"Love and trust don’t come easily for Ward, a ruggedly sexy ladies’ man and committed bachelor, since he lost his heart to a gold digger—until he meets a shy, unpretentious beauty whose sweet grace is about to turn his jaded heart into a hungry one."
Pages: 400 pages
Publisher: Ballantine Books on March 26th 2013
Form: E-book (from NetGalley for an honest review)
Genre: Contemporary Cowboy Romance
Series: A Silver Creek Novel #1
Amazon: Buy / $7.99 (Paperback) ( EU price, click to see yours )
Barnes & Noble: Buy / $7.99 (Paperback)
Ballantine Books: Buy / $7.99 (Paperback)
Excerpt: Chapter 1
"Sweeping passions, family drama, and searing scandal play out at the magnificent Silver Creek Ranch as the heirs to a powerful dynasty seize their legacy of love.
Oldest son Ward Knowles feels the sprawling California ranch in his blood. And now that the family business has expanded to include a popular resort, he’s working harder than ever. Silver Creek is his legacy and his life, which is fine for the ruggedly sexy ladies’ man and committed bachelor. Love and trust don’t come easily for Ward since he lost his heart to a gold digger—until he meets a shy, unpretentious beauty whose sweet grace is about to turn his jaded heart into a hungry one.
Tess Casari has found sanctuary at Silver Creek, working as an assistant to Ward’s mother, Adele. Grateful for her busy new life running the ranch’s spa and resort, Tess can escape the heartbreak, humiliation, and secret shame of her failed marriage. The last thing she needs is temptation—especially from a man who reminds her so much of the husband who shattered her faith in love. But passion and destiny are about to change the rules for two people who have stopped believing in the healing power of love." ~ From Goodreads
Once Tempted is thoroughly enjoyable, beautifully crafted novel with gorgeous scene setting, landscape... and a beautiful love story. This book was slightly bloated at 400 pages, snipping away few scenes would have made the story more compact - but really that is the only critique I can give for this book, and it's only 1/2 star reduction. ;) And that was more than made up with all the detail and love that poured out of this book.
Both main characters were carefully crafted, Tess was a pleasure to read, she was vulnerable with the passing of her less than kind husband, her heart left wounded. But then she had that New York grit, a tough wall of I-don't-give-a-damn and guts - a very well built lovable character in awesome heels! ;) And the whole business with the money added a great angle to her character.
And Ward wasn't bad either... let me eloporate: I have always had the hots for gorgeous as god, dark cowboys with arrogant attitudes and quiet pride, that turn out to be kind, caring, loving, honorable and complitely loyal to the heroine - as well as awesome in the sack. ;) And there you have Ward, ten out of ten! *swoon* And as an added bonus you get his ex-fiancee ( what a bitch! ) stirring trouble and his pride and suspicion almost getting the best of him.
Lucky for us all Silver Creek is a series because I'm dying to know what's going to happen to the other siblings - who is going to tame the playboy Reid and give him a dose of domestic bliss - and just who is going to wean Quinn off her animal rescue duties enough to catch her attention and heart?
I fell in love with Laura Moore's beautifully written Silver Creek Ranch and it's owners, and can't wait to get back there.