He Knows She Can Never Be His…
Logan Holstock, oldest of three brothers orphaned on the Santa Fe Trail, has always been content knowing his brothers were alive and happy somewhere in the vast and brutal West – until he learns he may be dying. Certain he has little time left, Logan sets out to find them and end his days near a family he’s never known… and stumbles across a strong yet vulnerable widow who makes him yearn forwhat can never be his.
Logan knows he shouldn’t love Sibyl Spencer – he couldn’t bear leaving her a widow all over again. But as he finds himself drawn deeper into the lives of this small Western town, he can’t escape the longing to find peace in her arms. When he discovers that his death sentence is anything but, Logan swears he will do whatever it takes to prove himself to the woman he loves… and show he believes their love is worth fighting for.
I read the second book in this series a year before reading this one. I’ve not read the first. They work well enough as standalones, though it’s obvious there are lots of plotlines in the past.
The cover of Forever and Always is a little ironic, considering the fact the hero of the book spends the vast majority of the story thinking he is dying; his entire appearance is changed by poison (while the main characters don’t know this, the reader is told right at the beginning, so it’s not a spoiler).
I think there was a lot of originality in this book, bringing some slightly different ideas to a very common type of romance book. It’s not a sex-fest, and there’s plenty of story to go with plenty of characters. It’s the style of Western historical romance I prefer.
However, I wasn’t convinced at the start, and I think I need to use quotes to explain why. The heroine witnesses a robbery, sees the robbers shot and killed, and then her husband killed too. And she immediately reacts like she’s just chatting at the supermarket;
“This isn’t my blood. I’m okay, but Norman was killed.”
Followed immediately by her noticing the fact the hero was an interesting man (this is the same scene, in the dead body-riddled bank):
She had to find him (the hero). It wasn’t just that she needed to thank him for what he’d done. In the brief moments when he’d faced the man holding her, she’d seen something in his eyes that startled her.
You don’t react to a robbery and murder like that, even if it isn’t your husband who is the victim!
I pressed on though, and after that it improved a lot, but then I expected it would!
Leigh Greenwood is one of those rare creatures: a man who writes romance. I think he maintains a fairly androgynous online presence and author persona, and I don’t think there’s a great deal of difference in his writing to similar books by women. Like other male romance writers, he tends to respect women more than most female writers do! However, I could REALLY do without repeated use of the term son of a bitch!
This is not a perfect book, but it is an original book, and made for a solid read.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.