Author: Beverly Jerkins
Genre/Age: Historical Romance/Adult
Series: Old West Series (Book Two)
Format: ebook via Edelweiss
Synopsis: As manager of one of the finest hotels in Arizona Territory, Portia Carmichael has respect and stability—qualities sorely missing from her harsh childhood. She refuses to jeopardize that by hitching herself to the wrong man. Suitors are plentiful, but none of them has ever looked quite as tempting as the family friend who just rode into town…and none has looked at her with such intensity and heat.
Duchess. That’s the nickname Kent Randolph gave Portia when she was a young girl. Now she’s a stunning, intelligent woman—and Kent has learned his share of hard lessons. After drifting through the West, he’s learned the value of a place to settle down, and in Portia’s arms he’s found that and more. But convincing her to trust him with her heart, not just her passion, will be the greatest challenge he’s known—and one he intends to win…
A cowboy sweeps his duchess off of her feet!
Portia doesn't want to marry. This she has decided after years of witnessing her mother being used by men of all walks of life. And after Portia discovered her own dreams of bookkeeping, she is determined more than ever to maintain her independence and never become someone's property.
But all of that changes when a ghost from her past comes back around. Kent isn't the man she remembers. He's grown up and matured into a hardworking man who is finally ready to settle down and take a wife. It doesn't take long for him to set his sights on Portia. Despite her attempts, Portia can't control her body's natural reaction to the man who sets her aflame with a single touch. She just has to decide if marrying Kent would be such a bad idea, after all.
I've read quite a bit of historical romance lately, but I haven't found as much racial diversity in this subgenre. So when I found a western themed historical romance book with main characters of color, I jumped to request it. It took a while but eventually I was approved to review.
This book had a lot of really cute and sweet moments. I liked that this story didn't follow the typical recipe that most other romances do, in general. When our heroine decided she wanted our hero, she didn't spend chapter after chapter fighting against her own instincts.
And once our couple wanted to make their union official, there wasn't a drawn-out or exuberant proposal for forever. It was more realistic because not everyone gets or wants to make a big spectacle out of everything. This was a different take on couple communication. One that I liked.
What bothered me about this book was one moment in particular when our hero made an internal comment that I found to be suspect and didn't sit well with me. It was a reference to women of his past and how he no longer respected their loosely sexual behavior. Yet, as a young man, our hero had been one of those conquests, himself. It was hypocritical and seemed out of character. I encourage the author to consider reevaluating that scene.
The romance was sweet and had its moments of spice. I liked both of our main characters and enjoyed most of the plot points. I do think this book should be at least two chapters shorter. I think the entire last plot twist should be eliminated. There really weren't any plot threads to wrap up there so the whole ransom thing felt forced. Sometimes less is more.
The next book does look like an interesting concept with a mail-order bride theme. I will be on the lookout for it. 3.5 suns!