Reading in bed just got a little hotter.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Inn at Little Bend by Bobbi Groover

TITLE: The Inn at Little Bend

PUBLISHER: Melange Books LLC

MAIN GENRE: Historical 








In antebellum America, life for an abandoned woman was difficult at best. But when young Grayson escapes her sadistic guardian, she finds freedom just as hostile. The lonesome, starving wanderer flees straight into the path of vicious marauders. Only one thing keeps the rustlers from violating the curvaceous, dark-haired beauty but the punishment they intend to mete out for her crimes borders on insanity.

Not far away a lone rover hears the screams, yet continues down the road. He wants nothing more of life than to be left alone. He has his own debts to account for. Once a headstrong irresistible rakehell, the drifter had bolted, shuttered his heart and retreated deep within himself. But now the wafting agony tears at him--his own and the wails of another. Swearing under his breath, he whirls the horse around.

Grayson Ridge struggles to survive her fated trials and conceal the secrets that plague her. Her exploits collide with the life of Drake Somerset, a scraggly yet oddly dashing drifter besieged by dark shadows. Neither realizes their chance encounter could free them both. Their wrangling ignites a turbulent journey and sets their worlds on fire.

Like a moth to the proverbial flame, the Inn at Little Bend draws the broken-hearted, the desolate, and the hopeless.

Grayson, River, Raven, Ridgely, Gracie…five different personalities all rolled into one complicated woman with a desperation to survive. What Grayson doesn’t expect is how complex the simple act of pretending to be someone she’s not will become. Somewhere along the line, she loses her heart to the one man she can’t confide in. But her web of lies has grown so multifaceted, that she fears she will soon be exposed for the fraud she is. Orphan, runaway, murderer…seems fate has left her desolate and alone, just like her parents. When the temptation of love is dangled before her, she yearns with everything in her to grab it and rejoice, but fear and deceit keep her from confessing all and claiming that coveted prize. She’s learned in life that good things come with a price, and she’s not the only one who’s paid.

Guilt and despair have changed Drake from a life-loving Lothario to little more than a hermit. A tragic accident in his past has robbed his purpose for living. Unable to come to grips with the mistake that cost another their life, he travels the countryside in aimless sorrow. He’s constructed an impenetrable wall around his heart and soul. All he has left is his music and his misery. That is, until a little “peach-fuzz” of a boy enters his life and begins chipping away at the fortress he’s so carefully crafted to keep others out. But there’s more to the scrawny runt than meets the eye. Somehow, the kid worms his way into his life and his heart, he just can’t figure out how or why. There’s something odd about River, but he hasn’t the time for wayward adolescents and feelings, he needs to get moving on. So why can’t he leave?

The Inn at Little Bend was an excellent story. It’s been a very long time since I’ve picked up a book where the characters are superbly penned. Ms. Groover has done a marvelous job with description and emotion. You really get a good feel for the depth of Drake’s misery, as well as the desperation of Grayson’s situation. The secondary characters are equally crafted. There’s a lot of emotion in this book and it’s not one to take lightly. You don’t whizz through the characters, plot, and setting. It’s very deep and intense. Ever so slowly, you see Drake and Grayson change. It’s like watching a flower open its petals, waking up to new life and displaying the beauty hidden inside. The beginning starts out strong and just keeps going. But be prepared to go through the gamut of emotions. There’s a lot of punch packed into these 292 pages.

Other than a couple of missing words, I didn’t find any major editing or grammar errors. Point of view shifts are clearly delineated with asterisks, which is always a plus when there’s so much information to ingest. Over all, this was a wonderful story. Very thorough and expertly crafted. Congratulations to Ms. Groover for penning an excellent historical romance, and thank you for letting me review it.

If you like deeply emotional stories with complex characters and a thorough journey through their change and development, then I highly recommend The Inn at Little Bend. Bobbi Groover most definitely delivers. Drake and Grayson are sure to warm your heart and remind you how much true love is worth fighting for.

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