St. Martin's, Mar 2008, $19.95
The daughter of a Houston energy tycoon, Haven Travis was born with a golden spoon. Hardy Cates is her opposite having grownup in East Texas poverty. They meet and sparks fly, but she is engaged to marry Nick Tanner, who her dad believes is not good enough for his beloved daughter in spite of his affluent background.
When Haven elopes with Nick her father cuts her off without a cent. An angry Nick blames Haven and batters her. She flees for the safety of her home where she finds her father and Hardy squabbling over a business deal. Hardy offers her comfort as they fall in love, but she fears commitment following the beatings Nick gave her and the estrangement with her family especially her father.
The key to this entertaining strong contemporary romance is the lead female character who has issues with her family, her abusive spouse and herself that show up at her job and even in bed. Readers who appreciate reality in their romances will want to read this insightful look at the aftermath impact of abuse long after the physical wounds have healed; love and passion do not necessarily heal the mental trauma even with the nurturing passionate care of a loving person.