Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Review- Better Than Gold

Better Than Gold
Lily is tired of her one-horse town. Lily Reese can't wait to escape Browning City, Iowa. She's sure she'll be happier in the big city, if only she can save enough money to get there. But then Ben Purcell rides into town, threatening not only Lily's place of residence and growing sense of family, but her safety and peace of mind, as well. And Ben has every intention of sticking around and becoming a small-town guy. How can Lily even consider the feelings he evokes in her? Rumors of a long-lost cache of gold bring danger swirling around them, but Lily and Ben find themselves on a quest for something more. Will releasing their plans and desires bring heartache or a reward they had never imagined?

This was my very first Heartsong. Yes, me. I read one and enjoyed it. Though I have a feeling it was mostly because of the person who wrote it, Laurie Alice Eakes.

This book is the third in a continuity series, but it's not necessary to read the other two in order to enjoy this one. Laurie Alice sprinkles enough backstory in that you know what all is going on. The romance was sweet and completely believable, and the spiritual thread was also very well done. You know from the beginning of the book how it's going to end, but the journey to the end never once felt contrived or that it was lacking chemistry or attraction between Lily and Ben. And I also did NOT figure out who the bad guy was! Laurie Alice gets major points for that.

My favorite part though, was that Lily crochets lace! She does needle lace too, but mainly crochet. It wasn't as popular in the 1870's as it was 15-20 years later, so the way the townsfolk snatched her lace up and begged for it was spot on.

I also got a real sense of Iowa, which is good considering the state theme for the series was Iowa. I've never been there, but do have a couple of friends who grew up there. I still have a hard time imagining wide open spaces without cotton fields being involved, but the sense of small town community that Laurie Alice portrayed was very real and beautifully done.

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