My rating: 5 of 5 stars
To sum it up: There was only one rule on the frontier— Survival. So when a wounded, buckskin-clad stranger appeared at the door of her isolated cabin, Elspeth Stewart felt no qualms about disarming him and then tying him to her bed. Newly widowed and expecting her first child, she had to protect herself at all costs. And Nicholas Kenleigh threatened not only her safety, but her peace of mind. The terrible scars on his body spoke of a tortured past, but his gentle touch and burning gaze awoke longings she had never expected to feel.
Bethie had every reason in the world to distrust men; the cruelty she had suffered at their hands had marked her soul, though her blonde beauty showed no sign of it. But little by little she found herself believing in Nicholas, in his honor, his strength. As he brought her baby into the world, then took both mother and daughter into his care, she realized this scarred survivor could heal her wounded spirit, and together they would.
★★★★★ 500,000,000,000 TRILLION STARS! ★★★★★
There are literally not enough good things in the world to say about this book- It was that perfect. I thought I had already written and posted a review for this book after the first time I had originally read it but alas, it's nowhere to be found. Have no fear though- For I have absolutely no issue what-so-ever with re-writing another gushing review about how much I loved this story.
For starters, I need to just go ahead and tell you right now that if you have yet to read this book READ. IT. NOW. ...Don't worry if you noticed that it's the third book in the Blakewell/Kenleigh Family Trilogy- I've yet to read the first two books and this one is one hundred percent perfectly fine to read as a stand-alone. So go ahead and forget about all of those excuses you're giving yourself about not starting this story and just read the damn thing. Trust me- You'd be missing out on the best book in the entire world if you surpass this one. ...That's right- I said it.
It was that good.
I refuse to give anything in this story away, so instead I'll give you just a glimpse of this incredible love story. This novel begins by introducing our (amazingly perfect) hero, Nicholas Kenleigh. ♥ ...Be still my fucking heart, because I literally can't breathe.
There is no book boyfriend in the entire world of romance novels that can measure up to this man. None. In the beginning, we see that he was captured and held prisoner by the fierce Wyandot Indians. He was made to watch two young men he took under his wing, slowly burn to death before being further tortured in other ways himself. The Wyandot had plans to kill him, however the Chief's daughter had her own selfish breeding desires in mind and kept him alive in order to keep him for herself and have his child. In time, he eventually escapes and returns back home a changed man- However, he's no longer comfortable around the family he loves for he feels the man he once was is dead. In his eyes, his only way to cope with his past is to leave everything and everyone he's ever known and become a trapper in the wilderness. He chose to live many long years alone, with nothing left but his tortured thoughts to keep him company... That is, until he becomes wounded and stumbles upon a small cabin housing a very pregnant and very alone woman- I woman that unbeknownst to him, will change his life forever...
The heroine Bethie, is a young, newly widowed and eight-month pregnant woman living by herself on the frontier when Nicholas stumbles upon her. His only chance of survival lies in her hands, so he does the only thing he felt he had the option to do- Hold her at gun point and force her to care for his wound. Bethie's a smart woman though... She'll stop at nothing to protect herself and her unborn child, and let's just say that they weren't initially the best of friends. Eventually after some time Bethie allows Nicholas to stay in her cabin until he's fully healed and can be on his way, as long as he offers his protection. It isn’t long though, before Nicholas realizes that he isn't the only one who has secrets of his own... Over a period of time, they slowly develop a sweet friendship that eventually blossoms into the most beautiful love story of all time.
For the record, there is no insta-love featured in this book.
...I repeat, NO INSTA-LOVE.
Praise the Lord. Too many stories with potential are sadly ruined by that overused theme, and I can't thank Pamela Clare enough for not leading us down that road to destruction in this book. She allowed us to see how two lost and broken souls can form a friendship that eventually leads to one hell of a passionate romance; A love so strong, that nothing or no one could ever come between... Not even their own inner demons.
These two characters truly had such beautiful souls- Nicholas Kenleigh was a man with a very tortured past... A past that we experience first hand as we're told vividly about every painful moment he was put through. The hurt he felt both physically and mentally broke my heart, yet sincerely helped me to understand the man he was and the choices me made. The thing I loved the most about his character however, is that even through all the pain he suffered, not once did it ever take away his honorable spirit or fierce protectiveness... Especially towards Bethie.
"Men who hurt women are my favorite men to kill. Touch her and I'll send you straight to hell- With a smile on my face!” -Nicholas
Bethie on the other hand, was such a brave and beautiful character, on the inside and the out. She too, was also extremely protective of both her baby and Nicholas if they were threatened in any kind of way. Despite her innocence and naivety, every experience she went through only helped to make her grow stronger. I truly admired her character more and more with every turn of the page, for she was without a doubt a heroine worth remembering.
How do I even write a review for a book this perfect? ...How is it possible to describe the love I felt for both the hero and the heroine? I honestly feel like no words can do this story or the characters any justice. Everything about this book brought not only tears of sadness, but tears of joy to my eyes- It was extremely emotional, yet so incredibly beautiful. Pamela Clare is in a class all her own when it comes to writing Historical romances- I've yet to come across an author that can feature not only characters that will stay with you forever, but who also brings together a love that's so strong it can share with us and allow us to see and understand the most important message of all: Love truly does have the power to heal.
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