I love historical romance, but I'm not a fan of explicit sex scenes. I usually don't care for contemporary novels, but I've been wanting to read something by Debbie Macomber for a while and chose this book as my first. I'm very pleased with it and am now eager to read the rest of the Deliverance series.
Linette Collins is a young widow with a lot of problems. Her husband of 2 years has been dead for 2 years and yet she can't bring herself to move on. To complicate matters, his parents are very much a part of her life, pushing her to dedicate her life to his memory. She works too hard and socializes too little, and when her sister in law invites her to a Christmas party, she accepts only out of obligation. Little does she know this is a turning point in her life, because Cain McClellan happens to be at the same party.
Cain is a mercenary, a hired soldier who engages in risky operations when the U.S. government cannot intervene. He risks his life without a second thought and prefers a life without family or complications. His attraction to Linette at his high school friend's Christmas party throws a kinkk in his plans, not that he's complaining.
This is a romance novel. The characters fall in love, and there is a "happily ever after" ending, as we expect. However, don't think there aren't any surprises. On the contrary, toward the end of the book is a very big unexpected event. Although the main conflicts are resolved, there's a mixture of romance, tragedy, action, and forgiveness to keep it balanced. The romantic dialogue seemed a bit trite at times, but there were enough sigh-worthy moments for me to overlook a bit of awkward dialogue. There are other characters with major story lines of their own as well. I loved the story of Tim and Francine. There were some truly hilarious moments with these two!
This book is what I'd call a PG romance. Sex is mentioned, as is quite a bit of innuendo, but there aren't any true sex scenes. (No worries about "bulging members" or "heaving bosoms.") Also, the characters only engage in sex after they are married. There have been a few reviews discussing the morality of the characters. I did not find it to be preachy in the least, but thought it only heightened the romance. This is a love story; not a lust story. Also, Cain is a strong male hero, while Linette is soft, small and feminine. Again, this is not a drawback to me. I didn't think it reflected 1950's ideals, but it is definitely more conservative than many books in the romance genre.
This is an entertaining, beautiful romantic novel. Linette is afraid of losing love again, and Cain is afraid of giving up even a small bit of control over his life. How these two characters from completely different worlds manage to come together makes for a very interesting story. I was interested in the descriptions of the operations from the Deliverance Company as well, and thought it was a very well-balanced novel. It's very enjoyable, and I can't wait to read more.