Rancher Jared Cameron is a mystery to most of the residents of Jacobsville, Texas, and he likes it that way. He travels with a bodyguard named Danzetta who, in addition to having various combat skills, is a very good cook. Jared meets bookseller Sara Dobbs, another of Palmers virginal heroines and they verbally spar several times. Sara has a lot more mettle than some of Palmers other characters, and I really liked her. Sara and Jared develop a bizarre arrangement by which they agree to call each other if one is very sick (theyre both technically alone, with no close family). This little plot point made me scratch my head.
However, Jared seduces Sara and she is shortly thereafter trapped in Jareds mysterious world. Seduces probably isnt the best word to use; for all intents and purposes, Sara is raped by Jared. He apparently didnt think that this was her first time. The characters in this book were well written: at several points, it appears as though Sara and Jared will end up together; other times, minor characters like Jareds haughty lawyer Max or Saras friend Harvey provide interesting romantic triangles (quadrangles?) to the story. At one point, Jareds bodyguard Danzetta extends his friendship to Sara and reveals how they met years ago.
Sara is one of the strongest female characters Ive seen in one of Palmers books. She works at a bookstore, yet harbors dreams of writing a childrens book. And she doesnt turn to mush when the hero glances at her. Jared, however, is simply another egotistical alpha male, used to getting his own way and confused when people dont always follow what he says. Palmer seems to be saying that sexual chemistry is more important than friendship but, when building a strong relationship or a marriage, its the opposite.
I have to agree with Elizabeth, unfortunately. I was very disappointed, DP books used to be keepers for me too until lately. The characters are one dimensional, the waif female leads with the tragic pasts are old news for this series and should be put to rest. This one was so bad I might just pass on even reading the next one.......sigh, I used to love this series.