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Heart of Gold

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She has a chance to find something more precious than gold, if she is brave enough to trust her heart. . . . Her intense passion for unlocking the secrets of the past is what made Carter Wessex an archeologist. Now she had been given a chance to dig on Farrell Mountain where a doomed party of minutemen lost their lives as well as the gold they were carrying during the R She has a chance to find something more precious than gold, if she is brave enough to trust her heart. . . . Her intense passion for unlocking the secrets of the past is what made Carter Wessex an archeologist. Now she had been given a chance to dig on Farrell Mountain where a doomed party of minutemen lost their lives as well as the gold they were carrying during the Revolutionary War. Carter refuses to let the mountain's owner, Nick Farrell, rattle her, even though she is all too aware of his sexy yet sardonic presence. Her work on the mountain could be the most significant find of her career . . . if she can pull herself away from the smoldering attraction that is undeniably growing between them. Beneath the steely looks Nick Farrell wears like a well-cut suit, he is a man of hidden tenderness. From his first meeting with Carter, there is an immediate flare, hotter than he has ever experienced before. But no one is more surprised than Nick when his desire for her deepens into something enduring. Now Nick must find a way to convince Carter that the real treasure to be found on Farrell Mountain is a true and lasting love. . . .


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She has a chance to find something more precious than gold, if she is brave enough to trust her heart. . . . Her intense passion for unlocking the secrets of the past is what made Carter Wessex an archeologist. Now she had been given a chance to dig on Farrell Mountain where a doomed party of minutemen lost their lives as well as the gold they were carrying during the R She has a chance to find something more precious than gold, if she is brave enough to trust her heart. . . . Her intense passion for unlocking the secrets of the past is what made Carter Wessex an archeologist. Now she had been given a chance to dig on Farrell Mountain where a doomed party of minutemen lost their lives as well as the gold they were carrying during the Revolutionary War. Carter refuses to let the mountain's owner, Nick Farrell, rattle her, even though she is all too aware of his sexy yet sardonic presence. Her work on the mountain could be the most significant find of her career . . . if she can pull herself away from the smoldering attraction that is undeniably growing between them. Beneath the steely looks Nick Farrell wears like a well-cut suit, he is a man of hidden tenderness. From his first meeting with Carter, there is an immediate flare, hotter than he has ever experienced before. But no one is more surprised than Nick when his desire for her deepens into something enduring. Now Nick must find a way to convince Carter that the real treasure to be found on Farrell Mountain is a true and lasting love. . . .

