Friday, April 12, 2013

Review--Her Hesitant Heart

Her Hesitant HeartHer Hesitant Heart by Carla Kelly
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I've been a huge fan of Carla Kelly's Western stories ever since I tracked down her collection Here's to the Ladies: Stories of the Frontier Army. While she's best known for her Regency romances, Kelly truly shines when writing about a subject she knows very well, the US Army in the Old West.

Now she brings that era and the people to life in a new romance set at an army post, and it's got everything Kelly fans could desire: tons of angst (have your hankies ready), love, and most importantly, ordinary people being good.

That last point is important. Kelly's mostly moved away from writing about lords and ladies, and writes about people who appear average, and sometimes are not drop-dead gorgeous--Major Joseph Randolph is described as a "big, comfortable looking man", hardly a description to make a maiden swoon. Susanna Hopkins is described as a blonde who has one eye that appears sunken due to a broken bone in her face.

Joe and Susanna have had difficult lives and slowly they learn to open up to one another, and their relationship grows as a deep love can, bit by bit, building on little incidents. It's a delightful tale with wonderful characters, great color, an expert's eye for setting a scene, and a story that will leave the reader deeply satisfied at the end. It's likely to be enjoyed most not by teenage girls who long for sparkly vampires in their lives, but by women and men who have lived long enough to know what's truly important in relationships.

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