As you know, I’m putting myself to the A to Z Challenge for blogging for the month of April.
For these posts, I’ll be giving an I Love Romance Blog score, not an official review, for books currently on my shelf at home (I know readers must wonder what books inspires us as authors) or ones that are on my TBR list (what I want to read so bad I can’t stand it!). For each book, I will give the blurb, a few lines from the text, then why I liked the book or why I’d want to read it. And for fun, I’ll give a heart rating! ♥
This is my scoring system:
I hope these A to Z Challenge suggestions will help you find a new favorite author, or further cement your love for one, if that’s the case.
Let’s jump into our next book, shall we?
Heart of Gold by J.R. Ward
Genre: Contemporary Romance
She has a passion for unlocking the secrets of the past…
Archaeologist Carter Wessex is drawn to Farrell Mountain to solve a centuries old mystery- and find a fortune in hidden gold. One thing stands in her way: Nick Farrell, a notorious corporate raider with no patience for trespassers on his land, and way too much sex appeal. After an explosive introduction, Carter abandons the project…but with Nick in hot pursuit.
What she finds is something more valuable than gold…
Though wary of Nick’s change of heart, Carter is soon swept up into the mystery- and the arms of a man she swore she’d never fall for. As buried secrets surface and passion grows, the shocking details of the missing gold are revealed. So are Nick’s true motives, leaving Carter to wonder…has everything between them been just another cunning ruse? And how many more secrets has he yet to share? It will take a heart of gold to find the truth—and have faith in a timeless love…
A few choice lines from the book:
Through the trees, Nick watched her with complete absorption. The only thing that kept him from going over to her was his iron will.
Which was feeling less ironlike with each passing minute.
He’d come up the mountain to talk about their kiss and had waited until Cort had returned home so they’d be alone. He’d intended to have a straight-out conversation about what had happened the night before and was determined to put the event in its proper context. In the intervening hours since he’d felt her against him, he’d managed to convince himself that it had been nothing more than an impulsive mistake and he wanted to make sure she knew how he felt.
It was a damn good plan. Until he got knocked off his soapbox.
When he’d arrived at camp, he’d found it empty. After he didn’t find her at the dig site either, he decided to check and see if she’d gone swimming.
That was when he took a turn off the high road.
When Nick got to the river, he saw Carter bending down to put her hand in the water. Her expression was grave, the moment private, so he thought he’d go back and wait for her at camp. That was when she began to unbutton her shirt, and Nick’s feet had started ignoring his commands to get moving.
Leaning against a tree for support, he watched as, inch by inch, she opened her shirt and then peeled it from her shoulders. As the shirt floated to the ground, she turned to kick off her shoes and that was when he saw her breasts. Draped in sunlight, they were taut and perfectly proportioned, her nipples pink and small. Below the curves, her stomach was flat and toned.
Nick’s heart started pounding like a jackhammer and he felt himself harden.
He told himself he should turn around and go. He was no Peeping Tom, after all. And he’d seen women naked before. It wasn’t as if he didn’t know the inventory of female attributes well enough, but somehow the familiarity didn’t register. As he looked at her, it was as if he was seeing a woman for the first time.
And he liked what he saw. So much so, he could feel the images burning into his memory.
Her hands went to the fly of her jeans and she released the buttons. Gripping the waistband, she slid them free from her long legs. Her hips were a gentle swell, her thighs strong and shapely. When her simple white panties followed, Nick gripped a tree limb so hard he cracked it in half.
Carter froze and then looked in the direction of the noise.
Nick ducked for cover.
He waited a moment and peered around the tree again.
Carter had turned back toward the river and was stretched her arms over her head, arching her back.
“Oh, sweet heaven,” he whispered, clenching his jaw.
In the course of his life, he’d lusted after companies, real estate, works of art. Even a few women. Nothing, however, came close to the throbbing urgency he felt while looking at her. As she stepped into the water and splashed herself, her neck arched as she looked to the sky, he was close to desperation as he’d ever been.
Nick wrenched himself away from the scene, afraid if he stayed longer he’d give in to his driving impulses. That he’d step free from his hiding place and reveal his desire. That he’d take her down onto the bank of the river and enter her body in one deep thrust.
Lost on his own mountain, he struggled to find the trail back down.
This book is also on my shelf. There are two books in the series, and Heart of Gold is the second novel. I just love J.R. Ward’s paranormals, and when I found out about these previously written works of hers, contemporary romance instead, I had to see if they were any good. Of course they were! 🙂
Carter and Nick are two strong characters who, despite steadfast approaches in their respective professions, appear to fight everything they feel for each other throughout the book. This makes for a lot of interesting tension, sexy embraces and deep conflict. I also like the additional angle of Nick being a reluctant guardian to a troubled teen. Nick and Carter keep you guessing as you turn the pages.
I’d give this one four hearts.
I’d also recommend the first book in the series, though it’s apparent they can be read in any order.