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Monday, September 26, 2011

Tears of Gold by Laurie McBain

Tears of Gold by Laurie McBain
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
genre: historical romance
Length: Full Length (523 pages)
Heat Level: spicy
Rating: 4 books
Reviewed by Lavender

She has sworn never to love.

To many, she has a perfect life-freedom to travel the world, expensive gifts from wealthy men. But consummate actress though she is, Mara Flynn can never make herself believe the passion is real. One more job. That's all she needs to ensure her family's financial future. And California is just teeming with gold. There, her daring impersonation will fool everyone...except one man.

He has sworn never to forgive.

Mara didn't plan for Nicholas Chantale, though. He has hunted her from the steamy streets of New Orleans all the way to the blinding brilliance of California gold country, only to have his dreams of vengeance crushed when he meets her in the flesh. For though he was sworn to kill her, she was the love he would die for.

Different parts of mid-nineteenth century America come to vivid life in this book. The setting is unusually colorful and descriptive in this moving book, one filled with spunky characters and melodious dialogue. The beginning is sad, as are other parts of this book, but that gives it more poignancy.

Mara is an interesting heroine, an Irish lass traveling with her light-hearted brother, Brendan, his son, Paddy, and their maid. The two Irish siblings sure know how to get into trouble. Their adventures are entertaining.

They end up in California during the time of the gold rush. Rich details bring this era and world to life and even offer the reader a deeper understanding of the people there. Later, New Orleans and life there is
presented vividly.

Nicholas, a sexy Creole man is after Mara for something bad she did: hurting a member of his family. They meet up and don¹t get along, to say the least. I was startled a bit by how quickly their relationship went from hatred to courtship. Nicholas goes from suspecting she was his villain, the one he searched for and yet they end up in the bedroom with little development to get to this point and then they become enemies again shortly after.

The story has its share of suspense as well. I wondered what would happen when the siblings' deception was discovered. The history is vivid, interesting and spot on. Readers will be entertained and learn a lot.

It¹s also good that there is character growth for the two leads. Something quite sad happens and, while unexpected, fits in with the developing plot.

Occasionally, the story rushes over certain parts, and in other areas, there are so many details. At times it becomes annoying that Mara and Nicholas see the worst in each other so easily and so often, despite the passion between them.

Still, this is a good tale filled to the brim with adventure and romance. It's on the long side but worth it, having a satisfying ending and enough suspense to keep up the tension.