by Jennifer Jakes
A man with a bitter past…….
After the Civil War, Major Sinclair Bradford fled West to escape the pain of battle and the shame of a failed marriage. Haunted by betrayal and lies, he trusts no one—especially women. The last thing he needs is the lure of a dark haired brothel madam. Not only is she beautiful enough to tempt the devil, she’s deceitful enough to shred what’s left of Sinclair’s heart. But when she asks for his help to investigate the attack of a young girl, he can’t say no to her—nor the aching desire she stirs in him.
A woman with no future…
Eden Gabrielli lives by three rules: Never trust the wealthy, do whatever it takes to survive, and never again believe a decent man could love a whore. After being stabbed and left for dead, she must lie to keep her secrets and protect her sister from a life of prostitution—even if that means deceiving the handsome and determined Major Bradford, the one man who tempts her to break her rules. She might need his help, but she craves his touch, which makes him a dangerous ally. Because if the truth is revealed, more than her rules could be broken…
I must admit that while I am a fan of historical romances, I’ve never been a fan of Western Romances. I was a bit apprehensive when I started reading this book, so I set the bar a bit low as to not be disappointed. (Sorry, but I like to manage my expectations.) Well, what do you know, I actually enjoyed this one!
Eden is the hard-edged Madame at the local brothel who, years ago, was left for dead by the wealthy man she loved. After experiencing such a horrific and tragic event, Eden learned to do whatever it takes to survive and protect those she loves, no matter the cost, and to trust no one. When a young girl is raped, Eden’s repeated requests for justice fall upon deaf ears. Until, Major Sinclair Bradford and his military regime ride into town. Knowing that Major Bradford may be her
last hope, Eden pleads for Major Bradford to help bring to justice the man who raped her friend.
Major Sinclair Bradford is a broken man – broken by the deepest of betrayals. In a desperate attempt to leave his heartache behind and to try to start his life anew, Sinclair leaves his wealthy life in the North East and heads to a remote military outpost in the West to investigate a rash of railroad robberies. The last thing he’s expecting is to fall for a women who has trust issues as deep as his own and with who has a secret that threatens to destroy everything between them.
“When are you going to stop trying to push me away? Because I’m not leaving.”
“Why?” Tears filled her eyes, her throat nearly closing with the ache to cry. “Why do you care about me?”
He blinked. Then stared at her, searching, his gaze devouring. “I don’t know. I just do. And I can’t stop.”
On my hotness scale of 1-5, I give it the following:
Plot: 3 – While the story of a prostitute being saved by the white knight on a horse may not be an original storyline, this one was well written and entertaining.
Sex: 4 – There were only 1-2 sex scenes, but if there were more I suppose this book would have been straight up porn. The build up really had me reeling for them to hurry up and get busy. I thoroughly enjoyed the passion and the angst that left me with the feeling of butterflies in my stomach.
Overall: 4 – This book was more than just a generic romance novel. It was full of romance, passion etc., but the mystery kept me guessing till the end. I am quite surprised by how much of a good story Ms. Jakes could put into 139 pages.
If you are a fan of historical western romances, I know you will enjoy this one as much as I did. The historical western genre has just gained a new fan. Thank you, Jennifer Jakes.