by Jennifer Brassel

ISBN: 1-74062-016-X
Reviewer Graphic Button Saltwater Press
Mass Market Paperback

Honour Bound, a Rocky River Romance, by Aussie author Jennifer Brassel was endearing and sweet, and left this reader feeling warm all over!

Gwen Morgan, a nurse is brutally attacked, by a serial rapist in her home; fortunately for Gwen she suffers only physical injuries. Her roommate Sandie Wallace however is raped, beaten within an inch of her life, and left for dead. When Gwen recuperates from the attack she vows to protect herself by taking self defense classes with Sandie.

Lance DeLaker a martial arts expert teaches a class in self-defense, and when he meets Gwen for the first time, sparks fly! Lance is also good friends with Gwen’s sometimes companion Art King, a Professor at the local college where Gwen is attending classes in order to obtain her Masters degree. Lance is drawn to Gwen, but attempts to stay away out of courtesy to his friend Art. Will Lance be able to convince Gwen he’s the guy for her? Will Gwen be able to resist Lance? Will the serial rapist be caught?

Gwen and Lance rub each other the wrong way from the word go, though their physical attraction is plain. Gwen’s had a difficult time in relationships, and allowing anyone other than the placid Art into her life, is in her mind, too risky. Lance and Gwen have many misunderstandings along the way, and occasionally this reader found Lance a bit abrasive. However given the circumstances I suppose I might be upset too, if the woman I loved refused to acknowledge I was anything more than a jerk! Of course Lance’s rough exterior didn’t help much, but underneath there was a sensitive, caring man screaming to get out, and this reader forgave him his “tough guy” act!

Gwen handled her crisis with determination, and the stubborn refusal to let the man who assaulted her get the better of her! I kept thinking “way to go Gwen”, each time she didn’t back down from entering a dark alley, or she fought the fear of her assault!

This read, brought with it feelings of nostalgia, from romance novels past. The pacing of the plot, the slow, gentle simmering of the romance between Gwen and Lance reminded this reader of a time when a trip down lovers lane meant walking the path of good character development.

Ms. Brassel created a dynamic, diverse relationship between the couple, with all of the pitfalls and insecurities that come your way from their first attraction to a climactic end. What a treat to indulge in a book with characters you are given the opportunity to like, because you’ve come to know them!

A good job by Ms. Brassel, and an enjoyable read are the makings of Honour Bound!

Reviewed in February 2003 by Connie.

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