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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Love, Lilies, and the Unbroken Straw by Teri Wilson

Love, Lilies, and the Unbroken Straw by Teri Wilson
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Contemporary; Inspirational; Paranormal
Length: Full (191 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 5 books
Reviewed by Orchid

Christabel Wilde’s life has just turned upside-down. With little more than the clothes on her back and her newly rescued Chihuahua tucked under her arm, she makes a pledge to start over and applies for a job as a groom at a horse rescue farm. Nevermind that she’s never been up close to a horse before, she has a bigger secret to hide. A mysterious gift her new neighbor, Dr. Declan Armstrong, is determined to uncover. When the irresistible veterinarian volunteers to give her riding lessons, Christabel knows it could be the end of her secret. With the Easter holiday approaching, she tries to remember that sometimes what looks like the end is really a new beginning.

Christabel was worried something was wrong with her health, but then she knocked over a snowy white Chihuahua on a lonely country road. As soon as she touched the little dog her confusion cleared and she knew she’d been given a gift. She packed her belongings and moved away from all she knew to take a new direction in life.

She takes a job at a horse rescue farm but keeps her gift secret. Most of the people on the farm wonder why such a novice with horses would want to work as a groom. After the first few days Christabel knows she’s made the right choice; she feels a natural empathy with the horses and can’t imagine doing any other job. Her happiness is enhanced by the attraction she feels for Declan, the resident vet.

Declan is instantly fascinated by Christabel, but he senses she is hiding something. He teaches her to ride and they grow closer. Their feelings for each other grow stronger, but neither is willing to admit this. Christabel knows she cannot give her love to Declan until she has told him her secret, but she is afraid he will treat her revelation with scorn.

Love, Lilies, and the Unbroken Straw is a sweet, sensitive story which shows the full range of Christabel’s feelings for her amazing gift, the horses and most of all Declan. Christabel is a warm, vibrant woman who at first appears to be shy and retiring, but Declan brings out the best in her. As their relationship develops she shows the strength she usually hides from the world. The Yellow Rose of Texas Equine Rescue Center provides a warm, comfortable backdrop to the triangle of love developing between Christabel, Declan and the horses in need of their help.

Although the setting is Texas with its hot summers, I would recommend this book be read beside a warm fire with a cup of hot chocolate on the table within easy reach. It’s the type of story which leaves a satisfied, warm feeling inside so it’s essential to find a comfortable place to settle before starting to read Love, Lilies, and the Unbroken Straw.