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Nice addition to the TERMS series, set in Wyoming, 1885. However, the narration by Keith Traction is mediocre. He sometimes sounds almost robotic, and he consistently overdoes his vowel sounds. His enunciation is so perfectly precise that I found it distracting.
Good story, though! I loved the scenes with the children, the puppies, and the old war horse, Jet. Good to see Annie and Michael from the prequel Terms of Surrender. I also liked the sequel, book 3, Terms of Temptation, which includes all these characters and more.
PLOT in a NUTSHELL:
At the book's beginning, the heroine (Tess) is fleeing for her life from an abusive husband, taking her two-year-old son with her. She has been severely beaten. Dr. Robert Devlin (an adolescent in the prequel) gives her medical aide. They fall in love, and he takes her home to heal under the radar at the Devlin-Cantrell Ranch. Rob convinces her to get a legal divorce, instead of hiding and running for the rest of her life. Easier said than done, as her husband is rich, powerful, and psychotic.
Good story! Heartwarming, coherent, fairly engrossing, and smexy. Decent plot, despite the contrived part.
Quibbles: Usually Farrelly steeps her stories in the historical setting quite well, and she did here too (see epilogue for links to two key historical figures) with a few exceptions:
1) Tess would have been more circumspect. As a married woman -- married to a prominent figure in Denver society -- she wouldn't let herself be seen flirting and sharing the same hotel with Rob. She wouldn't have wanted to weaken her divorce petition by appearing to lack morals. Also, I didn't much like it that they had sex before her divorce was final.
2) Rob is a doctor who gets paid in food (eggs, apples, ham, etc). He tipped the carriage driver $5 for a ride across town. Then, another $5 tip to return to the hotel later that evening. According to my inflation calculator, $5 in 1885 is comparable to almost $130 today. And how much would the cab ride have cost him? Less than one dollar. His tip was nuts.
Quibbles aside, I liked the book and the series.
I wish the narrator would improve his craft. He has so much potential.
Author is a solid writer. Good dialogue. Good descriptions of living. I’m happy the couple did not have a fight-breakup, which most romance authors do. And there was no stupidity and none of my other pet peeves.
For readers who are reluctant to read about domestic violence. The abuse scenes were not lengthy or detailed. The story begins with Tess already injured, and she recalls the way her husband hit their child Scottie once. Within a day after he hit Scottie, Tess and Scottie leave and are on the run. We don’t live through lengthy scenes of abuse.
It was a good story. Tess meets Dr. Robert Devlin on the train. He takes care of her and Scottie. They fall in love. There were two sex scenes - sweet, short, and nice.
There is a little paranormal with the ghost of Gavin talking to Robert. Gavin was introduced in Book 1. He was Michael’s younger brother who was killed in a civil war battle.
This is book 2 in the series. You can read them as stand alones. But if you’re interested, I’d suggest reading them in order since the characters interact with each other. I liked all three.
Book 1 - Terms of Surrender - Annie and Michael
Book 2 - Terms of Engagement - Robert is Annie’s brother - he meets Tess
Book 3 - Terms of Temptation - Kinley is the daughter of Annie and Michael - she meets Bram
Sadly I had problems with the narrator Keith Tracton. His voices for Robert and Tess were weird and odd. And his voice for the child Scottie was really weird. He was not as bad as some narrators whom I won’t listen to no matter how good the story. But I prefer not to listen to him.
Genre: western historical romance with a little paranormal
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