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Bold Texas Embrace

Historical Romance Review: Bold Texas Embrace by Victoria Thompson

historical romance review
Bold Texas Embrace by Victoria Thompson
Rating: two-half-stars
Published: 1989
Illustrator: TBD
Imprint or Line: Zebra Lovegram
Book Series: The Cowboy and the Lady #4
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Historical Romance, Bodice Ripper, Western Romance
Pages: 478
Format: Paperback
Buy on: Amazon
Reviewed by: Blue Falcon


Historical Romance Review: Bold Texas Embrace by Victoria Thompson

MILD SPOILERS 😉

The Book

This review is of Bold Texas Embrace, #4 in the “The Cowboy and the Lady” series by Victoria Thompson (Zebra/Kensington December 1989).

The Characters

Heroine: Catherine Eaton, 23. Blonde hair, blue eyes. Teacher. Originally from Philadelphia.

Hero: Sam Connors, 32. Black hair, black eyes. Owner, The Spur ranch.

The Plot

As the story begins, Catherine Eaton has arrived in Crosswicks, Texas, from her home in Philadelphia to teach the town’s children. One of the children, David Connors, 15, has great drawing skills and wants to be an artist.

This interest, however, puts him at odds with his older half-brother Sam Connors, the hero of the book. Sam, who is also David’s guardian, has his own goals for David, and soon Catherine finds herself in conflict with Sam, even as she is becoming attracted to him and him to her.

Catherine and Sam become lovers, however, he is also dealing with a range\war, as well as trying to keep David from falling for a grasping, scheming young woman.

In the end, the range war doesn’t happen. David goes to Philadelphia. Catherine and Sam marry, have a child, and have their Happily Ever After.

Upside

Bold Texas Embrace is pretty much standard Ms. Thompson historical romance. Her characters are very much in touch with their emotions and readers can see the emotional pinball the characters deal with.

Downside

Ms. Thompson didn’t make me care enough about Catherine and Sam. Part of this is the fact that there are WAY too many similarities between Bold Texas Embrace and the previous book in the “The Cowboy and the Lady” series.

To wit:

  • Both heroines–Felicity Storm in the former book, and Catherine Eaton in the latter–are from Philadelphia. However, they don’t know each other.
  • Both women are artistically inclined. Felicity is a photographer; Catherine is an artist.
  • Both fall in love with and marry Texas ranchers.

I get that any creative person will occasionally repeat themselves, but it’s nice to have a little space between repeats. The characters are not particularly well developed and the “range war” storyline is unfinished and weak.

Sex

The love scenes between Catherine and Sam aren’t particularly romantic, nor do they generate any real heat. The first sex scene between Catherine and Sam can be described as forced seduction at best, rape at worst.

Violence

Assault, battery, shootings, and killings take place. The violence is not graphic.

Bottom Line on Bold Texas Embrace

Bold Texas Embrace is my least favorite book in Victoria Thompson’s loose “The Cowboy and the Lady” series.

Location: Crosswicks, Texas.

Time: unknown.

Tropes: Artist heroine. Historical romance. Rancher hero. Texas.

2.66 Stars

Rating Report Card
Plot
2.5
Characters
2.5
Writing
3
Chemistry
1.5
Fun Factor
2.5
Cover
4
Overall: 2.7

Synopsis:

HOT-BLOODED RANCHER

Art teacher Catherine Eaton could hardly believe how stubborn Sam Conners was! Even though the rancher’s young stepbrother was an exceptionally talented painter, Sam forbade Catherine to instruct him, fearing that art would make a sissy out of him. Spunky and determined, the blond schoolmarm confronted the mule-headed cowboy…only to find that he was as handsome as he was hard-headed and as desirable as he was dictatorial. Before long she had nearly forgotten what she’d come for, as Sam’s brash, breathless embrace drove her mind all thought of anything save wanting him…

HOT TEMPERED SCHOOLMARM

Sam Conners was too absorbed by a range war to pay any attention to the town talk about a fancy new schoolteacher from Philadelphia. But when petite, pretty Catherine Eaton marched into his office, he couldn’t take his eyes off her. From the instant she opened her lush red mouth, Sam didn’t agree with a word she said. He kissed her to shut her up, then proceeded to take her mind off her troubles with some irresistible arguments of his own…until she was powerless to resist his BOLD TEXAS EMBRACE.

