Will she ever be able to stop running, even when she believes she’s finally safe?
Heiress to a vast fortune, Victoria Cole has everything she wants, including the perfect fiancé. Having left two other men at the altar, Victoria is sure that now she’s found her true love and will finally live happily ever after. As her wedding draws near, however, Victoria’s life is threatened. To keep her safe, Victoria’s father hires a bodyguard.
Tom Cushman’s number one priority is protecting his clients, which means no personal entanglements. But he’s never guarded someone as beautiful and winsome as Victoria. After a near-kidnapping, the wedding is cancelled, and Tom hides Victoria at Cape Cod’s Race Point Lighthouse until her attacker can be found. Appointed as assistant light keeper with Victoria posing as his wife, Tom believes the isolation of the lighthouse will keep her safe.
As Victoria struggles to live without familiar luxuries, her heart betrays her with growing feelings for her protector. Determined to help Tom stop fleeing from his haunted past, can the runaway bride learn to face her own fears? With the attacker closing in, will both of them ever be able to stop running and find the safety they long for?
That’s my boy! I taught him everything he knows!
First off, I want to say what a hoot James Cushman – Tom’s Dad – was. I never read a book where the parent was so hilariously entertaining that they caused you to snicker every time they graced your pages. I loved how he would goad and give Tom the third degree about Victoria and telling him ‘that’s not a kiss, kiss her again and mean it’. What a man!
Victoria is the daughter of the hero and heroine from ‘Out of the Storm (Beacons of Hope #0.5)’. She is a spoiled young girl who is used to having someone cater to her every whim. Everyone always gives into her whims and charming eyes and smile, that is all but Tom. He is the first man – or being – whom truly challenges her, doesn’t give in to her, and isn’t afraid to tell her no. He also doesn’t pamper or coddle her either like all her other suitors did. Even though they are from entire different classes and worlds, you can see how they do mesh well together. By challenging her, Victoria learns that you don’t need the latest dresses in fashion, pretty gems, or the perfect hairstyle to truly be happy or know what happiness is. By staying at Race Point light house with Tom and his parents, she learns how to do everyday chores and realizes what kind of life she wants for a change. She also realizes that her fiancee ‘Nathaniel’ – while he is a very nice and caring man -, he isn’t the one for her. Yes she would be happy, live a rich life, never want for anything, but she didn’t truly love him nor did she feel for him for what she felt for Tom. I kinda felt sorry for the guy, I mean how can you not since he was so nice and likable? At least she did the right thing to let him go and find someone who would want him as their first choice and not their second.
About 80 to 85% into the book, I kinda had a hunch on who the villain was, which I was correct. Don’t you just love it when you can play detective and try to guess who the villain will be? Half the time I am successful on pin pointing them and sometimes I am not. But looking back in the book, you can kinda tell from the beginning that that person was a possible villain from their attitude and dialog.
As always, this was such a great book, but yet I am a bit biased as I love just about anything Jody writes. I for one can’t wait for more of her new historical’s to be released as I know I will gobble them up with glee.
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Marietta Hawkins has been in love with ranch foreman Daniel Barrett since she came home from school three years ago. Unfortunately, her father’s rule about hands not fraternizing with his daughter has kept him out of reach. She believed patience would prove a virtue in winning him over–until now. He is leaving. Starting up his own spread. To have any hope of maneuvering him into a proposal, she has to act fast or lose him forever. Fans of A Worthy Pursuit will enjoy seeing these characters again!
In my eyes, Karen Witemeyer can do no wrong. She always writes entertaining stories with such witty banter and dialog. I have read just about every one of her books and none of them have disappointed me yet. If you are familiar with Karen’s books – A Worthy Pursuit -, then you might, or should I say you ‘should’ remember our hero, Daniel Barrett aka Dead Eye Dan, and heroine, Marietta ‘Etta’ Hawkins, from this story as secondary characters.
Etta has be in love with Daniel for 3 years, and wishes he would show the same interest in her but her father has a rule that no ranch hands can ever pursue or form a relationship with his daughter. Etta isn’t aware, but that is the exact reason why Daniel is leaving, buying his own spread to start his own ranch so he can finally act on his feelings for Etta. But she thinks he is leaving for good, so she decides to take things in her own hands, aiming to wrangle a proposal out of the man that she has pined years for.
Even though this was quicky – less than 100 pages – it was still good and had that spark that Karen always manages to give her books. I absolutely loved it, but yet again, I am a bit biased as I love anything Karen writes.
• “Your daughter is the finest woman I’ve ever known, and I’ll not abide such slander. Even from you.” Jonah grinned and clapped Dan on the shoulder. “Good. ’Cause I don’t cotton to the idea of handing my little girl over to a man who ain’t willin’ to stand up for her. Even against her old man.” Dan stumbled back a step. “Oh, come on, Dan. Don’t look so shocked.” Jonah actually chuckled. “You and Etta have been pining for each other for years. Did you think I hadn’t noticed?” He’d noticed? Dan felt a bit queasy at the thought. “I ain’t as blind as I pretend to be, boy.”
