a fallen woman... a bold stranger....brings strong emotion and sexual tension...
Tibbie Buchanan was a heavenly beauty, yet some still whipseredabout her sins. Her glorious honey-colored hair wouldn't stay hidden uner her bonnet. Her drab dresses couldn't hide her alluring curves. Once she'd loved a man who'd ruined her. Now a gifted healer and herbalist, an angel to the sick, she swore she'd never surrender to passion again.
Life on the frontier had taught Nick Mackinnon some hard lessons. Orphaned young, he'd left Texas to learn a shipbuilder's trade. Richer, lonelier, he came back to realize his dream - a seagoing dynasty. And now TIbbie was part of that dream. But Tibbie had loved before, had known the sting of betrayal, the burden of shame. SHe would flee from love and the man who ached to free her, the man who saw her imprisoned in the past, an exquisite ... Angel in Marble.
This begins the MacKinnon family saga!
Set in the American west, this is a solid, well told story of a young girl wronged who protects her heart "like an angel in marble". She challenged a confident hero till he wins her.
The humor and characters carried along this very flawed book to a four-star rating ... barely. First, the story took too long. There simply wasn't enough depth to carry Nick and Tibbie's story almost 400 pages.
I had no problem believing that a 21-year-old woman would decide that the only way she could remain in her hometown, after having a baby out of wedlock, was to dress drably and do good works as a doctor's assistant. Eric, the man who had the illicit relationship with Tibbie, has been gone for 6 years. He left when he found out Tibbie was going to have his baby.
Now, a young shipbuilder has arrived and is intensely interested in Tibbie, even when he learns about Bethany, Tibbie's daughter. Nick and Tibbie spar with each other regularly. However, the best character is Granny Grace, a Russian aristocrat with a slipping memory. She's a hoot. Between Tibbie, Nick and Granny, there are many laugh-out-loud moments to enjoy. However, the story drags on so Eric can come back and set up things for the grand finale.
Yes, Tibbie was young and had lost her heart (and virginity at 16), so she was inexperienced with the ways of men and women. However, her ambivalence became tiresome after awhile.
Someone must have told the author that all romances had to have an epilogue. For a Texas gal, the author pulled a real boner. Baylor started out in Independence, Texas in 1846 and moved to Waco (joining with Waco University) in 1886. Since the story started in 1849 and the epilogue took place when one of the older children was 17, Baylor still wasn't in Waco at that time. Yeah, I know, it's a small mistake, but it wasn't necessary to bring Baylor's name into it if the author was unsure. My other beef with this story was the ending of the main tale (before the epilogue). I thought it was straight from the squirrels.
Didn't I like any of the book? Yes. I've already read two of the other books of this series (It would be too tame to read them in order) and I have loved everything about the Mackinnon family. Nick would have saved himself a great deal of trouble and heartache if he'd just proposed to Tibbie and talked with her father. However, that would have been too easy. The Mackinnons are a fascinating, aggravating, adorable group of young men. The stories are great; just read them in order.