I was pretty sceptical that this book would be a good one because the hero is described as "the oldest living male virgin in the state of Illinois", who just happens to live in a treehouse, sounds hot right? I liked that the heroine was an "experienced woman" (haha), but she wasn't over 25 or a widow. It was nice to have a woman take charge in the romantic situations and to have the man be the one being "taught". Also the villian in the book is a likeable one., our heroine hates him, but enjoys..."being with him". So she has to get over the guilt of enjoying sex with a man she hates and learn to trust again. Good thing virgins grow on trees in Illinois! This book was really good, and I like that the author broke away from the usual romance book formula. A very quick read too, you could knock this one out on a single day of jury duty.
Noah LeCroix made an appearance in Landis's Just Once; now the enigmatic recluse gets his own story, set in 1820.
After a near-fatal accident while guiding 200 families down the Ohio River, Noah loses an eye and retreats to the swamps of frontier Illinois. He avoids all human contact until a mysterious girl stumbles into his swamp.
Olivia Bond was kidnapped by river pirates and sold into prostitution. Having escaped she grudgingly accepts Noah's help. As she heals, Olivia comes to feel safe with Noah who, in turn, is intrigued by her and how easily she has slipped into his life.
Olivia doesn't feel worthy of Noah's love and respecting her wishes, agrees to take her home. He leaves her with her family in Illinois, unaware of the danger that awaits her at the hands of an obsessive ex-lover.
Noah LeCroix became a recluse and retreated to a swamp in frontier Illinois after an accident took his eye and left him scarred. He finds Olivia Bond injured and lost in the swamp. Olivia was trying to find her family, after being kidnapped and sold into prostitution in New Orleans. Noah nurses her back to health and she begins to trust again. He agrees to help Olivia find her family. But when they find them, Olivia's past comes back to haunt them.
I thought this book started out really well and liked the first half of the story. But when Olivia kept saying she was not good enough for Noah, I wanted to scream. The addition of her ex-lover into the mix didn't help the story for me. My rating: 2.5 Stars.
Mixed bag for this reader. As much as I liked Noah, I found Olivia difficult to take. Yeah we get that she has low self-esteem because of her past as a sort-of whore. But it just wasn't enough to propel a book that long. I found the villian tedious and most of the last 100 pages too predictable. Noah was sweet, kind, innocent, and gullible. Olivia was sold into sexual slavery but essentially "liked" having sex with her captor too much. I don't blame the heroine for this, I blame the author. Woman forced into sexual slavery likes it? She's a sensual being so she can't help herself? I don't buy it and found it harmful to the integrity of the characters and ultimately the entire story.
I always feel a bit betrayed by authors who write women like this, and who write love scenes where penetration = orgasm for a woman. Probably not going to read more by Landis.