Saturday, April 22, 2006
Discovering Dani by NJ Walters... April TBR Challenge
OK, I know that the April TBR Challenge was supposed to be a book on your TBR list for 6 months or more, but y'all know I never have a book sitting around that long! This was sitting in my ebook reader for a full month - that's about as long as it gets for me, so this totally qualifies!
The blurb (courtesy of Samhain Publishing):
Dani O'Rourke has had the responsibility of raising her two brothers, Patrick and Shamus, since the death of their parents. As sole owner and operator of O'Rourke Cleaning Services, she is no stranger too [sic] hard work, but she is a beginner when it comes to men.
Burke is a very rich and successful businessman whose brush with death has made him question his priorities. He's traveled to Jamesville for peace and quiet while he plans the rest of his life.
Their lives collide when Burke accuses her of breaking into his cabin to steal from him. Their attraction to each other is immediate, and after a series of misunderstandings he finds himself caught up in the lives of Dani and her brothers.
But can this gentle, giving woman get a man as hard and cynical as Burke to believe in the power of love? Or will Burke leave town without ever discovering the wonders of life with Dani?
I love NJ Walters' books. I've said it before. I'll say it again. This more traditional romance from Walters doesn't disappoint. Once again, Walters paints her characters well. You get the true sense of the deep bond between Dani and her brothers; she gave up basically her entire teenage and young adulthood to raise her brothers and keep the family together after their parents died. There is a true and loving bond between these siblings. I love the sense of family that Walters has portrayed in this book - the sense of protectiveness, respect, and caring that Patrick feels for his big sister (Am I right? Is Patrick's story coming? He is begging for one once he ages a few years!); the feelings of responsibility they all share for one another's happiness and well-being that comes out in so many ways; the 'we're in this together' connectedness that they share.
Into all this comes Burke, our hero. He comes from just the opposite kind of upbringing... and doesn't quite know what to make of this warm, giving, accepting family. All he knows is that he wants more of it. He allows himself to be drawn into their warm circle. Walters shows him as a very contradictory kind of guy. He is a ruthless businessman, but an accident and drawn-out recovery has forced him to re-evaluate much in his life. He doesn't realize what's missing until he finds it with the O'Rourke siblings. Still, he has too much personal baggage and history to let himself trust in it.
They each let their insecurities come between them, and therein lies the conflict. These insecurities are ones that we all face every day and can certainly relate to: learning to like and love who you are, knowing that you are worthy of another's love, and learning that letting someone in to help take care of you doesn't mean you can't do it yourself (or that they think you can't).
This was a very enjoyable read. A departure from the very steamy, explicit romances that Walters writes for Ellora's Cave. Walters proves that she is up to the task, and proves herself as a true romance author with this book.