I have had a hard time getting into other Laurie McBain novels, but TEARS OF GOLD had a plot and a heroine that really draws a reader right into the thick of her story.
I first read TEARS OF GOLD when it first came out. (I am that old!) I remembered liking it back then, and I wanted to see if it would hold up for me today. There are plenty of romance novels written during the 1970's and 1980's that I can't touch with a barge pole. Either they're filled with rape or other violence against women or they've got other weird issues that I just don't like. Most often, the romance is just too convoluted -- you're given a hero who has distrust and contempt for a heroine throughout the book-although they don't have a problem shagging like rabbits- only to have him confess his love 3 pages before the end. I hate that.
But thankfully, TEARS OF GOLD is a full, rich romantic novel, with a background and a love story that feels -- well, like a real story is being told. Nicholas and Mara aren't cardboard figures. Mara is initially depicted as a beautiful opportunist, but she has a heart that's been wounded, and her love for Nicholas (as well as her love for her family) will change her over time. Nicholas is an alpha-male, but he has a past that's wounded him, too. And gradually, over the pace of the story, Nicholas learns to trust and to love again. Nicholas doesn't apply force to Mara or consistently treat her with disdain. There's always an element of attraction, and later, love, in his feelings for her, even though he's strongly convinced of her duplicity in the first part of the story. (And he's got reason to be. Even if she's not a devil, Mara is not exactly an angel either.)
This is a long, well-plotted romance novel. I was honestly surprised all over again by how detailed and involved this story really is. It opens in London, moves to gold-rush-era California, and progresses to pre-Civil War New Orleans. Most romance novels written today take place in just one setting, over a shorter period of time, and have fewer subcharacters. For me, it was a pleasure to read a romance novel whose story took place over the course of a few years, in different countries, and yet never let character development or the love story lie dormant. TEARS OF GOLD is on my keeper shelf, for good.
I bought my very first romance for twenty five cents at a flea market, Devils Desire by Laurie McBain and have loved them(romances) ever since. A few years ago I picked up Moonstruck Madness and was a little bereft at how it wasn't Devils Desire but still good. A few days ago I picked up my third McBain read, Tears of Gold, hoping for that reconnection with her books I had felt with the first and though I found it it was different this time could be I've aged a bit since I created this ultra-romance super author cape for McBain at the whopping age of thirteen.
the O'Flynns, childern of an actress and nobleman, have made it through the tough times and the good times relying on their wits and abilities to act, charm and gamble until one incident scars Mara that pretains a young gentleman. Nicholas the uncle of the young man is hell bent on vengeance against the little Irish woman who caused his sister and nephew such pain. Through this vengeance comes mixed feelings from both parties, Mara wants to forget the past and build a new future with her family in America where gold is plenty and Nicholas is wanting to distroy her at any chance, as they come together time and again the insults fly waging a war of mistrust, hurt feelings and damaged pride to uncover something greater.
I love the detail McBain brings out in her stories, the conditions of cramped space damp with salt water on the ship or the alluring Spanish Moss, it has a way of seducing the reader in itself. The characters I thought were strong in who and what they were. Nicholas was an arrogant rake who knew his power of seduction and was willing to do everything it took to get what he wanted regardless of if it was proper or not. Mara was a disillusioned young woman and turned out she was far more then the wrapping you might say, she turned into a woman of great fortitude, keeping strong when life beat her down and she had no clue how to fix all that had gone wrong. It's got murder, travel, great steam scenes, gold aplenty and a Swede! (I was really hoping he played more a part but maybe in another book?)
I will be keeping this one for a reread at a later date and see if the feelings are still the same but would suggest this to anyone who likes a tortured alpha hero and a equally strong willed heroine.
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I loved this book. I actually read it when it was first issued. I requested it again because I just could not get it off my mind. Good emotional epic.
historical romance, very passionate writing cant put it down! THE FRONT COVER OF THIS BOOK HAD A ANOTHER BOOK STUCK TO IT SO THERE IS A 2X3INCH WHITE SPACE WHERE THE COVER WAS PEELED BUT IT IS ALL IN TACT ELSEHWERE OTHERWISE THIS BOOK IS NEW AND LEGAL!