Tuesday, August 27, 2013

One Heart to Win - Johanna Lindsey (Pocket - Feb 2013)

Some young ladies marry for money and social standing, a few lucky ones marry for love, but Tiffany Warren is marrying to end a feud. Honoring her mother’s wishes, Tiffany reluctantly travels west to meet her estranged father and his enemy’s eldest son, rancher Hunter Callahan. Once the Warrens and the Callahans are united by marriage, both clans will stop squabbling over a disputed strip of land. But in the chaos of a train robbery Tiffany seizes a golden opportunity: By assuming the identity of her father’s new housekeeper she can live with the father she never knew and assess his true character, as well as that of the neighboring cowboy to whom she is betrothed. But, too late, Tiffany discovers that the rivalry between the Warrens and the Callahans has escalated when the Callahans steal the Warrens’ “housekeeper” as soon as she steps off the train!

Now Tiffany, masquerading as Jennifer Fleming, finds herself living in the enemy camp, under the same roof as her fiancé. All too soon she learns her intended is a handsome, sweet-talking charmer whom she has to fight off because he can’t keep his eyes -- or his hands -- off Jennifer. After Tiffany’s charade is exposed, she refuses to marry Hunter, not even to end the hostilities between the families. How can she wed a man who is in love with another woman? As Hunter goes about claiming his rightful bride-to-be, he knows that although he loves two women -- proper, elegant Tiffany as well as spunky, passionate Jennifer -- he has only one heart to win.

Good book though not as good as her older books, especially the Malory series.  Tiffany has been living in New York City with her mom for the last fifteen years.  She knows she's engaged to Hunter, but she has no interest in going to the wilderness and marrying a cowboy.  Mom tells her she needs to go out there and spend at least two months getting to know the man before she decides.  When she arrives she takes advantage of a mistaken identity to become the housekeeper at the Callahan ranch.  This gives her a chance to see Hunter in his natural environment, not making nice because he has to.  It took me awhile to warm up to Tiffany.  She came across as a spoiled brat in the first few chapters.  Once she got to the ranch she really had to step up and act like she knew what she was doing.  This made for some pretty funny moments as she learned to cook, deal with farm animals, and do things she's never had to do before.  She also doesn't quite know what to make of Hunter.  He's handsome, charming, funny and showing an inappropriate interest in her. He admits the engagement, but also that he's not enthusiastic about it.  Tiffany finds herself more and more attracted to him, but also not happy that he's making moves on the housekeeper while he's engaged to another woman.  She also discovers that she has no resistance to his advances.    Tiffany also has to deal with her feelings about her father who she hasn't seen in all these years.  She thinks he just doesn't care about her and takes out those hurt feelings in her attitude toward him.   She is determined to end the feud without being the sacrificial lamb to do it.  

Hunter is the oldest of the Callahan boys and the one chosen to marry Tiffany to end the feud.  He's not happy about it and really hopes that she'll break it off when she arrives.  That becomes even more important to him when "Jennifer" the housekeeper arrives.  He falls hard for her very quickly and spends a lot of time teasing her and flirting with her.  I enjoyed the way that he liked flustering her.   He also challenged her because his teasing made her want to be able to do the things she should be able to do. It was pretty neat to see the way that Hunter really started to care for her and see that he wanted her, not his fiancee.  His shock and anger when he found out about the deception was pretty realistic.  He also didn't let it throw him for long before he realized that he could end the feud and have the woman he wanted all at the same time.  I liked the way that he didn't back down from confrontations with the miners even when he was outnumbered.  I liked the way that the younger generation dealt with the feud with mostly harmless pranks. 

The story had two things going on besides the romance.  There was the feud, what caused it and how to end it.  This was more important to the fathers than to the sons.  There was also the mystery of why Tiffany's mom had left Montana and refused to have anything to do with her husband.  That was resolved in a neat package at the end without too much difficulty.

No comments:

Post a Comment