Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Loner's Guarded Heart - Michelle Douglas (HR #4020 - Apr 2008)

Series: Heart to Heart

Breaking down the kiss at a time

Josie was touched that her brothers had arranged a holiday for her--she certainly needed one. Only, the location isn't the lively resort she'd expected, but a rustic cabin in a beautiful but isolated Australian idyll....

Her only neighbor for miles is the taciturn, if incredibly attractive, Kent Black. Following a family tragedy, Kent cut himself off from the world. Josie can't help but be intrigued by this solitary man, and with her bubbly, warm personality, she's determined to pick away at the iron padlock around his heart.

Very good book.  Josie's brothers had sent her on vacation after the death of their father.  She had been caring for him for two years and now she needs to decide what she's going to do with the rest of her life.  She wasn't expecting a place quite so isolated.  Her landlord is Kent Black, a man who is very unfriendly but also very attractive.  I really enjoyed the way that, once she stopped feeling sorry for herself, Josie started making the best of her circumstances.  She loves to bake so she started baking things and taking them to Kent, just to have another person to talk to.  Then he sent her to town to talk to one of the ladies about baking for their store.  Her cheerful personality enabled her to make friends easily with some of the town people.  She also started spending more time with Kent and was able to get him to open up a little with her about his family.  Getting to know him also made her feelings for him grow stronger. She was also very attracted to him but on the couple of occasions they kissed he retreated so fast she couldn't figure out his feelings. He also enabled her to start thinking more of her future and having the courage to go after what she wanted.  I loved her confrontation with her brothers at the end.

Kent was hiding out in Martins Gully trying to escape from his feelings of guilt over the loss of his mother and sister.  His attitude kept everyone at arm's length so he could avoid having feelings for anyone.  When Josie arrived she destroyed all his barriers.  He tried really hard to keep her away from him but he just couldn't do it.  First he succumbed to her chocolate cake, then he found that he was starting to care about her feelings and what she was doing.  He was attracted to her but felt that it would be wrong to follow through on that attraction when he has no intention of getting involved in a relationship.  But he couldn't stay away from her and when she got sick he was the one who cared for her.  I loved his disgust of her brothers and how he felt that there was something going on there.  When she left to go home he soon realized what he was missing and went after her.  I loved his big moment at the end, it was really sweet.

There were also some great secondary characters who showed more about Josie's personality and how she cares so much about people.  Her caring is beautifully returned when these people help her at the end.

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