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A Taste Of Heaven (2010)

A Taste Of Heaven (2010)
3.84 of 5 Votes: 5
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A Taste Of Heaven (2010)
A Taste Of Heaven (2010)

About book: Liberty Ross has just buried her husband on the desolate Montana plains. She’d traveled out from Chicago as a mail-order bride, and a mere four months later, her husband has succumbed to pneumonia. Now she must drive the rickety wagon to the nearest town to catch a train back to Chicago. But when she arrives, she discovers she hasn’t enough money to buy a ticket.Her dilemma is solved when two ranch hands overhear the situation and ask her to come back to the ranch. Seems their cook was fired and they can’t find another. As fate would have it, Libby worked as a cook for an upscale household in Chicago, so she decides to go with them until she can earn enough to buy her ticket.One problem: ranch owner Tyler Hollins doesn’t want a woman on the ranch, never mind whether she can cook or not.However, Tyler is in a real bind, and after a meal or two, the ranch hands think Libby is a bit of heaven herself.Libby is unaccustomed to the rigors of the west, but she proves her mettle in various ways and begins to earn Tyler’s grudging respect. However, Tyler has a history of pain and loss that consumes him and which keeps his heart locked up with no key.Tyler and the hands drive the herd of cattle to Billings and Libby drives the chuck wagon, enduring hardships without complaint, even saving her hard-headed boss’ life. As the days lengthen, she finds herself falling in love with Tyler, and in turn, he is finding Libby a huge distraction. Her plan is to board a train in Billings and return to Chicago, however, plans go awry and she returns to the ranch thinking just maybe there’s a chance for happiness with Tyler.This is a well-crafted story of two damaged people who must move beyond their pasts to achieve a happily ever after. This is easier for Libby than Tyler who blames himself for his wife’s death.Ms. Harrington has told a story of life on a late nineteenth-century Montana ranch with all the ruggedness one would expect. Her secondary characters are superb, and Libby is a gem. I liked Tyler but wanted to kick him when he kept throwing up the same obstacle to his future happiness. Also, I found myself growing a little weary of the lengthy love scenes and wanted to get back to the plot. However, this is a fine read and well worth the price. Ms. Harrington does an excellent job on research and has presented believable ranch life. Very well done.

3.5 stars Libby Ross fled betrayal and heartbreak in Chicago when she headed to Montana expecting a new start, children, and a good place to raise them. Instead she learned that she has been duped again by the cowboy who made her his mail-order bride. He died, leaving her with no money, nowhere to go, and no resources but her own ingenuity. Then she learned about the Lodestar Ranch and its owner, Tyler Hollins. I enjoyed this one. Libby has had a hard life. After a betrayal in Chicago she left for Montana to start a new life. But it did not turn out as planned. She ends up as a cook on a ranch owned by Tyler Hollins, a gruff, surly cowboy. He said "city-bred" in a way that made it sound as though she wouldn't even have the wits to come in from a rainstormThey clashed. His life was fine and dandy just the way it was. He didn't need any woman on his ranch ... or so he thought. He needed every man's mind on the business in hand, not on this woman with honey-colored hair and big gray eyes. "It's a wild prairie rose ...We got to see life on the ranch and on the cattle run. Time's were not always easy. Over time Tyler started to thaw and saw Libby as the beautiful, strong, brave young woman that she was. After a moment he reached out and gripped the knob. It was cool and metallic beneath his touch. He wished he had the right to open her door and go to her, to leave the burdens of his heart out here. But he had no right at all ... He felt like a man who'd been allowed a taste of heaven
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This book could have been so much better, but it read as a very amateurish venture. It's like the author was just trying to hit all the elements someone told her to, but didn't think about how those elements worked in her plot.Libby is an orphaned cook from Chicago who made the mistake of thinking the young master of the house loved her. She got caught while he was in the process of sexually assaulting her and was kicked out of the house. So she answers a fraudulent mail-order bride ad from a 70-year-old man who says he's 30 and looking for a wife. Once she arrives in Montana, she has no way to return to Chicago upon discovering the fraud because neither she nor her new husband have the money for the return fare. A harsh winter hits the area and old man dies.Libby has $10 to her name and tries to leave Montana, only to find that she can't.Tyler Hollins grew up on his ranch, left for the city to become a doctor, then returned home upon his dying father's wish. There, he met and fell in lust with his wife Jenna, who hated the ranching life and died in childbirth. Although Tyler is a trained doctor, he couldn't save his wife so now he has issues.Out of necessity, Tyler is forced to keep Libby on as a cook and the two grow closer as they work together on a cattle trail.The book could have been good, only it kept pausing and restarting. There was no continuous forward movement through each character's secrets, past, and issues. Rather, they would move forward one step, then two steps back, forward one, two steps back, repeat. After a while, it got really old. By the time the ending came, it didn't make sense why the two characters were suddenly able to "see the light." This made for an unsatisfying ending overall.
Jacky Faber
Rating 3.5 Libby is a young woman who fled from Chicago in disgrace. She was a cook in a wealthy household whose son tried to seduce her. She comes to Montana for a new life.The secondary characters in the novel were wonderful. I fell in love with Joe, Rorey, and Charlie. I liked them almost more than the main character, Tyler. This novel had a lot of potential but Harrington just couldn't pull it off in my opinion. Not sure why, maybe too many characters, too many plot points. It did make me want to visit Montana again. It's beautiful country.
I really enjoyed this book. Both the hero and heroine were very likeable. I loved the fact that the heroine was strong, smart and hard-working. What I loved the most was the build up, wistful gazes across the room, glowering, fleeting brushes of hands,... Sometimes, I find that hotter than the hottest sex scene. P.S. There is no rape or attempt of rape by anyone. Cheating? Decide for yourself whether this is cheating (view spoiler)[ Hero has been visiting the local brothel once a week to get his needs taken care of by the madam. Once the heroine comes on the scene he continues his visits but his body stops "cough" cooperating (if you know what I mean ;)). I am not sure I would consider it cheating, because they were not together at the time. (hide spoiler)]
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