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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Investment of the Heart by Linda LaRoque

Investment of the Heart by Linda LaRoque
Publisher: Champagne Books
Genre: Contemporary
Length: Full (217 pages)
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 4 Books
Reviewed by Fennel

Widow Hallie Barron wants her daughter happily married to the young rancher she loves. When Simon Cole enters Hallie’s life she’s reminded she’s a woman with needs and desires. She yearns for a love like she once had, but fears risking her heart.

Rancher Simon Cole doesn’t feel that city women belong on a ranch. He’s set to prove his nephew’s fiancée is a mistake. Yet when he meets her mother, he finds himself wishing there was a place for Hallie in his life.

On a ranch in the Hill Country of Texas, love is recognized, lost, and found.

It takes nine words for Linda LaRoque to sum up Simon Cole. Indomitable, stubborn, determined, strong-minded are a few more she didn't include. Immediately the reader knows the hero and heroine are in for a battle of wills. Stir in background baggage and emotional conflict and Linda presents a perfect scenario for the opening meeting between Simon and Hallie Barron.

Hallie's daughter, Elise, is engaged to Simon's nephew, and Simon makes his intention to scupper the engagement plain to Hallie. Ms. LaRoque takes the reader through a mix of scenes wonderfully depicted, and while Simon is busy undermining his guests at every turn, he is so busy, he fails to notice how much Hallie is beginning to mean to him.

While Elise and her fiancée Justin, work through their problems to a mutual resolution, Simon and Hallie have to battle with past events that are influencing their chance of a happy future together. By the end of the story, we discover Simon's true worth and Hallie's strength of character as they finally overcome all the obstacles Ms. LaRoque puts in their way.

Ms. LaRoque has a wonderful touch for revealing family life in all its aspects, and her main and supporting characters are beautifully depicted. This is a wonderful 'feel-good' book to read when the rest of your world feels as though it's spinning off its axis.