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Get off that horse and...well.......,
This review is from: Sweet Lullaby (Kindle Edition)
I don't tend to go for books like this, cowboys, historical romance. No superpowers, supernatural beings or apocalypse in sight, but after reading a blog review I found a copy online published in 1994 with a very different cover to the steamy couple on the kindle version. I wasn't disappointed, in fact it was a page-turner and a bit of an emotional rollercoaster to read.
Jake's a cowboy, working at the Lazy A ranch, he's very good at his job but after his loving mother died when he was five his father took in his bastard son and well, let's say it was a hard upbringing after that. This led to him being a quiet, reserved, polite man with no confidence, believing himself to be ugly and unworthy, but very much in love with the owner's daughter Rebecca, though no-one knows. Not even her.
One night Jake is called upon to see the owner and fearing he's done something wrong is nervous of the forthcoming conversation. He never imagined what was coming next. Rebecca is pregnant to Brett, a cowboy who was all good looks, swagger and charm, but he's left the ranch to go looking for prospects and they don't know if he's coming back. Needless to say her father is furious and doesn't want the family shamed so he asks Jake, who's a good man and an excellent rancher, to marry his daughter, telling him the ranch will be left to them if he takes the child as his own.
Jake agrees to ask her, not willing to force her into anything, although her father sees it as a done deal and orders her to do it but after talking to Jake she agrees.
They get married and the next day leave for Texas infuriating Reb's father. Jake's father left him land there and he's been saving all his earnings to start his own ranch which they do. They meet neighbours, make friends, but also run into Jake's two half-brothers. One of whom is as hateful as his father was.
They start building a life together, Jake is a gentle man but also a gentleman, not expecting anything from Reb that she doesn't want to give, but they grow closer, she has the baby and Jake loves him dearly yet he still believes in his heart that she loves Brett. They continue to build their life together, overcoming most obstacles, some very harsh, until Brett turns up. I mean, you knew that was going to happen right? So who will she choose?
This was a very sweet tale, Jake is a character that you just want to give the biggest of hugs to sometimes especially when he is in torment, but he's a man, no doubt about it, rough, tough but fragile and tender too.
Reb is spirited, and with Jake she can be whatever she wants, she has no doubt he worships her and he doesn't treat her like a china doll despite her beauty like many men would. I wanted to slap her at times for not seeing what she has right in front of her but believing Brett to be her first love she's confused, we've all been there.
Then there's Frank, a teenage boy Jake took under his wing at the Lazy A that goes to Texas with him, Reb, and several other men. He's hot-headed but matures through the course of the tale. He's a fun character with a good heart.
The book is written from all points of view, you know what each character is thinking and feeling. The POV can change within a few sentences yet it was never confusing, it was refreshing to get inside all their heads instead of just a first person narrative, to me it made the book come alive, it never got boring "unlike this review!" I can hear you say, but hey, I've not had much practice and if you're still reading then it can't be too bad. Time to wrap up though.
Obviously I was rooting for Jake, I wanted Reb to fall in love with him, I wanted their ranch to be successful, I wanted the evil brother to just fall down a big hole. I wanted them to have a "happily ever after" ending. But did they get it? With so many things against them, including their own feelings, I want to say yes, that being cowboy and cowgirl, they rode off into the sunset together. But you'll have to read it to find out. I will warn you though, tears may be involved. Which is probably why I normally stick to YA/sci-fi/apocalyptic stories.
I'm so glad I took a time-out from my normal reads.