by Melissa James

October 2002
ISBN: 0373272529
Reviewer Graphic Button Silhouette #1182
Mass Market Paperback

For six years Jirrah had thought Tessa had betrayed him for wealth, status and success, only to find out that she had thought him dead. Her family set him up, going as far as taking their newborn daughter away and giving her up for adoption—a daughter that Tessa had believed to be as dead as the father.

Jirrah is a perfect hero. An artist of Aboriginal/Italian decent, his patience with her, his determination to clear his name and to find their daughter is out of this world. I admired the respect he shows for Tessa’s strength, the appreciation and the awe for her beauty in body and soul.

Tessa, the daughter of a racist millionaire barrister, is on the run from her second husband only to be confronted with the fact of being a bigamist with a husband and a daughter back from the dead. Initially she doesn’t want to help Jirrah in his quest for revenge. She wants to ignore her family’s involvement in her unhappiness. She wants to feel loved by them - not used! But her sense of justice and her need for her child take over.

I felt sorry for Tessa, but I did lose patience with her self-recrimination pretty quickly. I liked and understood Jirrah and even though I understood Tessa's motivations, I’m not sure I cared enough.

Even when the obstacles in their way to love and a lasting relationship keep piling up and seem insurmountable. Melissa James truly knows how to make her characters suffer. She left me no chance but feel for them, their losses, their pain, and always their passion and love.

I had no problems believing any aspects of the story, but would have wished for less drama, for a little more simplicity in this category romance book. Sometimes it felt too symbolic, too complex and too angry. Moments of tenderness and peace were too short and too few for my reading comfort. With a roller coaster ride of strong emotions, sometimes out of control and very often exhausting, it was hard to follow or keep up. Her upcoming SIM titles should be perfect for getting used to her unique writing style though. One thing is for sure, Ms James is not holding back, is not afraid of big emotions and shows a lot of promise for her future single title mainstream books.

Reviewed in September 2002 by Kris Alice.

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