Onyx, 2002 (2002)
Reviewed by Martina Bexte
olly Wells is on the run. She knows that her past will catch up with her eventually, but right now her number one concern is delivering her husband's brutalized race horse, Senora Sunset, into the capable hands of Jake Coulter, a man she's heard is a '
'. Jake's first sight of the stallion leaves him outraged and demanding to know why Molly didn't report the abuse to the appropriate authorities. Molly's story is less than convincing, and Jake tells himself if he had any sense he'd send her on her way. The last thing he needs is to get involved with a fugitive and liar. When Molly further informs him she can't pay his fee, he's even more leery, yet he can't turn her away. He's attracted to this shy young woman and before he realizes it, his emotions overrule the warning bells she sets off. He offers Molly a job as housekeeper and cook, which she accepts, despite knowing little or nothing about ranch life.
is Catherine Anderson's latest installment in her continuing series showcasing two Oregon families, the Coulters and the Kendricks. The males of both families are all ultra alpha and Jake Coulter is no exception. His gentle, caring and patient nature only make him more appealing. Molly, on the other hand, is a character Anderson uses often - a woman burdened with self-esteem issues, who questions her ability to love. That she allowed herself to be dominated by her ex-husband for ten years only adds to her self doubt. Jake's gentle and intuitive persistence, and his homespun wooing, eventually tumble the walls she's built around herself. He even convinces Molly that he's crazy about her, despite her being overweight. Anderson's characterizations make for emotion-packed reading. In this book, however, she could have done without plot clichés, like a greedy husband who has his wife committed when she won't sign over her fortune and then decides to murder her when she continues to defy him. Anderson also spends a few too many chapters trying to convince readers that overweight women deserve to find love too. Overall though,
is an enjoyable read.
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