SAFE AT HOME
Leah Murphy just wants to feel safe again after a violent break-in. Moving to Blue Falls, Texas, is the first step. Renting the bunkhouse from rancher Tyler Lowe is the second. But Leah is uneasy around the handsome cowboy, despite his kindness.
Tyler knows all too well how difficult it is to rebuild trust. He’s trying to help his young niece heal from her own dark memories. When he sees how Maddie responds to Leah, he can’t help feeling grateful—and attracted to the beautiful woman. He knows he has to move slowly to win Leah’s heart, but he also knows she’s worth the wait.
I liked this book. In a sea of similar romances set in a small section of the United States (i.e. Harlequin’s rebranded Western line), it’s hard for a book to stand out, but I thought this was a good one.
The heroine in this story has been through a trauma. She came home one night to find a man in her apartment, and he tried to rape her. I liked that this issue was dealt with sensibly. I think it was taken seriously, but it wasn’t the defining feature of who the heroine was.
There is a third main character in this story, and that is the hero’s five-year-old niece. Her drug addict mother dumped her on the hero and took off, and now he has to try and raise her, as well as sorting through all the issues she has. I am happy when an author can write a small child character without reverting to clichés, and I think the little girl here was pretty good.
This is not one of Harlequin’s longer lines. The books are quite short, and so some things were wrapped up in a hurry. I reached the 90% mark and wondered how the author could possibly finish her story with so much unresolved. However, I was also VERY happy to discover Trish Milburn doesn’t finish her books with bows and rainbows, and instead of the typical marriage and babylogue, we were treated to a more believable resolution to the drama.
Also – yay! – blond hero. I’m sick of the stupid idea all romance heroes have to be 6′ 2″, black-haired and blue-eyed!
Oh – and if only a person could really make a living selling beaded jewellery online, as this heroine does! In the real world, I doubt the she could even afford milk and bread, let alone pay the rent!
Harlequin has some authors who are consistently strong, and who I can rely on to deliver a good read. Trish Milburn is one of them.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.