."
Jared found his arms full of boy……have a cigar he thought giddily. You’ve got yourself a son."
I like the continuation of the characters from the first book, Cassie and her kids still trying to come to terms with what’s gone before, Rafe and Reagan’s happiness and the sub plot about the fight between the two soldiers who met in the woods during the battle of Antietam continues to be woven into the story.
Ms Roberts’ writing can mostly always bring laughter and emotionally charged moments, especially when describing the battle scenes. And couple that with Luke Daniels’ performance and it’s win all the way. He’s just so skilled at making the characters come alive and is as good portraying females and kids as he is at alpha males. And switches so smoothly from one to the other. Great stuff. Keep doing what you’re doing, Mr Daniels, it’s magic.