“Danger. Threat. Mate.”
What a great addition to the Rabbit River Saga! Lone Wolf is intense from the very beginning, even before the main characters meet, and that intensity grows throughout the story.
Jesse Wayne is a sexy sweetheart of a man. Throughout the series, his skills, loyalty, and honor, to say nothing of his sense of humor, have heightened every scene he’s in. He’s also achingly vulnerable, but that doesn’t stop him from doing whatever it takes to protect those he cares about.
When the story opens, Jesse is in Mexico, on a mission to save his younger cousin Annabelle. He ends up saving Melissa, more than once. In fact, they save each other. Melissa is American, a down-to-earth, hard-working farmer – something I personally appreciate – who had eagerly seized an opportunity to improve a good friend’s family farm in Mexico. She’s totally unprepared for drug lords, human trafficking, kidnapping, and murder.
It’s a good thing that Jesse is prepared. And he wants Melissa, needs her. From the first, he recognizes her as his mate. But unless they’re mated, he can’t tell her the truth about himself, about the People – and she has questions. How in the world will he convince her to accept him when she knows he’s holding back?
These two have a lot to deal with. There is a sweet tension between them through much of the story. Melissa, especially, struggles with both fear and longing. Jesse, for his part, is battling the Sickness. Even though he knows that being with his true mate can save him, he doesn't want to force the bond. He loves Melissa. But time is running out.
It’s not just the two of them, either. They have to save Annabelle, and they are dealing with very dangerous men. Lone Wolf is packed with action.
The setting -- Elyce de Reefe’s descriptions of the area – makes everything easy to visualize. We, the readers, are there in the Chiapas.
The slow-burn romance is well-paced and satisfying, culminating in an absolutely delicious Moonrise ceremony.
The heartwarming homecoming is a generous bonus.
This story made me smile and sigh. I look forward to spending more time with the Rabbit River pack and hope the next book comes out soon!
“In every winter’s heart there is a quivering spring, and behind the veil of each night there is a shining dawn.” -- Gibran Khalil Gibran
Our garden is very nearly in shambles. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen it look so pitiful. The vegetables seem stunted, the roses look sparse, we need more winter annuals, and many of our wooden frames are buckling (untreated wood for organic growing).
I’m not being unreasonable about the garden. Southeast Texas is plenty green in the winter and vegetable beds usually flourish. I’m pretty sure that I’ve done something wrong, but haven’t figured out what yet. Does the new soil have too much bulky compost? Has the watering not been sufficient or too much? Did I sow seeds too late? I will have to take notes in my garden planner this year.
On the other hand, the patio’s ambience continues to improve. Joseph, husband and carpenter extraordinaire, finished another one of his weekend projects – a rollback swing. It’s large and pretty and so very comfortable. It’s been up for only a few days and is already a focal point.
I have a feeling that, despite the garden’s current, puny condition, it will be glorious this spring. It will take work, but we like work. It will also take time, waiting. For that, we have a swing.
I love this series. We have a Texas gardener, an English garden, romance, friendship, and mystery! Personally, I couldn't ask for anything more. Pru, the gardener and amateur sleuth, is from Dallas, but she has some English roots. She's a loveable character, as are her friends -- several of whom are suspected of murder. Every time I thought I was sure of the killer, the author planted another tiny seed of doubt or had me looking in another direction.
Pru has the dream job for many a serious gardener. She's Head Gardener on an English estate, hired to rebuild a derelict, historical garden. She lives in a refurbished cottage on the estate. Wonderful as it is -- and ahhh, the garden theme is lovely and true -- things are not so idyllic as they seem. The tension builds throughout the story, broken only by wonderful friendships and a little romance.
That brings me full circle. I listened to the Audible version. Erin Bennet does a great job narrating. She manages a gentle -- not overdone -- Texas accent for Pru, a variety of accents for the Brits, and she does a great job with male voices as well as female.
The Red Book of Primrose House kept me guessing, inspired my senses, and warmed my heart. Five stars!
This is my first review for the Southern Literature Reading Challenge 2021.
I absolutely enjoy reading about happy people in the happy village doing happy things. A Land Remembered by Patrick D. Smith is NOT that story. I'd never considered, nor would I have imagined, how very hard life on the Florida frontier would have been. That's to say nothing of the hurricanes!
The story spans three generations of the MacIvey clan. They are good people, kind and hard-working and real. They make mistakes. They do things they regret. They battle wildlife, environment, weather, and greedy, dangerous men. They don't always win. But they stick together, and they never give up. Not only did I find myself rooting for them throughout the story; I also cried a few buckets.
The Florida frontier-- as well as early Palm Springs and Miami -- are described in alternately wonderful and devastating detail. This is a historical, award-winning novel. It was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize, and I can understand why. I learned so much from this novel, beautiful in its tragedy, humanity, and truth.
I listened to the Audible version of this book. George Guidall does a magnificent job with the narration. He does the book justice, adding even more depth and emotion to an already mesmerizing story and bringing the characters to life.
This morning, I stepped outside, planning only to enjoy a few minutes of fresh air before returning indoors to finish un-decorating. But when I looked around our front garden (we have no yard) and saw the work that needed to be done, I couldn’t help myself. Where we live, pentas bloom happily until at least the first frost. At that point, they usually begin dying back to the ground, depending on how protected their location is in the garden. Our pentas are many and huge and most were either partly brown or entirely so. I just couldn’t leave them looking humiliated another day.
So there I was, in my cozy slippers, cutting the pentas back. I still have pansies and snapdragons to plant in front of them.
Then I noticed that one bed under an oak tree, usually very pretty, was practically empty, especially once the pentas had been trimmed. There were a few small oak branches, a zillion acorns, and even an empty bedding plant container. Really? Yikes. So, I found my clogs and continued cleaning. The weather was sunny and cool, absolutely beautiful.
We have so much to do in the garden during the next few months. Some of it will be rather hard work. Our wood frames are rotting. We’re considering replacing some with cinder blocks. We want to move our fig tree and create a sitting area out in the garden. Our patio is almost entirely shaded all day, so a spot in the sun would be welcome. And there are so many empty spaces. Okay, to be honest, I’m sort of thrilled about that. Not everything works, so it’s an exciting challenge and an opportunity to experiment with plants and maybe discover a few new ones.
The roses that have survived the garden – not as many as I would have hoped – are still blooming away. This morning I discovered a lovely rose bud at the side of the house. It was a nice surprise.
While we usually leave our decorations up until Epiphany, this year I decided to wrap it up early. Of course, if I continue as this morning, they might well still be up in a month or two. 😊
Wishing you all the best in 2021.
Keep me away from the wisdom that does not cry, the philosophy that does not laugh, and the greatness which does not bow before children. – Gibran Khalil Gibran