Blurb from her website:
“He is the head of the family. Oldest of four brothers, a widower with a young daughter, and owner of the largest spread in the northern Arizona territory. He has responsibilities and tough choices that need to be made. Plus three women who impact his life in distinct ways. Read Niall’s story in Tougher than the Rest, book one of the MacLarens of Fire Mountain.”
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Kate heard her doorknob turn, and the door open. Niall stood inside her room in bare feet, dressed only in his dress pants. His skin was darkened from the summer months of working without a shirt. His body was muscled from the heavy work a ranch required. His dark hair was tousled as if he, too, had been lying awake in bed, unable to sleep. His arms hung limp at his sides. His expressive green eyes bored into hers as she turned to face him.
Does she know that with the fire behind her, I can see right through that nightdress? It was as if she had nothing on. Even as he advanced toward her, he knew he shouldn’t have come. This was wrong in so many ways. But his body had a mind of its own and he was unable to deny it……Now he was in her room, half dressed, and wanting nothing more than to pick her up and take her to bed. He advanced slowly, waiting for her to make a sound, to tell him to stop, but she just watched him advance. “I shouldn’t be here,” Niall whispered. “You belong to someone else.”
Kate said nothing, just continued to stare into those dark pools of emerald green. Niall stopped a couple of feet away.
“We don’t have a future.” His throat worked as the words came out. He wanted, needed, Kate to understand that the pull between them, if they acted on it, wouldn’t change his plans. He advanced until she was only inches away. “Tonight won’t change anything,” he rasped, the words barely discernible. “We can only have this one night.”
This book is definitely a romance novel, if you love the classic romance novel, you’ll love this book. The period setting is definitely unique for me, and all the details line up perfectly with the time period the book is set it. The main characters, Niall & Kate, cross paths in an unexpected way.
They meet in Phoenix, AZ, where Niall accidentally knocks Kate down, and the instant they meet there’s a connection that neither of them want to acknowledge. A brief encounter, nothing more. Niall, widower, has the ranch to think about and his daughter, and his upcoming engagement to a wealthy widow with just enough land to make his ranch the largest in Arizona territory.
Little did Niall know, that he’d be rescuing Kate from a stagecoach accident just days later, and putting her up in his home while she recovers from amnesia. Kate & Niall’s relationship develops both in good and bad ways. Niall is one of those guys who has loved and lost, and pushes everyone away. He tries to do the same with Kate and focus on the ranch. But it just isn’t possible, Niall & Kate chemistry is just too strong.. it’s just dancing on the line.
This book has such an interesting backstory, the romance is definitely well written and realistic, and the characters are real and you find yourself rooting for them, and wanting them to make the right choices. Each time Niall interacts with Kate, I kept hoping for me, hoping that he’d forgot marrying the wealthy widow and focus on Kate.
Shirleen Davies has written a wonderful novel, focusing on a strong man who desperately needs the love of a good woman, and you want him to find it.
I cannot wait for the next book, because I need to know what happens next!