Bold Texas Embrace by Victoria Thompson
wish on the moon

Category Romance Review: Wish on the Moon by Sally Wentworth

MILD SPOILERS😉

The Book

Wish on the Moon by Sally Wentworth has gotten mixed to low reviews around the internet, but it’s a romance I fully enjoyed.

The Plot

The heroine of Wish on the Moon, Skye, is a plain-looking, sweet girl who goes out to a Caribbean island for her cousin Jodi’s wedding.

Skye has always been in Jodi’s shadow: not as pretty, not as popular, not as rich. Skye is mopey but likable because she’s imperfect. You get the idea. She’s a portrait painter, and Jodi wants her to paint a picture of her fiance.

The sparks fly for the heroine and the hero. Who’s the hero? The very man she’s to paint a portrait of. Thane is very handsome and from the upper-crust of society. And he’s engaged to marry Skye’s cousin, Jodi.

Thane seems antagonistic to Skye at first, and that’s because he’s fighting his feelings for her. He’s not ga-ga over Jodi, but he cared enough about her to consider her the woman he wants to spend the rest of his life with. Thane is not a willing cheater. But along comes Skye with her gentleness, openness, and sporting no airs of superiority.

Jodi is instinctively aware of the attraction between the pair, although she finds it hard to accept, as Skye is so “beneath” her in every way. Jodi isn’t written as a perfect martyr. She’s not very nice, and other than her wealth and beauty. One wonders what Thane sees in her.

There is a scene towards the end when Jodi sees the portrait Skye painted. She flies into a rage and destroys it. So stunning was Skye’s work that it cried out her love for Thane.

Skye and Thane struggle with their attraction. Surprisingly, Skye is more willing to take a chance than Thane is. Perhaps that was to show Thane wasn’t written to be an utterly callous monster with no regard for other people’s feelings.

My Opinion

Nevertheless, love finds a way in Wish on the Moon. Even though Jodi tries to get revenge, it’s not enough to stop what must be.

This is an unusual romance because technically, the heroine is “the other woman.” She comes in and breaks up a seemingly happy engagement–and not just a random stranger’s but her cousin’s. This trope seems to be unliked around Harlequin-loving circles, and it’s easy to understand why.

If I put myself in Jodi’s shoes, I’d see she had every right to be upset with her cousin and fiance. But Harlequin Presents exist in a part of the universe where crazy topes are acceptable and, within the hands of a solid writer, can be emotional-wrenching reads you actually enjoy. Sally Wentworth was one of Harlequin’s talented writers who could handle this plot.

Final Analysis of Wish on the Moon

Perhaps if I had read Sally Wentworth’s Wish on the Moon from Jodi’s point of view, I would have felt differently toward the main couple and viewed them as antagonists, not as the protagonists they were. Even so, perspective can alter the way opinions are formed.

Plus, with Wentworth’s solid writing, she had me rooting for Thane and Skye. She’s written some crazy books in her day, but for the most part, Wentworth was in my top tier of writers from this imprint.

Obviously, holidays for this family will mean separate households! But such is the case in HP Romancelandia.

4 Stars


Synopsis:

She felt betrayed by fate…

From England, Skye Holman had traveled to the colorful Bahamas, happily anticipating her cousin Jodi’s wedding. But when she met Thane Tyson, the groom-to-be, she couldn’t deny the spark that ignited between them.

Resolutely, Skye convinced herself that she had nothing in common with Thane. She was an artist who valued tranquility—whereas Thane was a lawyer, driven by ambition. In fact, social-climbing Jodi would be perfect for him.

Yet Skye longed for Thane, even though she was reaching for the moon. And, despite her own pain, she would never deliberately hurt Jodi. 

WISH ON THE MOON by SALLY WENTWORTH
forever mine valentine crouse

Category Romance Review: Forever Mine, Valentine by Vicki Lewis Thompson

category romance
Forever Mine, Valentine by Vicki Lewis Thompson
Rating: four-half-stars
Published: February 1990
Illustrator: Daniel Crouse
Imprint or Line: Harlequin Temptation #288
Book Series: Mine Valentine Series #2
Published by: Harlequin
Genres: Category Romance, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 224
Format: eBook, Paperback
Buy on: AmazonAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader


Category Romance Review: Forever Mine, Valentine by Vicki Lewis Thompson

MILD SPOILERS ⚠

The Book

Vicki Lewis Thompson‘s Forever Mine, Valentine, Booke #2 in her “Mine Valentine” duology was my introduction to the now, sadly, defunct Harlequin Temptations line.

