Friday, 10 December 2010

Montana Man - Barbara Delinsky

Lily Danziger wanted more. 

With a newborn daughter and only herself to rely on, she was running from the shallow life she'd been living. Circumstances had changed and now she wanted more security than money could buy. Without looking back, she was heading to safety and a new start - until a blizzard stopped her and she had to ask a stranger for help.

He came with a Stetson, a gruff voice and an even gruffer manner, but he was their only chance for survival in the snowbound car. He led them to a temporary refuge, then offered her permanent security. It was everything she needed, but would it leave her wanting more?

This was a vast improvement on the last romance novel that I read from this author. Barbara Delinsky is one of my favourite writers and I've started investigating some of her earlier works. While I was disappointed by An Irresistible Impulse, this novel had the typical Delinsky charm. Well developed characters, excellent interaction and chemistry, a cute baby, a couple of subplots and one of my favourite plot devices - snowbound in a cabin! While initially I was a bit annoyed that Quist conformed to the typical alpha male stereotype of an aloof, masculine woman-hater, Delinsky quickly made him into someone that I could sympathise with and enjoy reading about. Both Quist and Lily make judgements about each other and come to realise that first impressions aren't always the best, and end up liking each other...and falling in love, obviously! I appreciated that they both had pasts, particularly that Lily had come from a broken marriage and had a baby. But one aspect of romance novels that has always bugged me is that men are allowed to have been promiscuous but even women who have been married have to have had bad sexual experiences until they met The One. I'm not a fan of this double standard! This book was originally published in the Harlequin Temptation line, so there is a fair amount of sex, some of it described quite graphically. This isn't normally something I look for in a novel, but the engaging characters and plot made up for it. I was particularly pleased with the ending, where the catalysts for Quist and Lily meeting - he looking for his sister and she escaping her husband's family - came to a head. It was nice to know that these subplots weren't forgotten in the whirlwind of romance, and it made the characters and their histories all the more realistic. All in all, this novel did have its faults where typical romance stereotypes emerged, but otherwise this was a sweet romance and a perfect comfort read. 8/10

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