Haven's Flame (Fires of Cricket Bend #1) by Marie Piper


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Historical Romance, Western

High-button dresses aren’t made for hot Texas springs—or the burning desire Haven Anderson has for Deputy Matthew Frank… After a lifetime of friendship, Matthew and Haven are finally engaged, but he doesn’t seem to share Haven’s emerging passion. Feeling rejected and uncertain about her future, Haven finds herself attracted to the handsome new saloon owner, Hank Porter. Matthew holds Haven at arm’s length, despite the love smoldering inside him… Matthew’s father was run out of town years ago for nearly killing his mother, and Matthew fears the lack of control passion can cause. Having been taken in and raised by Haven’s family, he vows to always treat her with affection and respect. The season brings cattle drives and rowdy cowboys—and Haven can’t stay away from the saloon… As the doctor’s assistant, Haven tends Hank after a fight, and befriends a lively “upstairs girl,” Callie Lee, despite orders from the Cricket Bend Sheriff—her father—to have nothing to do with anyone at the saloon. Along with the cattle drive come the lawless McKenzie brothers, a rude bounty hunter, and rumors of a dangerous man, Walker, headed their way. Caught up in this whirlwind, Haven remains torn between her love for the romantically distant Matthew and the more earthy passion offered by Hank and his scandalous reputation. Should she follow her heart or the desire that puts everything she’s known at risk? Or even more importantly, will the people she loves still be standing in the aftermath of… Haven’s Flame

4 out of 5 (very good)

As this book started, I will admit to being worried! It appeared that it was going the way of a love triangle which, although I don't hate, I do tend to dislike. However, I stayed with it and I'm glad that I did. This is an interesting and fast-paced tale, set when the West was Wild and women were buttoned up, unless you were a scarlet woman!

Haven is a strong female lead, although sometimes she does come across as a bit naive. She is only twenty years old though, so cut her some slack. Matthew I loved. He is the strong, silent type that would probably drive me insane in real life. Because you could 'hear' his thoughts though, his reasons for behaving how he did made it understandable, even noble. Hank is someone that I didn't trust from the get-go, and I was glad when this book changed from a love triangle into something else!

Very well-written and with no grammatical or editing issues that I could see, this story flowed well and with plenty of details. Enough build-up to make the ending breathtaking. It was nice to see a main female being honest with the main male too!

I would have no hesitation in recommending this book to all fans of Historical Western Romance.

* A copy of this book was provided to me with no requirements for a review. I voluntarily read this book, and the comments here are my honest opinion. *

Merissa

Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good Books!

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