Today I am welcoming Kathleen Ball. She is here promoting her new book, Texas Haven. It’s a western romance with a dash of suspense. You can read my review below.
Sexy ,Rancher Burke Dawson wants a family- including a wife who has no expectations of love. Burke never bargained on Annie Douglas. Searching for a place to belong, Annie Douglas heads to Texas, hoping to discover the one thing she had never had, love and passion.
Deciding not to act on their attraction, they part ways. Burke continues to search for a wife, but he realizes that only Annie will do. Annie heads back to her lonely life in New York City and her controlling Stepbrother. Annie is thrilled when Burke proposes.
Annie’s Stepbrother tries to stop the wedding, he doesn’t want her to know about an inheritance she is supposed to receive upon her wedding day. Failing that, he hires Burke’s caustic ex-wife, Alice to break up the marriage at any cost. Alice has plans of her own that include her remarriage to Burke. She just needs to get Annie out of the way.
Misunderstandings, accidents, and treachery cause Annie to return to New York, shattered. Finding herself pregnant, Annie heads back to Texas only to hear from Alice that Burke denies that the baby is his.
Discovering Alice’s misdeeds, Burke throws her off the ranch. He tries his damndest to lasso Annie once again. Nothing seems to work. Making one last effort, Burke takes Annie for a walk under the Texas stars and gives her the one thing she wants most- his heart.
Annie felt enchanted. For all the show of not liking cats, Burke seemed attached to this one. If only he had given her a better name.
After a delicious dinner of steak, potatoes, and homemade biscuits, they sat on the porch swing in the front of the house. The night had cooled pleasantly with a refreshing breeze blowing the prairie grass back and forth. Long-stalked sunflowers bent and danced to some unknown ballet. Annie closed her eyes and took it all in. She wanted to make a memory of this place, of this moment for when she was back in New York. It was going to be harder to go back to her stark existence after this perfect night. She looked at Burke’s profile hoping to memorize it too. There was such strength in his features from his square jaw line to his crooked nose. She wondered if he had broken it in a fight. His eyes were so blue that she had gotten lost in them many times throughout the evening. All of Annie’s nerves tingled as her arm brushed against his. There was no doubt about the attraction they had for each other.
“Have you always lived on this ranch?”
Burke grinned. “All my life.”
“It must have been nice growing up here with your family.”
“Well, my mother was a saint of course and my father… let’s see, how can I describe him without chasing you away? He was a strict old son of a gun who was about as mule-headed as a man could be. It was his way or you suffered the consequences. I guess you could say that I was a slow learner.”
Annie put her hand on his arm. “I grew up basically the same way. I know all about consequences.”
* * * *
They sat on the swing in complete silence. The sky was beginning to darken. Burke put his arm around her, pulling her close. He could feel her tremble at his touch and it humbled him. He couldn’t remember a time when a woman had such a reaction to him. The urge to pick her up in his arms and carry her to his bed was strong but he didn’t dare. He didn’t think she was the type for a one-night stand and that was all he was willing to offer.
Although he found her damn attractive, she was off limits. All he needed equated to an unpaid housekeeper not a woman that probably had no practical skills, even so, she was very tempting. There seemed something so vulnerable about her that it made him long to protect her.
He made the mistake of looking down at her upturned face. Her luminous green eyes trapped him. Unable to resist the pull of her he carefully leaned down and brushed his lips against hers. He only intended for the kiss to be brief, but she tasted like honey and he had to have more.
Annie moaned as Burke kissed her again. He swiped his tongue along the seam of her lips, coaxing her mouth open and deepening the kiss. His arms tightened around her, pulling her close to him. She smelled of sunshine, sweet and warm. Reluctantly he let her go. Annie smiled back at him anyway, and it pleased him. She looked lovely in her yellow sundress with her curly auburn hair falling down her back, and he couldn’t help but admire her cute figure.
Gently, he removed her arms from around his neck and looked down at her with hooded eyes. Highly aroused by her, it was by sheer willpower that he stopped his advances. Her bruised lips looked inviting to him and her eyes shone with pleasure. God he wanted her. Burke smiled at her enthusiasm. The last woman in his house had overtly insulted every inch of it. He could hardly believe her reaction. She seemed genuine in her pleasure over everything. But, he reminded himself that it didn’t really matter. Burke grinned as he watched her scoop up the cat and whisper in its ear, her happiness so apparent. For a second he was glad that he adopted that ornery cat.
Regretfully, he stood up and moved away from her. “It’s been fun.”
“Yes it has,” Annie stood. She wobbled a bit and made her way to the porch stairs. She looked at Burke with her heart shining in her eyes. “Maybe you could consider me as a candidate for a wife?” she asked quietly.
He hesitated, not knowing what to say.
“Never mind.” She hurriedly rushed down the stairs to her car.
Maybe in another life, it would have worked, but he knew what the ending to their story would be.
I immediately fell in love with this story. The characters of Burke and Annie were great. Their love story was such a sweet story that has many bumps. That aside as much as I loved Burke he really made me angry when he was listening to the wrong people and not giving Annie a chance. The character of Annie also develops and grows into her own. I loved watching her become who she needed to be for Burke. This western romance drew me in from the very first sentence. The writing was very smooth and the story moved very well. It invoked emotions and was very believable. I would have liked to understand a little more about Annie’s background growing up other than the little snippets we got. I would definitely recommend this book to those who love a good romance and who enjoy a good love story. I can’t wait to read more from Kathleen Ball
For more information about Kathleen Ball you can visit her website, facebook or twitter (@kballauthor). I would like to thank Kathleen Ball for stopping by today and Reading Addiction Blog Tours for allowing me to host this stop.
A voracious reader, Kathleen quickly discovered the world of romance novels and she knew she was home. Kathleen wrote her first book two years ago. She was shocked to find out that people loved what she wrote. All of Kathleen’s novels are award winners. Callie’s Heart is her first published novel. It is the first book in The Lasso Springs Series. Kathleen lives in Texas. She moved there from Rochester, New York and is having the time of her life exploring Texas culture. Kathleen is married to her wonderful husband Bruce and they have one son, Steven. They just welcomed new additions to their family, a new daughter in law, Brittany and her cute as a button son, Colt.
She feels blessed to be supported in her writing by her family and friends.
*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of Reading Addiction Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by Reading Addiction Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*