• “You are the marryin’ kind. Right, Barrett?” Starting to regain his equilibrium, Dan squeezed his boss’s—no, his ex-boss’s—hand and smiled. “Only where Etta is concerned.” “Well, then.” The man’s eyes actually twinkled. “Get on after it, boy. It’ll take me at least twenty minutes to see to my horse.”
• “You’re wrong about one thing, though,” she said. Daniel looked quizzically at her. “What?” Etta reached up to his brow and brushed his hair off his forehead with a gentle caress that set his blood to pumping. Then she tilted her head back and met his gaze. “You are a hero. My hero.”
• “I’m not Dead-Eye Dan. I gave up chasin’ bounties and don’t plan on ever goin’ back. I ain’t a dime-novel hero, but I’m steady, I work hard, and I’ll do my best to give you the life you deserve.” Etta opened her mouth, but he shook his head at her, needing to get everything said at once. “I know I’m a good deal older than you, twelve years by my count, and most young ladies would probably wish for someone younger, less tarnished. I’ve seen a lot of ugliness in this life, Etta. I won’t lie to you about that. I’m rather set in my ways and opinionated about how things oughta be done, but I’d like to think that God gave me some wisdom over the years, too. Wisdom that will help me be the husband and father I want to be, one who will lead his family in a way that honors the Lord.”
• “Dan bit back a growl. No smooth-talking, barely-shaving stripling was going to charm her away. She needed a mature man, one with the skills and experience to protect her, provide for her. Hands balled into fists, Dan inhaled through his nose in an effort to stem the rising tide of jealousy that nearly had him shouting at her again. Maybe he shouldn’t be in such a hurry to send her back to Richland. Where younger men named Clarence waited in the wings.”
• “He’d listened to enough half-truths and outright lies from the outlaws he’d collected bounties on not to notice the slight hesitations in her speech or the exaggerated casualness of her posture. The woman was up to something.”
• “She couldn’t tell him the truth—that she was here to wrangle a proposal out of him. How desperate would that make her look? Besides, no man wanted to think he was being manipulated into marriage. He wanted to be the pursuer, the one in control. She was simply creating opportunities in which that pursuit might occur.”
• “His gut clenched. He’d thought she was different. Thought she appreciated the man he was, not the out-of-all-proportion legend the sensationalists depicted. Was that what she wanted? Some larger-than-life hero? If so, he didn’t stand a chance. She’d never be satisfied with a humble mule trainer. He’d worked hard to put life as a bounty hunter behind him. He wouldn’t be that man again. Not even for her.”
• “She had curled up with those books on more than one occasion, and yes, she had dreamt of a handsome, red-haired man of action, but it hadn’t been Dead-Eye Dan, drat it all. She’d dreamt of Daniel Barrett, the man who worked her father’s cattle, who trained the finest mules in the county, and whose sky-blue eyes could melt her heart with a single glance. Daniel Barrett had stolen her heart before she’d ever even heard of Dead-Eye Dan.”
• “Etta, you don’t have to . . . I never meant . . . You love those books.” “No, Daniel.” She yanked her arm from his grasp and slapped the remaining book against his chest. “I love you. The books were just a way to pretend that a part of you could actually belong to me.” The defiance faded from her eyes to be replaced by abject misery. “And now you never will.”
• “The silence he’d thought a blessing had become a curse. It ate at him. Rubbed him raw. He wanted to return to the easy camaraderie they’d shared before the storm, but she wouldn’t let him. She avoided him. Why? How could she tell him she loved him then immediately start acting as if she didn’t?”
• “No! Loving him was not a mistake. He couldn’t let her go on thinking it was. Dan lurched to his feet, flinging the book down onto the bed as he rose. He marched out of the room without a thought to his hat or his gun. Strode straight for the cabin’s front door and nearly jerked it off its hinges. Time to set the woman straight.”
• “Yet he followed her, stalked her, his eyes never straying from her face. “I don’t care about the books.” “What?” Marietta knocked into a chair and stumbled slightly. “I don’t care that you like to read those infernal Dead-Eye Dan novels,” he said, his voice hard, insistent. “Shoot, I’ll even buy you a new set to replace the ones you burned.” He continued his advance. She continued her retreat. “You don’t have to do that. I . . . I don’t need them anymore.” She backed past the table into an area free of furniture. Nothing to hold on to for support. Nothing to hide behind. “Yes, you do!” He shouted that comment. Marietta flinched. “The books are important.” He scowled at her. “You can’t go around saying you love them one minute and then toss them away the next. It ain’t right.” Marietta stopped. Peered up at the man bearing down on her. Then tilted her head to assess him. Her heart gave a hopeful little leap. “We’re not talking about books, are we?”
• “He treated her like a china doll that needed to sit on a high shelf and be admired but never handled. Marietta didn’t want to be admired from a distance. She wanted to be touched. Held. Embraced. By him.”
• “She’d not allow Daniel Barrett to escape her so easily. She’d placed a bounty on his heart, and she intended to collect.”
• “Ever since she’d come home from school three years ago, she’d been burrowing under his skin, itching like a host of chigger bites. He kept telling himself not to scratch, but invariably he did anyway, fool that he was. And here he was scratching again, thinking about her when he should be focused on the work at hand.”
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