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Heart of Gold    by Jessica Bird order for
Heart of Gold
by Jessica Bird
Order:  USA  Can
Ivy, 2003 (2003)
* *   Reviewed by Martina Bexte

For years archaeologist Carter Wessex has been trying to discover what really happened to the Winship Expedition and to the small fortune in gold that was lost along with the ill-fated explorers. Evidence of the party's final days is said to be somewhere atop Farrell Mountain. Carter would give anything to explore the area but knows full well that it's a lost cause. Millionaire Nick Farrell won't tolerate 'treasure hunters' invading his mountain. But when a friend informs Carter that her arch rival is already in the area and has found key evidence that might lead him to the find of the century, Carter is determined to visit Farrell and change his mind about allowing treasure hunters onto his land.

As expected, Nick Farrell's reaction to Carter's request is negative and he all but throws her out of his house. It's only after she leaves that Nick thinks to run a background check and subsequently realises he may have made a business error in denying Carter's request. She's the estranged daughter of a business rival and Nick figures it wouldn't hurt to get on the elder Wessex's good side by granting the man's daughter a favor -- and perhaps even helping them patch up their bitter estrangement.

After being treated so poorly by Farrell during her initial visit, Carter would like nothing more than to throw Nick Farrell's invitation right back in his arrogant face. But when he dangles 'the Winship Cross' in front of her nose, she can't refuse. Within days she and her team have set up camp on Farrell Mountain. She could do without Farrell lurking in the sidelines but that was one of his stipulations -- that he 'keep an eye on things'. Falling head over heels for Nick Farrell and his troubled nephew hadn't been part of Carter's overall plan, nor had squaring off with a crazed colleague who's determined that he and not Carter shall reap the glory of the find.

Those of who like a healthy dash of adventure mixed into their romance will enjoy Heart of Gold. Carter and Nick are strong and determined characters who know what they want out of life but don't quite know what to do when they discover true love. Add to that a pleasing cast of secondaries and readers won't be disappointed with promising author Jessica Bird's second novel.

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