Skeptic scale: ♥♥♥
I was literally JUST talking about the change in the alpha hero landscape from the Old School variety to this 2.0 modified alpha version. I had this whole argument for the new, more sensitive, nice-guy version and then I re-read this book! I am feeling all nostalgic for the Old School types again...sigh.
Anyway - quick run down of the salient plot points.
He: One of 4 bad-boy brothers in a small town who blazed out of town years ago because he was restless and felt like he needed to get out (or punch something, which he incidentally does, a LOT). Now he's back - still too hot to handle, but also successful and wealthy and too pretty for his own good.
He takes one look at her and like a roaming African boy wildebeest who sees the glistening hindquarters of his perfect girl wildebeest, he goes - her, I'll take her. And it's on.
She: A recent import to the small town so she didn't know his bad boy self when he was growing up and gets to see it all fresh for the first time when he comes rolling back to his hometown after his self-imposed exile. Lucky ducky. She's running an antique store and he hires her to furnish the property he's restoring now that he's back in town. She's determined not to become her mother (traditional, husband-serving, personality-less) so she's not keen to have him overwhelm her better judgement and tries to keep aloof.
Conflict: He blows hot and strong and it's all a bit much for her so she tells him to dial it back a bit. He obviously does the opposite (because dude, he's a MAN) and pretty soon they're humping like bunnies in the old haunted property he's trying to restore. He spends a lot of time announcing his wicked intentions to her. And warning everyone else to back off of HIS woman. She does an admirable job of keeping him er, civilized, but his manliness and need to protect her finally overwhelms her better sense and she gracefully succumbs. Good old fashioned romance, in other words.
Skeptic's last word: I mean... this is an OLD book (1995s, I think) - but still manages to be a hoot to read. The is PLENTY of sillysauce in the book (he seems to prefer resolving conflict like a hormonal 16 year old - bar fights and gorilla chest-thumping - and channels all sexual frustration into some black, black moods.) But somehow, I didn't mind at all. Nora Roberts entertained and charmed and it was all just a sweet, sometimes hot experience.
It made me miss the Old School alphas of yore. "Yore" being 1995 apparently. Good times.