This was the first Diana Palmer book I read. I picked it up after a friend recommended her as a nice change from the cookie cutter romances I was burning out on. I didn't know this was a re-issued book at the time but honestly that doesn't matter much. A good story shouldn't be about being "politically correct" as one person stated but about good characters that are human and not perfect. Diana Palmer's style of a younger woman falling for an older man was refreshing to see outside historical novels. It adds a new dimension to the novel, a way to view things without having both the hero and herione jaded and bitter.
This story takes place in West Texas, something I loved because I live here and I could picture every scene so perfectly. It's hard to find writers who place stories in Texas and can do it both well and accurately.
The hero of this story is Jason who owns of the Diamond Spur, a sprawling cattle ranch in the dry, dusty Texas backland. Kate is the naive, playful herione who has loved Jason since she met him at 18. Jason and Kate have a unique, non-threatening relationship until one day, Jason begins to see that Kate has grown into a woman.
I really liked the first part of this story. The tension between these two characters was explosive and they pratically sizzled together. Jason and Kate are irresistably drawn together and you can't help getting a little breathless reading their scenes and wondering why no handsome cowboy ever popped into your life? But these scenes were heavily tempered by lengthy and long winded sections about Kate's asspirations to be a fashion designer and her job at the local textile factory. These scenes seemed so disjointed and irrelevent to the rest of the story and I felt like Palmer was just trying to use all the research she found on the textile and fashion industry. This happens repeatedly and I began skipping the sections as they didn't affect the main plot.
The second half of the book didn't meet the standards of the first half. Instead it was boring and frustrating to read. Jason flips back and forth from a loving husband to an abusive, raging cowboy. Kate also wavers from being strong willed and fiesty to a heap of self-pity. I wanted to scream for Kate not to take all of Jason's abuse.
The most annoying part to this book by far though was the ending. Jason has been estranged from his mother since she left him and his brother when they were young. He vows never to forgive or see her though she sends him a card every christmas. Then at the end of the book he does a sudden about face and his long lost mother is suddnely a part of the family and hard, never-give-a-damn Jason is an emotional puddle. It was unbelievable and i felt offended that Palmer would think I, as a reader, wouldn't notice the huge plot jump that had little build up.
Once Jason decides he and Kate are meant to be after about 200 pages of indecision he and Kate start "love talking." The "oh, my love" and "you are my destiny." I felt embaressed just reading it. Even people I know who are madly in love don't talk like this. It sounded incredibly melodramatic and forced.
Though this book was a fun read and turned me onto Diana Palmer i wouldn't say it was one of her best. The book fizzles halfway through and by the end the hero is nearly baby talking to the herione. For a light read check this out but for something a little more mature and with more meat check out her other books.