Synopsis: A duke's son, Grayson Rhodes was a maverick who had left London's suffocating upper class world to earn his own fortune. So he seized the chance to work Abbie Westland's land...and from the moment he first saw Abbie, he was determined to use his arms to work the farm by day and to soothe her through the nights in his strong embrace.
Abbie, with her fiery determination, was different from the fragile beauties he'd known at home. In her Grayson found an honest passion he'd never experienced before. But could their growing love survive the surprising reminder of her past that comes to haunt them?
My Thoughts: I loved the set up of this book. Rich fathers in England, tired of their off-springs haphazard ways, send them off to America to make their fortunes as a last resort. The men, thinking they are arriving to make their fortunes are surprised what they find upon arrival. They end up in a town called Fortune, Texas and each man receives room and board for their labor working on a cotton farm. None realized the grueling work they had in store for them.
The characters themselves, although decent ones, I never really warmed up to as much as I would have liked. Abbie tends to come across as an uneducated hick and Grayson acts completely different once meeting Abbie than what he was described as being. I never really saw why Gray was so smitten with Abbie. Also it appears that Abbie my have intimacy issues and Abbie's late husband is all but accused of forcing himself upon her yet she defends him to the bitter end. There are several references to Grayson not ever being loved while growing up and I ended up feeling as if I were being forced to feel sorry for him. Call me callous but I didn't. Sometimes a connection can be made between the character and the reader and sometimes there isn't.
The major twist in the book was an obvious one to me and the drama that ensues seemed to drag on while trying to wrap up the happily ever after. The final event (a Hurricane) that brought on the happily ever after felt almost out of place and I'd say unnecessary if it weren't for the major twist that needed dealt with for our hero and heroine to be together.
What I did like about this book was the romance itself was just sweet. Almost to the point of overkill but not quite. I felt the romance of this book really balances the negative aspects out and makes this an enjoyable read. Certainly not my favorite Heath and not a keeper but it has some intriguing secondary characters who have their stories told in the second and third books of this trilogy and I will definitely be reading them.