Thursday, 26 May 2011
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... book #59
Jezebel's Wish - AJ Nuest
Wild Rose Press Yellow Rose
Wild Rose Press, 2011
From the back cover:
"Haunted by nightmares, tormented by guilt, Jezebel came to Redemption Ranch to escape the past-except now she's stuck in the middle of nowhere with no redemption in sight. When her mother pushes her into riding lessons with local veterinarian Matthias Saunders, Jezebel balks. Sure, the doctor is gorgeous, but he's completely obnoxious and knows how to push every one of her buttons.
Only her deep connection with The Reverend, a gentle stallion who guards her darkest secrets, has her agreeing to spend any more time with Dr. Saunders. Caring for the stallion is the first bright spot in her life in months, and if being around the horse means she has to deal with Matthias Saunders, then so be it. Surely a city girl like her can handle one country vet-even one with disturbing blue eyes. Can't she?"
AJ Nuest contacted me by email and very kindly sent me an ebook copy of this book to read and review. Let me just take this moment to say a huge thank you to AJ for this, and apologies for the time it has taken me to post this review! Up until now I have only reviewed books from Harlequin/Mills and Boon, this is mainly down to availability in the UK, but I am open to reading romance novels from anywhere!
When we first meet the heroine Jezebel she is in a very dark place in her life, not to mention in a foul mood! Jezzy is staying with her mother for a short time in order to rest after the death of her fiance. She is struggling with nightmares and feelings of guilt regarding her relationship with her fiance and the situation right before his death, we discover that he was abusive as well as possibly having an affair. Jezzy is introduced to the hero Matty, the local vet, when he comes to check on her mother's horses. Her mother persuades her to let Matty give her some horse riding lessons, in the hope it will make her feel better. Matty teaches her to ride and care for The Reverend, whom Jezzy finds it easy to talk to and confess her inner turmoil, which eases her feelings of guilt.
Matty is drawn to Jezzy and wants to help her heal, be that via The Reverend or through his tenderness. When a love-affair between them begins, Jezzy's nightmares return with a vengeance and she immediately begins to push Matty away.
This was one intense and emotional book, I spent the majority of the time reading it on the verge of tears, and one particular moment in floods of them (if you have read it you will know which bit I'm talking about!). The grief and guilt that Jezzy is suffering from is written brilliantly with both depth and sensitivity, it really made me feel connected with the characters feelings.
What I loved most about this book was the bond built between Jezzy and The Reverend and how AJ Nuest explored the healing power of animals. The Reverend was the only one Jezzy felt she could open up to, which helped her heal enough to trust again and give Matty a chance. Speaking of Matty, he was an amazing male character! He was so caring and strong, who encouraged Jezzy to heal but never pushed her, I only wish that the narrative could have included some of his point of view as well.
AJ Nuest deals with some tough issues in this book (abuse, grief, depression etc) and they are all handled perfectly. A lighthearted read this is not, but amazing nonetheless.
For those of you, like me, who had never heard of The Wild Rose Press before, here is the link to their website - The Wild Rose Press. Their books are available in both print and ebook form (ebooks are available in many formats for different devices) bear in mind that the print books will take a while to arrive and will be a bit more expensive as they are still a relatively small company. The books are also available to purchase from Amazon in both print and Kindle versions and available for those of us in the UK too! Good stuff!
Once again, many thanks to AJ for sending me this book.