by Mary Wine, historical (2007)
Samhain Publishing, $4.50, ISBN 1-59998-720-1
Brianna Spencer is way of her depths in her current dilemma. Her father has gone MIA, which leaves her currently besieged by ruthless opportunists who try to take advantage of her either to avoid paying their debts to her father or to force her to become more intimate with them. Luckily for her, she is saved from the most pressing advances of our villain while on her way to collect some debts at the docks by the arrival of our hero Sloan McAlister. Sloan soon finds himself trying to help Brianna ward off pesky horny villains who want her as well as her father's land.
If you think that Let Me Love You sounds like some Western historical romance that you've read before, you're right. This story is familiar, right down to the father who just vanishes and then returns when the coast is clear without having to face the repercussions of his thoughtless abandonment of his daughter for the most bewildering reasons. The villain is cartoonish. Sloan plays the "I only sleep with harlots, no virgins for me, oh woe!" card very often and I may respect that if he doesn't at the same time reel Brianna in. He's always taking things far with Brianna and then pushing her away when he decides that it's convenient for him to play the "I don't shag virgin" card. Needless to say, I'm not impressed with this fellow. He's boring and tiresome.
On the bright side, Brianna is a pretty spirited heroine. She does some stupid things here, but that's fine with me since she's clearly out of her depths in this story and can't be expected to be a super capable person. With her father going MIA, Brianna is an ordinary young woman who suddenly finds herself alone and besieged by opportunists up to no good. I don't blame her for making a mess of things now and then. On the whole, I think she does well for who she is and she deserves someone better than the sad old stereotype that is Sloan.
Let Me Love You is a most readable story, although the abundance of Western romance clichés means that it will be harder for me to remember much of this book once I'm done with it.
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