by Adrianna Dane

June 2004
ISBN: 1-59279-238-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Amber Quill Press

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Willow MacKenzie is going back to Esmerelda, her hometown, to get over her past. She thought she was ready and the time was right, well as right as any would be. She has to see her mother’s lawyer, since her mother passed away. Willow has many old memories haunting her and she knows she has to come back to exorcize them and hopefully, get on with her life. It has been ten long years since she ran.

J.W. Dalton was a big part of why Willow left and now why she's come back. He was the one that held her heart in his hand and smashed it, all those years ago. J.W. is the sheriff of Esmerelda, it was a tradition that the first male Dalton would be the sheriff; this has been going on from generation to generation. J.W. was actually a broken man, he let Willow leave and he could not get over it. He knew he hurt her, but didn’t realize how badly until she came back into town. Of course Willow didn’t know how bad J.W. was beating himself up over what happened one night, so long ago.

Esmeralda held a lot of bad memories for Willow, most of them dealing with her mother and what happened that one night that left her leaving the only man she would ever love. Can these two finally talk and listen to each other? Can they move past all the hurt and mistrust and deceit that caused this rift between the two of them?

The chemistry between Willow and J.W. is electric. All it takes is the sound of the others voice or a touch and even a look and it will set the other off. They are drawn to one another even before they finally talk about that one night and events since then.

Esmerelda’s Secret, is a story that will pull you in from the beginning and doesn’t want to release you until the end. Ms. Dane is able to draw you into the story to feel all the hurt, pain, sadness and love that Willow and J.W. feel. Willow and J.W. compliment each other in both their actions and their love for one another. The depth of their love is what helps them move forward and leaves them with only the happy memories from their past. Esmerelda’s Secret is a short story and the debut story for Ms. Dane, and what a great way to start! I will be watching and waiting for more stories from Ms. Dane.

Reviewed in May 2004 by Pam.

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