by Shirlee Busbee

July 2001
ISBN: 0-7595-8376-5
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Chance Walker was aptly named. If it wasn't for chance, it is very likely he would have died a newborn infant due to the greed of his step-grandmother. Thankfully, Chance survived to reach adulthood, but only to be labeled a bastard when in truth he is the rightful heir to the Walker fortune.

Fancy Merrivale is a young widow chaperoning her sister, Ellen, on a visit to Jonathon Walker in the Colonies. Jonathon courted Ellen back in England and invited the two sisters for a visit to his home in Virginia. Even though Fancy would do anything for her sister, she is decidedly uncomfortable in Jonathon's presence, not the least of reasons being that he can't seem to make up his mind as to who he is interested in - Fancy or Ellen. Additionally, even though he seems to be the perfect gentleman and is in line for the considerable Walker inheritance, there is something Fancy doesn't like about Jonathon.

Upon arriving in Virginia, Fancy finds herself in the middle of a long-standing rivalry between Jonathon and Chance. Believing that Fancy is about to become Jonathon's wife, Chance vows to destroy their relationship the way Jonathon ended his own marriage years ago. This urge for vengeance moves Chance to coerce Fancy into a marriage that may be the catalyst that causes murder and an incredible revelation.

A Heart For the Taking is full of everything a good romance should have - likeable characters, a despicable villain, lots of passion, adventure, and even a touch of humor. The end of every chapter has you turning the page to see what happens next. You'll find yourself unable to put it down until the very end.

Chance is a hero any woman would find easy to love and Fancy was his perfect match. The supporting cast of characters is also well developed and add dimension to the story. Even though the plot was somewhat implausible, I never found it too far-fetched or unbelievable.

If I have any complaints about A Heart For the Taking, it would have to be that the ending was resolved a bit too easily and quickly. The tension was barely building before the crisis was taken care of. Despite that minor criticism, I found A Heart For the Taking one of Shirlee Busbee's best works and an excellent way to pass the day.

Reviewed in October 2001 by Nicole.

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