***NOTE MY REVIEWS OFTEN CONTAIN SPOILERS***
For a quick read I guess this is okay. Most of the action in the story takes place over a few days with the ending chapters occurring a month later.
North Black is a 29 year old Ranching mogul, owning one of the biggest ranches in Southern Texas and treated like royalty wherever he goes.
Melody Woods is a 22 year old Wild Child who's spent her time running away from everything and wandering the world. She's still a virgin and frightened of the idea of sex because of an event when she was eleven. Apparently when she was in sixth grade she wore a pair of red underwear under her skirt to school when one of the older boys saw it he told his friends. Four boys chased her down and pinned her to the ground to look at her red panties. North saved her before they could do more. She never told him why they bothered her that day or told anyone else. She blames herself because she'd worn the red panties and is frightened by anyone wearing mirrored sunglasses because that was what the boys were wearing that day.
The couple has a history and were almost married in the past, before Melody chickened out and left North standing at the altar in front of half of Texas. They tangled again six months before the book begins when they almost have sex in his apartment before Melody gets scared and runs off again. Had she been older this back story might have been a little more believable. It might have made a little more sense, but you have to figure this wedding must have occurred at least a year before this and if he's a traditional sort like she portrays him they probably dated at least a year before that and that makes her maybe twenty probably a teenager when their relationship really began while he would have been in his mid twenties.
He talks about having been in love with her since they were kids, but with that large of an age difference I don't see how he would have noticed her or thought of her as anymore more than a little sister when they were kids and if he was noticing her when she was 11 and he was 18 there's something messed up about him. I guess I'm the only person who this doesn't set well with. Without the back story the relationship might have worked. A 29 year old and a 22 year old hooking up is no big thing and I guess pretty normal, but him having had feeling for her since she was a little girl doesn't work for me. It screams pedophile in a big way to me.
Anyway they start to tangle again in the story when her mother tricks him by inviting him to dinner claiming Melody is still on the road instead of right there. Though he's seeing someone else they end up involved in a sexual type encounter without having sex and ends with Melody running again. He goes back to his ranch and later she follows him there, determined to win him.
She has three under developed sub plots occurring at the same time as this one. First that of an illegal Mexican boy who's parents abandoned him and who is trying to cross the border to get to his Aunt in Houston I think it was. The boy collapses on North's land and is brought to the house when Melody is there. She stops him from calling border patrol and cares for the half dead child until his Aunt arrives. Second that of the Midnight bandit who is trying to steal North's cattle and take them over the border. They mention him a lot during the book but he only actually is present in one scene where North and his buddy Jeff are taken hostage and Melody gains her courage to save him. Instead of being grateful for her saving his life he gets mad at her for not listening to him and staying home where he felt she should be. He gets jealous because she flirted with the criminal to keep him distracted enough to give the border patrol time to arrive.
Her act of heroism almost ends their relationship and they don't speak for a month before he decides he's an idiot and proposes to her again. Finally there's a subplot about his father's early death and North's blame in it which isn't much developed either. Most of the plots were pointless and obviously just thrown in there because she needed some reason for Melody to stay on the ranch and some sort of exciting twist for Melody to prove her worth. I think the father's death was an attempt to show character growth but since like the other plots it was sort of glossed over and barely mentioned it's was just extra information that didn't really help the story along at all.
It's a quick read and not an overall bad book, but it's not something I'd call great reading material.
- Mass Market Paperback
- Publisher: Harlequin Books (1 July 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0373763751
- ISBN-13: 978-0373763757
- Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 1.3 x 17.1 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 90.7 g
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