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Thursday, October 21, 2010

More Than Willing by Laura Landon

More Than Willing by Laura Landon
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full Length (308 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Camellia

Grayson Delaney knows what it's like to do something so horrific he can never be forgiven. As penance, he lives up to everyone's low expectations. But when his father tires of his wastrel existence, Gray is forced to earn his living by running the brewery his father won in a card game. Now, he must learn everything about working in the brewery, while proving to the woman he loves that he's nothing like her spendthrift father.
Lady Margaret Bradford has one passion - the brewery that's been in her family for generations. But from the moment Gray Delaney enters her life, she realizes she's not only in danger of losing her brewery, but of losing her heart - to a man exactly like her father.

Now, she must not only safeguard the brewery from mysterious accidents, but protect her heart from a man who causes her to lose control of her emotions at every turn.

The idiom “None so blind as those who will not see” fits both Margaret Bradford and Grayson Delaney. Both suffered traumas in their formative years that color all their actions and endangers the most precious thing of all—their true love for each other.

Grayson works at being a worthless wastrel for years until his father, the Earl of Camden, sends his guilt-ridden youngest son out on his own—no more allowance. With the title to a brewery and deed to Mayfair Manor, Grayson’s inheritance from his dead mother, Grayson must decide to either sink or swim in the real world—he swims. His intelligence, determination, and willingness to work lands him at Bradford Brewery as a common laborer, where his life changes forever in so many ways, not the least of which is his deep need for the special Maggie Bradford.

Determined to never be used like her mother had been, Maggie does the job her mother did at the brewery and at home. She does it well. The workers in her home and at the brewery hold her in high regard. They realize they prosper because of her talents and work ethic. However, in the mid-nineteenth century, a woman in business walks a tightrope. Many men do not do business with a woman—thus desperate deceits and subtle shenanigans help Maggie keep her family safe and the brewery prosperous. She doesn’t delude herself. She knows it is only a matter of time before some of her secrets will come to light, but she hopes and prays it is after her sisters are married and safe.

Maggie is terrified of emotions that plague her as she deals with her employee, Grayson Delaney. Her resolve to never yield to emotions that trapped her mother is sorely tested as Gray becomes a true asset to the brewery while keeping secrets of his own. The earth-shattering emotional upheavals they experience are breathtaking.

Maggie’s Aunt Hester, her sisters Felicity and Charlotte, the yucky cousin Lyman, and the London cousin Jonathan plus longtime employees Charlie Murdock and Henry Tibbles play important roles in Maggie’s life. They influence many of her actions and decisions.

Laura Landon’s awesome descriptions and her in-depth character development make More Than Willing mesmerizing. Her subtle style of revealing the hopes, dreams, fears, and deepest needs of the characters is an immersive experience for the reader.

Superb reading!

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