A Rancho del Cielo Romance
Locke Jackman is single, childless…and he has a bad case of empty nest syndrome. For years, as he fought tooth and nail to keep his brothers and sisters together after his parents died, his entire life was focused on his responsibilities.
Now his siblings have all moved on with their lives, and there’s no one around to distract him from his overpowering attraction to his sister’s best friend. Their mutual desire is stunning…but then again, so are the secrets keeping them apart.
Susie Packard’s nightmarish marriage taught her what happens when she gives in to her weakness for powerful men. Too bad the big, stoic frowner across the street—the one who sets her bells jangling just by breathing—has her in his sights.
Try as she might to keep her emotional distance, Locke is determinedly knocking down all her walls. But as much as she wants to be the woman he needs, she knows better than most—passion may have its rewards, but every secret has its price.
Warning: This book contains a hot, modern-day Viking seducing his way to the heart of his woman, a stubborn lingerie designer with a world of secrets and a very deep bathtub… Enjoy!
Dee Tenorio is one of my personal favorite authors, so I jumped at the chance to review this one. I’m happy I did because this turned out to be my favorite romance of the year.
Susie Packard had only been in Rancho del Cielo a short time before meeting Locke. He is a refreshingly straight forward/hardworking guy. Locke has a big Victorian all to himself after raising his siblings. He supported them by working his fingers to the bone building high end row boats. His home can’t be filled with even his large frame. Needing someone in his life, he is drawn to the new girl in town Susie.
Susie is trying to wake up from a horrible nightmare. She has tried to keep out of the reach of her violent and powerful husband. She is hiding from him in Rancho del Cielo. Worn out from the early months of pregnancy, she has to be carried into her small apartment by Locke. Desperately she tries to push him off with bittersweet sarcasm and false disinterest. She can’t resist him for long, and brings him into her undersized bed. He provides her some unselfish relief with his large strong hands.
Discovering her pregnancy he convinces her to stay with him for a weekend that lasts 5 days. They spend their time mostly in bed enjoying each other. Still Susie’s instinct to run away from him is strong. She continually pulls away from him. It’s not for not wanting to be with him. She would do no happier thing in her life than be with him in his large house. Locke is steadfast in his desire for her. A troubled past and a baby on the way does nothing to dissuade him from loving her.
Locke does make a serious mistake. He tries to get Susie out of the hooks of her ex, but instead gives away where she is. It freaks her out. She had worked so hard and given up so much to get away. Before coming to Rancho del Cielo there was no second thinking when she wanted to run. Susie could leave most of her things behind and it didn’t bother her one bit. Now she struggles with the thought of running. She has built herself a life in this town. She has set down roots. That and she never felt more safe and loved than in the big strong arms of Locke.
Dee Tenorio is great at writing scenes that sizzle and spark. The friction between Susie and Locke is never overplayed. It makes perfect sense why she would not want to put her problems on him. The way he thinks of her is genuine and never lovelorn. The story has the right mixture of intrigue and steaminess to keep your attention throughout.
My favorite lines:
That’s when she knew her decision was made. Undeniably. Irrevocably. Whatever came next, she wouldn’t face it alone. Whether he knew it or not, this man had her trust and her heart. Forever.