by Jeanine Van Eperen

May 2005
ISBN: 1-58749-500-7
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Meredith Walker is on a vacation with her friends in Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico. One evening, while watching the flight of the bats, Merry spots the most handsome man she’s ever seen. When a bat flies at her, Merry’s friends distract her from the man and she loses sight of him. Later the group goes into the cavern to explore when an earthquake opens a hole in the floor, swallowing Merry into the caves beneath the cavern.

Brandon Battlesworth has lived his whole life in the caverns with his clan. His father has told him of a special power possessed by his people. When Brandon sees Meredith at the flight, he is overwhelmed by her beauty and a need to touch her. After the earthquake swallows Merry, Brandon is her only hope out of the caves and to safety. However, he’s having a time of it trying to be honorable and not take her as his mate.

Through the next week, Brandon and Merry come together emotionally and physically as they try to escape the cave with no food, very little water, and a dwindling air supply. Once out Merry must decide if she truly loves Brandon and can accept his life over her own.

I was rather disappointed with Golden-Rod. The flow of the plot was interrupted constantly by overly described thoughts, clothing, bath rituals, settings and events that had nothing to do with the basic story. Terms and language used in this book also caused me to constantly scowl in distaste. Midway through, I felt no connection with the characters. In fact, Meredith annoyed me so much that I couldn’t stand to be on the same page with her. Brandon was ok, though he had a tendency toward anger and seemed to want only one thing from Merry. Sadly, I can’t say that I enjoyed this story.

Reviewed in September 2005 by Vikky.

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