He hides from the world…but he can’t hide from her.
Men of the White Sandy, Book 2
Moving her veterinary practice out west is a chance for Mary-Beth to start over. But her resolve to learn to hold her tongue goes out the window when she meets Jacob, a Lakota cowboy who says next to nothing—especially about the black leather mask covering half his face.
Sometimes he seems to be almost flirting. Other times, it’s as if he’s angry she exists. But there’s no mistaking the heat that flares between them.
Jacob still isn’t sure who—or what—carved up his face and killed his best friend three years ago. All he knows is the thing was after a child he now hides with his silence. A medicine woman’s granddaughter he would die to protect.
Outspoken, sexy Mary Beth reminds him of how lonely his life has become. But he can’t forget how much he stands to lose if any distraction allows a monster to rise again and destroy the last hope of his people.
Warning: This book contains a masked cowboy with a lot to hide, a woman who shoots her mouth off at all the wrong times, and the wanton destruction of a certain pair of panties during explosive sex.
FTC disclaimer. I talk to Sarah quite a lot on twitter. I have had the pleasure of working with her quite a bit and I agreed to review this book ‘cos I love her work. I haven’t been paid for this review and I wouldn’t let my good opinion of Sarah influence this review.
I loved the first in the series and this one has some of the same hallmarks that I loved. With a strong heroine, a dreamy hero and a plot interwoven with threads of Lakota tradition, I found this book to be a very enjoyable read. I read it in one sitting, pages constantly turning because I was genuinely interested to see how they worked out their HEA.
Mary-Beth was the character I enjoyed the most in this book. Her sarcastic humour and ball-busting attitude (threats to castrate men who demeaned her because of her gender were made frequently) kept me giggling all the way through. She knew what she wanted (Jacob) and, even though she had swore off lasting relationships well before this tale began, she realised that the feelings that she had for him were more than sexual. She saw the man beneath the mask and I adored that even though what first attracted her to him was his strip show, she didn’t ever really give him hassle about the fact he wouldn’t show her his face beneath it. She just left him alone to decide for himself whether or not she was the one he wanted to show it to her. Her treatment of Kip made me adore her even more. She was the best type of heroine; strong, funny, independent and completely protective of the ones that she loved.
Jacob was a tricky one to fathom out for me. On the one hand he was the show-off cowboy that did a strip tease in street every evening in summer, but on the other he was the man in the mask who had isolated himself emotionally from everyone but his ward. His treatment to Kip was the thing that engaged me with him, and gave me hope for their HEA, because his treatment of Mary-Beth wasn’t. One second he is having sex with her against the wall, the next he is refusing to talk to her in anything but monosyllabic words. If Mary-Beth was one of my friends, I’d have told her to run for the hills, not keep giving him chances. Sometimes there is too much baggage and I was kind of worried that this would keep me from believing in their tale. I did like him; I just didn’t know if he was emotionally well enough to be in a lasting relationship with anyone.
The suspense plot was fun but it did seem to only take hold in the last few chapters of the book as it was more of a device to progress their relationship. I enjoyed the fact that it was based in Lakota beliefs as it fit so well with the tale. I do enjoy that I know this author does so much research before writing her books; I can trust that I’m learning something about romance within another culture, not reading made up content.
As I say, I did enjoy this book. Was I happy with the HEA? Yes I was, but I was very surprised at the way all my reservations were dealt with by the author. I don’t believe that this is a perfect HEA, but the most believable of books leave me with the impression that their relationship will require some work. That works for me; I can’t abide saccharine sweet romances where everything is perfect.
This is a sexy, slightly angsty tale between an emotionally and physically scarred man and a ball buster heroine. It made me laugh, made me swoon and made me mad; any book that elicits all those emotions has got to be a reread J