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PLOT: Cathryn comes home to inherit her ranch and Rule her former lover is now firmly the foreman and boss.
Rule Jackson is now the foreman and "official" Boss of the Ranch. He was the official "town bad boy" in his youth. Abused and neglected he was picked up from a ditch by Cathryn's father and he became a part of the family. The abuse shows in the form of a very SILENT restless adult. Cathryn and Rule became lovers when she was 17. Now years later Cathryn is returning to inherit her Ranch. She is "resents" Rule's hold on the ranch and HER. She also has do deal with her slutty step sister who wants Rule for her own. When Rule is injured his RECOVERY becomes mingled with her own ..... she slowly feels the Ranch is finally her "home." This is a very early Linda Howard. Still a good solid early romance. She has NOT added the "mystery" elements we have in her more current novels. I would label this one a CLASSIC early Howard ROMANCE. She was honing her craft and we still enjoy her early works. The reader is good and I give it 4 STARS~
2 of 3 people found this review helpful
I believe this may have been one of the first books Linda Howard wrote. It was published in 1983. It reminded me of early Harlequin novels. Too soap-opera-ish. No interesting character development. The author frequently refers to the hero Rule as pantherlike. He’s brooding and silent and all women want him. Cathryn is rich and good looking.
One main plot conflict was: Rule and Cathryn are in lust with each other. Cathryn loves him. Rule asks her to marry him. Then she gets all angsty and decides she must leave town. Her reason is that he never said the words “I love you.” She wonders if he just wants her because she owns the ranch.
Another angsty conflict. Cathryn’s father died and left the ranch to her. Her stepmother Monica was supposed to be in charge of things until Cathryn’s 25th birthday. Monica wasn’t interested in writing checks and being in charge, so she put Rule in charge. He was listed as the check signer. When Catherine sees that Rule is a check signer, she freaks out and gets mad at him. As if he violated something. He did nothing wrong. He managed the ranch very successfully.
Most of the story is Cathryn being overly angsty about deciding what to do.
Lesa Lockford was good with female voices, but her voice for the hero was awful. She spent so much energy trying to sound gravely and low that there was no emotional interpretation in his dialogue. He did not sound seductive or sexy. He sounded like a frog with laryngitis.
Narrative mode: 3rd person. Unabridged audiobook length: 7 hrs 36 mins. Swearing language: none. Sexual language: mild. Number of sex scenes: 5 plus 1 referred to. Book copyright: 1983. Genre: contemporary western romance.