by Jessica Bird

June 2003
ISBN: 0-8041-1989-9
Reviewer Graphic Button Ballantine Books
Mass Market Paperback

Carter Wessex is an archeologist. And her next discovery she wants to make on Farrell Mountain. Nick Farrell doesn’t want her there. Only when he discovers who her father is and how that relationship could help his business, he agrees to let her stay. It helps that she is nice to look at.

He wants her and nothing is going to stand in his way. It would be just like with all his other women before. He’d snap his fingers and she’d jump into his arms. However, Carter is different. Yes, she jumps. And who wouldn’t. Nick is gorgeous; he’s available and oozes sex appeal. But Carter is a woman that gets to him, making him feel, making him fall in love. So he pushes her away. And instead of crying and begging Carter is pissed off and lets him know.

Heart of Gold is a straight romance with a character development that is slow enough for me to follow it, thorough enough to accept it and challenging enough to keep me interested. And that goes for all characters, not just Carter and Nick.

I wasn’t that interested in the whole archeology/history lesson of the book and had to force myself not to skip those passages. I was far more interested in their developing romance and sexual awareness. An awareness that is so hot that it left me breathless and wanting. Wanting for something just like it.

That’s how I felt about the first half of the book. The second half kind of lost that magic and developed into something like a play on a stage. The acting is still good; the dialogue is fine, the attraction and tension is there, but everything that happens outside their little world up on the mountain and by the lake is not shown but only talked about. In plain speaking: I would have preferred a little more action.

And when she says she loves him, when she has the first opportunity to prove her love and more importantly her trust—and I do believe you can’t have the one without the other—she fails to deliver.

I really wanted to love this story. Can’t say I did. It’s not anywhere close to the beauty of Leaping Hearts. It still shows some good writing, but the second half lacks the necessary emotions and intense atmosphere to draw me in and leave me satisfied.

I’m sure it will find its readers and it does deserve to be noticed. Jessica Bird’s talent is obvious. However when looking deeper that just plain skill Heart of Gold failed to touch me as deeply as Leaping Hearts.

Reviewed in August 2003 by Kris Alice.

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