All around rodeo cowboy and heir to the Rockin’ H Ranch, Ace Harris is determined not to fall in love. He’s only loved one woman in his life, his mother, and no one can even come close to filling her boots. Lexie Morgan thinks rodeo cowboys have rocks for brains and a death wish for a soul. A broken childhood and the death of her father and best friend leave her doubting and questioning God (despite her years of religious upbringing) and afraid of love. Can two young people who clash from the onset learn to trust in the healing power of God and find love and happiness amidst tragedy and grief?
Her eyes narrowed when he took a step closer. “Ace,” she warned and wielded the brush like a lethal weapon.
Raising his hands where she could see them, he watched her try to brush some semblance of order to the thick mass of unruly auburn hair. The simple chore made him want to sink both fists in the silken locks and gave him a whole new insight to the word erotic.
Her cheeks were flushed, her eyes sparkled vivid green and spewed wrath. She glared at him as though the tangled tresses were his fault alone. Her chest quivered with each breath she took. He took another step closer and could feel her tremble. Locking his gaze with hers in the mirror, he reached around her and picked up a bandanna off the dresser. He ran it through his fingers in what could have been a caress then slid the cloth beneath her hair and left it trailing over her shoulders.
With hands that shook, Lexie pulled the ends together and tied her hair back into a ponytail. Those bright gray eyes had gone soft and warm, like liquid metal. Mouth dry as dust, she swallowed hard.
The familiar question in a new frock: can we change? An author I know once said: if we knew the outcome of a novel from the start there’d be no need to read the bloody book, would there!
i. Is change always development?
ii. Is development always synonymous with learning?
iii. Does change come from the inside or the outside?
iv. Is God essentially an inside or outside affair???
Take a maturational view of change/development/learning, then you’d go for ‘inside’. Take a catalytic view, on the other hand, you’re more likely to go for ‘outside’. I guess. I’ve heard people talk about ‘readiness’ for change, just as I’ve heard others talk about being ‘vulnerable’ to change. Also had to think long and hard about one account of change as the attempt of a complex organism to be more successful in its environment. See, I’m not some blockhead just because I choose not to speak as though I’ve got a broom up me arse. I think, seriously I do, about these terms: change… growth… vulnerability… success… throwing them into the basket with God…
And then of course you’ve got all the He-ing and She-ing between Ace and Lexie, with us readers eager to anticipate their moves. Keep changing my mind about whether or not love is over-rated…
So many ways to take this story, lick it clean, if you see what I mean. If a bloke like me who left school at fourteen can see all of that in a mere paragraph or two, don’t tell me this book won’t be worth your while.
Tempered Joy, by Pamela Thibodeaux