by Constance O`Banyon

August 2005
ISBN: 0-8439-5542-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Leisure Books
Mass Market Paperback

Texas, 1871

It should have been the happiest day of her life, but Caroline Duncan’s wedding day three years ago turned into a nightmare that doesn’t seem to end. Her malicious brother-in-law, Brace Duncan, murdered her young husband Michael minutes after the ceremony. Brace vowed that Michael’s fortune, and Caroline herself would now be his! With the help of her mother-in-law, Caroline manages, barely, to escape South Carolina and Brace’s clutches, and has been on the run since. Finally finding a home with good, caring friends in San Sebastian, Texas, Caroline still lives with the constant fear that one-day Brace will find her, and complete his dastardly plans for her. Then the most notorious bounty hunter of them all, Wade Renault shows up in town, and Caroline knows in her heart he is there for her!

Lured out of retirement by the tintype that was sent to him by Brace Duncan, Wade Renault has been awestruck with Caroline Duncan’s beauty. Believing Brace’s lies that Caroline murdered her husband, Wade justifies his pursuit of her. However, his quiet observances of Caroline in her simple home and with the townspeople who have grown to love her do not click with all that Wade has been told by her devious brother-in-law. Someone is lying! Wade takes Caroline prisoner anyway, even though his gut tells him she is too scared and panicky to not be telling the truth about her husband’s death. As they make their way back south, Caroline swears that if Wade removes the handcuffs she will run again. Yet, Caroline is mesmerized by Wade’s smooth French accent and striking, dark good looks. Wade is captivated by this enigma of a female who has broken through the walls surrounding his heart. Perhaps Caroline is telling the truth. Only beneath The Moon and the Stars will Wade be able to determine it for sure!

The Moon and the Stars is USA Today bestselling author Constance O’Banyon’s latest. Two characters with deep shrouded issues such as Caroline and Wade could have made for a super story. The beginning starts well, holding the reader’s interest, but then gets lost in a series of detours that can lead to confusion, and in my case disappointment. The romance doesn’t take full affect until almost two thirds of the book is done, and by then it is almost like an afterthought. The wishy-washy villain of Brace, with the exception of third party mention, doesn’t make his appearance until the last few chapters, and by then it is all to brief. The build up of confrontation that you were expecting between all the characters is done in a few sentences! If you are a die- hard fan of Ms.O’Banyon, then most likely you will want to read The Moon and the Stars, if not try another of her award winning novels.

Reviewed in September 2005 by Bonnie.

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