Tuesday, May 09, 2006

The Heart Breaker by Nicole Jordan

THB had three things going for it before I cracked the cover:
1) I'm a fan of American Historicals (i.e. Westerns) (especially those written by Cheryl St. John)
2) I like marriage of convenience stories and
3) I had heard that Jordan writes very steamy love scenes

Fortunately for me all three of these elements came together beautifully for a wonderful emotionally satisfying read.

Heather's father died leaving behind huge gambling debts. The sleazy banker who holds her responsible for those debts is trying to force her into marriage. Sloan McCord's Cheyenne wife, Doe, was murdered over a year ago. He is still consumed with grief, guilt and rage and he doesn't really want a wife. But his housekeeper is moving away so he really needs a wife and mother to care for and raise his infant daughter and do the household chores. In addition, he plans on running for state office so a wife would be good for his political career. When Sloan's SIL suggests he propose to Heather for the good of both of them, Sloan agrees, but he is determined never to give her his heart. He feels he had the perfect love match and can never love again. And he does not want to betray the memory of his late wife.

The entire rest of the book deals with their growing relationship. Sloan is a tortured soul consumed with lots of guilt. He is sometimes a cold-hearted jerk and treats Heather badly so that I wanted to slap him. But grief and guilt made his behavior understandable. Heather is a bit too soft and wimpy at first but her growth into a brave admirable woman who tells him she's not going to take his crap anymore was a joy to read. It took him all the way to the end of the book for him to admit to himself that he really loved and needed her. Sloan carried out his angst and guilt a bit longer than I like and Heather put up with his crap too long.

The dialogue was neither witty or clever, just plain and simple with lots of angst at the appropriate places, but it worked for me. Not quite a tearjerker, but almost.

Oh, and about those lovemaking scenes... Wow. Very intense, emotional and lots of them. And the best part....scorchingly hot! And a tad bit purple but I loved them anyway.

My grade: B+

Sybil told me this one is a gem and she is right! I need to track down the prequel to this story about Jake (Sloan's brother) titled The Outlaw. I checked on Jordan's website and found out that she originally planned TO and THB as the first two in a trilogy but she has never written the third book! It's supposed to be Doe's half-brother Wolf's story. But it's been almost 10 years! I doubt it's going to happen but here's a quote from her website.
"I definitely intend to write Wolf Logan's story to finish my Rocky Mountain Trilogy that began with THE OUTLAW and THE HEART BREAKER. But Ballantine wants me to wait till the market for Westerns is stronger. A few years ago, a large part of the reading public quit buying Western romances, so Ballantine wants me to write Regency historicals for the time being. I have Wolf's story all worked out, and I'm eager to tell it, I promise. It's just going to be a while longer. I hope Wolf will be worth your patience."

I'm halfway tempted to write to her and beg. Would that be over the top? What's she waiting for anyway? I don't think the Western market is going to get hotter, so write it already.

P.S. I love the cover too.

16 comments:

CindyS said...

Well, you're thoughts are good enough for me. I think I have a Nicole Jordan around her somewhere but I don't think it is this one. Or, was it a Nan Ryan. Ooops, I may have them confused. Okay, off to make a note.

CindyS

ReneeW said...

Cindy, I was thinking of you when I read this because I know you like them h.o.t. so I think Jordan would work well for you :)

Kristie (J) said...

If you ever do find the first one let me know or order 2 and I'll pay you back since I read Heartbreaker years ago and really liked it. I've been looking for the first one on and off ever since.

Wendy said...

Writing Wolf's story and getting it published are two different things. That's what I keep telling myself anyway. Also, since those book were published by Avon and she's now with Ballantine I wonder if contractural obligations factor in somehow....

Oh, and I liked THE HEARTBREAKER too. I read it in one day and I have it buried in my keeper stash. I really should reread it. Damn this TBR anxiety anyway....

ReneeW said...

Kristie: Yes, I'll order two because I can't see myself willing to trade it after reading it (but it is possible :) I have it on my wishlist on PBS but I don't have great hopes of getting it from them.

Wendy: Yes, I agree, that's why I have my doubts about it being published. Avon would probably raise a stink.

Avid Reader said...

I loved The Heartbreaker and she had another one, that I liked but I can't remember the title. Jordan's earlier works are more miss than hits for me so just becareful....glad you enjoyed.

Keishon

ReneeW said...

Keishon: If you remember that title, let me know. I've heard that she can be hit or miss so I'll look out for recs before going off on a glomming binge. But I really HAVE to get The Outlaw, because it's calling to me.

Avid Reader said...

It was Wildstar, I think that's the title, hero is Native American. Decent story, not as good as THB but good in it's own right.

Nikki said...

Nicole Jordan is one of my favorites. I like it hot. Heartbreaker was great. If you liked that you would probably like The Savage and Wildstar. The Savage is so, so good. The hero is half Native American and is he ever tortured! It's a marriage of convenience that is anything but! She marries him to save her ranch and he marries her for....what else...because he has always secretly loved her.

ReneeW said...

Keishon: Thanks. It's now on my wish list.

Nikki: Oooo, yes, yes, The Savage sounds good. Another one for the wish list.

Avid Reader said...

The Savage was good, too, marriage of convience story. It's been so long since I read them - hope you like them when you get to read them.

Keishon

sybil said...

WoOT! Glad you liked it. I loved the first one as well.

KRISTIE! Damn, I know I have seen copies of this! I shall call my ubs tomorrow. And see if I can round up a few. They had it for 1.50. LOL of course I am broke but I will put it in your pile to send to you one day, soon ;).

Unless Renee already has it ordered! I will check how many copies they have just in case.

I Sssooooooo want The Savage and Wildstar. want want want... but I will not pay those prices. I did find Touch Me with Fire and Lord of Desire for cheap. Haven't read yet though.

ReneeW said...

No, Sybil, I haven't ordered it yet. Couldn't find one for a reasonable price. Yes, go see if you can find one or two, please! I will owe you. Oh, yeah, I'm supposed to mail you the P. Ryan (The Burning Touch) and I'll dig up another Ryan for you, then we'll be even.

sybil said...

checked yesterday and both copies are gone from the great exchange...

I shall call around this weekend. So sucks because I kept seeing both of them but had no reason to get them :(.

I am sure it will pop back up!

ReneeW said...

Don't worry about it, I'm going on a hunt at all my regular UBSs this weekend. I'm sure I'll find it sooner or later. Thanks for checking. I'll post over at the trade group when I find it.

sybil said...

shush

good reason to go to the library sale tomorrow ;)

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