Wednesday, 25 January 2012
365 books in 365 days Challenge ... Book #298
Cowboy Pride - Anne McAllister
Silhouette Books, 1996
Reissue - Harlequin Treasury, 2011
From the back cover:
"'BRENNA NEEDSA A HUSBAND,'
Jed McCall's nephew Tuck told him. Pregnant and alone, Brenna Jamison was back—trying single-handedly to run her father's ranch.
'WE NEED A WIFE,'
Tuck said. If footloose cowboy Jed McCall didn't do something drastic, he would lose custody of the boy. But marriage?
'WHY NOT?' asked Tuck. There were reasons that only Jed knew. And marrying Brenna—becoming a father to her child—would be like jumping from the frying pan into the fire."
This is another book from the Harlequin Treasury line, and one that came highly recommended.
The heroine Brenna has returned to her family home newly widowed and pregnant. She desperately misses her late husband, whom was he best friend although she never loved him - she has always been in love with her teenage sweetheart Jed, the hero. Jed has also never had anyone else touch his heart and has never forgotten Brenna. But even though she is back he doesn't want to see her, that will remind him of his shame over his betrayal and reasons he ended their relationship ten years ago. However when he discovers she is pregnant, and after he gets over his all consuming jealousy, he can't seem to stay away. Jed is also having problems, he has pressure from social services around his custody of his nephew and needs to show a more settled existence. His nephew suggests that Jed marry Brenna and Jed asks her, surprising himself. Even more surprising, Brenna agrees. Now they both have what they wanted all those years ago - to be together - but Jed refuses to open up or allow anything remotely intimate to happen between them.
This is an incredibly emotional and touching story. The writing is pretty much flawless, it's so evocative and descriptive. The plot is also very brave of the author, but beautifully done. The hero and heroine are wonderful characters, both their past and presents are full of tension and pain, yet they so belonged together. I really couldn't see how these two would get their HEA. The hero's secret is shocking, but well thought out. I particularly liked that his secret was linked to a, er, 'problem' that makes his reasons a little more understandable (I asked my husband for his opinion on it!).
I have read a lot of Anne McAllister's Modern/Presents and I'm not crazy about them, from this books example I much prefer her style in these Desire's.
I loved this book, thoroughly recommended.