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Friday, October 30, 2009

Samantha’s Sacrifice by Sandi Hampton

Samantha’s Sacrifice by Sandi Hampton
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Full (303 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Fern

To uphold her family’s honor, Samantha Adams agrees to take her sister’s place and marry wealthy rancher Blake McCarthy. But when he claims no knowledge of the wedding contract, she finds herself in desperate straits to support herself and her adopted daughter.

Having lost his wife and son during the war, the last thing Blake wants is another wife. When beautiful Samantha Adams shows up at his ranch on the pretext of honoring a marriage contract, he believes she is only after someone to take care of her and her daughter. And he is determined it’s not going to be him.

Neither Samantha nor Blake are prepared for the attraction they feel. They both intend to fight it to the bitter end. But when passion sparks into flame, can Blake’s passionate kisses and sweet caresses make Samantha forget his accusations and mistrust, and can Blake’s desire for Samantha overcome his suspicions?

It’s been a long time since I’ve enjoyed a good western romance novel. Oftentimes, the heat is present but the realism of the era is absent. It’s not enough to be told the elements exist. I want to be transported back, to experience the journey firsthand. Take me to a time when the land was untamed and roads were paved by the wheels of wagon trains. I want to lose myself in the pages, to be a part of a past that is so incredibly fascinating yet so often forgotten. Author Sandi Hampton’s incredible offering, Samantha’s Sacrifice, is exactly the brand of story-telling I’m talking about.

The tension between Samantha and Blake is presented right from the start. It’s apparent they are attracted to one another, but upon the realization, they each try to deny what they desire most. Unlike other stories in which you become distracted or agitated by the rift, you’ll ache instead for the losses that have left them scarred and unable to trust. It’s heartbreaking at times, but heartwarming at others. As the old adage goes, there can be no joy without sorrow. Ms. Hampton should be given full praise for her ability to present a hero that you want to dislike, but can never fully seem to. Blake’s actions are what drive Samantha away time and again, but even as he lashes out, you realize it’s a self-defense mechanism, ensuring that he doesn’t allow her to find a place in his heart. Of course, a hero is only as good as his heroine. Samantha is a woman that is everything women of that time had to be–strong, proud, and courageous.

Of course, there are plot twists and colorful secondary characters that ensure you won’t want to stop reading. I sat down to read this story when I woke up this morning and didn’t stop until I finished. Yes, folks. It’s that good.

Samantha’s Sacrifice is a beautifully written romance that everyone will enjoy. Be sure to place this one on you TBR list.