The Temptation imprint launched in North America in March 1984. These books were far more sensual in nature than Harlequin’s other series, the Romance, Supperromance, and Presents lines. Temptations featured main characters from all walks of life, not just the rich. They took place anywhere, from small towns to big cities to tropical destinations.

The setting of Forever Mine, Valentine, is mainly in a shopping mall in Colorado, where St. Valentine himself is a character in the guise of Charlie Hartmann, a sweet, seemingly doddering old man.

The Plot

Jill Amory left her old life behind–including a stable dentist boyfriend–to wander across the country on foot with just a backpack. She paints windows for businesses to earn a little money and has a deadline to travel through all the States. Jill doesn’t quite know what she wants in life, but she knows it’s not commitment.

Spencer Jegger owns a successful sporting goods store in the mall. He’s athletic, attractive, and friendly to all, including Charlie, who insists that Valentine’s Day miracles are in store for Spence.

Charlie tells a disbelieving Spence that he and Jill are destined to be lovers for life. While Spence doesn’t trust the old man’s predictions, he is interested in Jill.

Spence hires Jill to paint the windows of his store, and in the meantime, he and Jill form a playful relationship with sexual tension bursting through the surface.

Jill is hesitant about getting close to Spence. He’s an incredibly good-looking man and makes his interest in her known. Jill’s mind is not on settling down, not even for a short while for a love affair. She’s aiming to roam, to search for something, some purpose in life.

I didn’t understand Jill’s hesitancy towards commitment to Spence and was glad when she decided she knew where her true home was.

Charlie is a cute character, doing everything he can to get Spence and Jill together. The two are destined for each other, he fervently declares. Isn’t it Valentine’s season? Doesn’t Jill’s surname, “Amory,” has the word love in it?

That’s more than a mere coincidence. It’s a sign from the heavens above that they’re meant to be!

Charlie also has a cute flirtation with an elderly mall walker, a lady who wouldn’t mind cuddling up to the supposed St. Valentine.

A Brief Memory About Forever Mine, Valentine

Forever Mine, Valentine by Vicki Lewis Thompson left quite a mark on my impressionable younger self. This romance introduced my young mind to real love-making in books. I’d read sex scenes before in V.C. Andrews’ Flowers in the Attic and Stephen King’s Carrie. But they were brief and not as detailed as what I read in this one!

My goodness, I was such a dorky, nerdy bookworm back then. I passed this book around to my friends, spreading the salacious content around in school until one day, I got in trouble with my social studies teacher.

She took the book away from me in class one day and made a big scene, which was humiliating, although fortunately, that was the worst of it.

Well, except for the fact that it earned me a reputation for years as “that girl who reads the sex books.”

After a while, I learned not to care about what others thought and held my head high and proud whenever I held a clinch-cover romance, and someone teased me about it.

Never be ashamed of the genre!

Final Analysis of Forever Mine, Valentine

Forever Mine, Valentine was a sequel to Vicki Lewis Thompson’s 1989 Be Mine, Valentine, where Charlie had previously wielded Cupid’s bow and arrow to great success. Yes, the angels from above sent the old scamp down to spread love among mortals!

I loved that aspect of the Temptation line. There was so much variety; the books could have any crazy plot or simple, mundane ones. Temptations told all kinds of stories; the only qualifier was they had to be sexually steamy enough for a new era of romance readers.

This Temptation romance had a hefty dose of humor and lots of steamy love scenes making it an engaging Valentine’s Day treat.

Rating Report Card
Plot
4.5
Characters
4.5
Writing
4.5
Chemistry
5
Fun Factor
5
Cover
4.5
Overall: 4.7

Synopsis

Hartman strikes again!

Old Charlie Hartman was out of his mind! To insist that Spence Jegger would marry the first woman he saw on Valentine’s Day was pure madness, given Spence’s opinion of marriage. And an aging vagabond playing St. Valentine was a bit much for even a friend like Spence to accept. Until Charlie pointed out Spence’s “intended,” Jill Amory.

All Jill wanted, however, was to finish painting Valentine messages on the windows of Jegger Outfitters and be on her way. She had a deadline to meet…on the other side of the country. Now all of a sudden two crazy men – one of them the tempting Mr. Jegger himself – seemed determined to influence her schedule…and her heart.

FOREVER MINE, VALENTINE