by Teresa Bodwell

October 2005
ISBN: 0-8217-7816-1
Reviewer Graphic Button Zebra Books
Mass Market Paperback

Colorado Territory, September 1868

Miranda Chase has returned home to her family’s cattle ranch in Colorado upon her sister, Mercy’s insistence. Miranda must never tell her family about what really happened to her during her time in Philadelphia. The ragged scar marring her once beautiful face is a painful reminder of her stupidity in trusting a sweet talking man. Then along comes Benjamin Lansing, with his devastating smile, dark good looks and classy eastern manners, he is everything that Miranda swore off in a man.

Benjamin Lansing is very different from the man that hurt Miranda so badly back east. Carrying around his own scars both inside and out from the Civil War, Ben can understand the pain and mistrust that Miranda tries so hard to hide. Could Miranda open her heart to Ben knowing he does not plan to stay in Colorado? For once Ben has made sure his orphaned nephew, Jonathan, has a good home with Miranda’s sister and brother-in-law, and Ben gets the money back that he loaned to his deceased brother, Ben is pursuing his dream of finding an island paradise to live out the rest of his life. Yet Ben’s ache is soothed every time he takes sweet Miranda into his arms. This could be what he has desired all along, loving Miranda!

Loving Miranda is the sequel to author Teresa Bodwell’s Loving Mercy and can stand on its own. This is made evident to the extent of overshadowing the present story of all that the reader might have missed in not having read the first. Mercy Buchanan the heroine from the first book is explained in more depth then her sister Miranda Chase the supposed heroine of this one. I found this book to be very “busy” with a lot of background noise going on that may or may not be necessary. For someone who was so badly hurt in a past relationship, Miranda trustingly approaches the then unkown Benjamin in Denver. Benjamin Lansing is written very chaotic, with too much baggage to carry around. Not only are we to feel sorry for him for his injuries sustained in battle but we have to feel sorry for him for his childhood, his loss of his art talent, his brother's stealing his money, and on it goes. I think we get the point to feel sorry for him already! Ben does possess some redeeming qualities in his desire to see that his nephew get a good home and to find the truth out for himself about his deceitful brother. There are some emotional scenes that help put the story somewhat back together, but it takes almost the entire book for that to culminate.

Reviewed in January 2006 by Bonnie.

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