Thursday, March 17, 2011
BOOK REVIEW: The Widowed Bride by Elizabeth Lane
BLURB ON BACK OF BOOK:
Ruby Denby Rumford endured her monstrous
husband’s abuse until death—by self-defense—did them part. Now she and her daughters seek a new beginning in Dutchman’s Creek, Colorado, but will her dark past stay buried?
With an obligation to uphold the laws of
prohibition and an undercover persona in place, U.S. Deputy Marshal Ethan Beaudry comes to town ready to end a shady bootlegging ring. He doesn’t expect to find beautiful, mysterious Ruby involved—or be forced to choose between duty to the law and this forbidden passion.
How wonderfully refreshing to have a historical take place in the early 1920's. The place is Dutchman's Creek, Colorado, a small dusty town surrounded by the Rockies. And can I say I love the cover, exactly how the heroine and hero are described, and the clothes are the right era, perfect.
Ruby Rumford is new to town, she has bought a dilapidated boarding house, with dreams of fixing it up and living there with her two young daughters, while renting out the upstairs rooms to boarders. Ruby is a widow, of a supposed, prominent Springfield, Missouri businessman, imagine her surprise to find out there was no money left. So she moved to this Colorado town to be near her brother.
In waging war with dust and overlarge spiders, Ruby screams for help when she finds herself hanging on to a chandelier for dear life.
Enter the hero, Ethan Beaudry. As he helps Ruby from her precarious position, she is lowered down Ethan's lanky, muscular 6'2 frame, igniting sparks for the both of them the whole way.
I really liked these two right out of the gate. And they don't waste anytime exploring that passion.
Ethan is really a US marshal, undercover and investigating bootleg whiskey smuggling, as this is the early 20's and the beginning of Prohibition.
Ethan has a tragic back story of his own, it fuels his passion for justice, but also makes him reticent to enter into anything long term with Ruby, especially when he hears she has two small daughters. Ethan is a fine hero, upstanding, tall and handsome, and tortured. And a honorable lawman to boot. I loved him.
Ruby has her own tragic back-story, that has made her leery of men, and trust. Her first husband was an abusive thug. But how can she resist Ethan? She gives it a try, but he really is hard to resist.
A lot of interesting, well fleshed out secondary characters populate the small town, and their plots are tightly woven with Ruby and Ethan's. Lots of action and suspense in this as well. A stash of illegal whiskey is found in a hidden cache in the boarding house basement, who in the town is involved in this conspiracy?
I was rooting for Ethan and Ruby all the way. They sizzled, and even though outside forces try and keep them apart for one reason or another, it was an exciting ride to get to there happy ever after.
Rich, steeped in history, a tender but sizzling romance between two damaged people caught up in a rousing prohibition adventure.
RATING: 3.5 out of 4 for the book
KOVER KUDOS: Another great job by Harlequin, period dress circa 1920's Bang-on. And Hero and Heroine are exactly as described in book. Great, intimate pose as well.
3.5 out of 4 for the cover