Courtesy of The Best Reviews
Brianna Cameron had lived the past few years in fear - fear of the dreadful man she had married. He was known to abuse her often, with words and actions. When she learns of his death she is elated, for now she can have the freedom she had thought out of her reach forever. Until a carriage accident leaves her badly injured and alone, her two traveling companions killed.
Royce Campbell had retreated to a small cottage to recover from the wounds of his most recent battle, wounds of both the physical and psychological kind. While out hunting one day, he happened upon a destroyed carriage, two dead men, and one gravely injured woman. He takes her to his cottage to help her recover, giving up his much desired solitude for healing.
When Brianna awakens, and first sees the hideously scarred visage of her rescuer, she screams in fear and promptly passes out. Upon wakening, she slowly comes to realize Royce means her no harm and allows him to continue her care. As they spend this time isolated together over many weeks, she learns he is an honorable man who truly cares for her, nothing like her late husband. She grows to love this wonderful man, and he her, and they decide to wed as soon as she is well enough to travel home to her brother, Ian, her guardian since the passing of her husband.
Fate has other plans for these star-crossed lovers. What Brianna doesn't discover until later, is that Royce is a legendary warrior, feared by even the strongest of men. Upon learning this, she begins to doubt the man who has shown her nothing but love, respect, and kindness. Just as she comes to accept him for whom he is, fate intervenes once again, throwing a surprising twist at them, just after they have said their marriage vows. Their love must now face the ultimate test, to determine if she can love him forever.
What should have been a wonderful story falls flat for this reviewer. For most of the story, the plot is very slow and not overly exciting. Over half of the book is all about Brianna's recovery, having her sleeping or lying in bed. There isn't a whole lot of action until much later. The primary storyline takes too long to develop, making this reader wonder if anything was ever going to happen. When the story finally picks up, there still doesn't seem to be much there.
Having read, and enjoyed, most of Ms. Fletcher's other works, one can only hope this tale is a fluke occurrence and that future books will prove more indicative of her talents. Other readers may enjoy this story though, even if this reviewer was unimpressed.
© Kelley A. Hartsell, April 2003. All rights reserved.