30 review for Heart of Gold

  1. 5 out of 5

    Julianna

    Reviewed for THC Reviews Heart of Gold was another solid story from Jessica Bird (aka J. R. Ward). It's a contemporary romance with just a touch of mystery and suspense. Ms. Bird has a history of writing unique characters and elements. In this case, the heroine is an archaeologist and her latest dig is the centerpiece of the story. Having always been a fan of history and archeology, I enjoyed this part a lot, especially the mystery of the missing gold. The heroine also has an antagonist in the fo Reviewed for THC Reviews Heart of Gold was another solid story from Jessica Bird (aka J. R. Ward). It's a contemporary romance with just a touch of mystery and suspense. Ms. Bird has a history of writing unique characters and elements. In this case, the heroine is an archaeologist and her latest dig is the centerpiece of the story. Having always been a fan of history and archeology, I enjoyed this part a lot, especially the mystery of the missing gold. The heroine also has an antagonist in the form of a fellow archaeologist, who has a track record of being unscrupulous and riding on the coattails of more talented scientists like Carter. He adds the element of suspense as he periodically menaces her throughout the dig. The main characters were likable and relatable. Both the hero and heroine are fairly intense, both having some past issues to put to rest before they can experience their HEA. Everything fit together perfectly to make this an entertaining read. I really liked that even though Carter grew up wealthy she isn't shallow. Money means nothing to her. She lives a relatively simple life immersed in her work. She's a very intelligent woman who is dedicated to preserving history. Carter has had a contentious relationship with her father ever since her mother's death. I initially appreciated and even admired her for selling all the ridiculously expensive gifts her father sent in an attempt to win back her love and giving the money to charity. However, we do eventually discover that some of the things she believed about her father are false, and she has to come to terms with that. Carter has a strong back-bone and isn't afraid to go toe-to-toe with Nick who was pretty rude to her in the beginning. I love how earthy Carter is. She's absolutely nothing like the women Nick usually dates, and I think that is a large part of what drew him to her. I was a little frustrated by Carter not telling anyone about her rival, Lyst, showing up at the dig, especially since he was behaving in a threatening manner. She did finally tell her friend and colleague, Buddy, but not Nick, who could have offered some measure of protection. It just seemed like a rather foolhardy decision for such an intelligent woman, but she was pretty stubborn and independent. Nick behaves like as icy blast of Arctic air during his first meeting with Carter. He's very rude and condescending toward her, and initially sees her as a means to an end, thinking that he can make Carter's father a more loyal business partner by helping him to reconcile with his daughter. Nick is a relentless corporate raider who has enjoyed great success in business, but he can't find a woman who doesn't want him just for his money. Family is very important to Nick. He adored his sister and took in his orphaned nephew, although now that the boy is a teenager, they are about to start WWIII with each other. I thought these things helped to show a softer side to Nick. Writing a commitment phobic bad boy who often says hurtful things can be a very delicate proposition, but I think overall, Ms. Bird did a nice job with Nick. She showed just enough vulnerability in him to off-set his bad behavior and make his eventual turnaround believable. There were also some good moments when he had the opportunity to demonstrate that he did have emotions as well as the ability to get in touch with them, and wasn't just a cold, unfeeling businessman. Nick and Carter have an intense and angsty relationship, but they also have explosive chemistry. Even when they were fighting during the early parts of the story, I could feel the underlying attraction bubbling beneath the surface. It tended to drive them to moments of acute anger and jealousy which sometimes turned to passion. I had very mixed feelings about Nick already having a girlfriend at the beginning though, and her being present for a while when he was already starting to have feelings for Carter. It did add another dimension to their conflict, but it still isn't my favorite way for an author to raise the stakes for a couple. In some ways it makes Nick seem fickle, because he broke up with Candace mere days before sleeping with Carter for the first time. Nick and Carter's love scenes were sensuous, but still pretty tame for this author when compared to her more recent works. I also had a small issue with them not using protection or even discussing it. Overall, I liked Nick and Carter as a couple, and their first romantic scenes together were lovely, but I think having the contention last so long put a little too much emotional distance between them and drew away some of the romantic mood. Heart of Gold has a strong cast of supporting characters. I particularly liked Nick's nephew, Cort, and thought that Ms. Bird did a great job of rendering him as a sullen, moody teenager who develops a case of unrequited puppy love for Carter, but then turns his attentions to someone his own age. Carter's friend and colleague, Buddy, was a jovial foil for her and the voice of reason when she was being a little too stubborn for her own good. Buddy's daughter, Ellie, was the consummate good girl. There were other lesser players who also helped to flesh out Nick and Carter's characters. One of those is Carter's best friend, Grace, who also funds Carter's dig. She only appeared in a phone conversation with Carter at the beginning, but she becomes the heroine of An Unforgettable Lady. I wouldn't quite consider these books to be a series though (neither does the author or her publisher apparently), because the connections are minimal enough that readers wouldn't really be missing anything crucial or be confused by reading them out of order. Overall, Heart of Gold was an engaging read that held my attention quite well. The only thing that really kept me from giving it a higher rating was all that distance between Nick and Carter. I think having two characters with such intense personalities and so much emotional baggage was maybe just a tad too much. But despite that, I still felt it was a very strong 4 stars that I have no trouble recommending to anyone who enjoys contemporary romance.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nefise

    It was quite engaging story for me. I like the mystery and attraction between hero and heroine.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Mojca

    Heart of Gold Well, it was better than Leaping Hearts, but still not par with her latest work under the name of J.R. Ward (though we're talking about two completely different genres).Once again I found myself hating the heroine. Her reasoning was rather narrow-minded, she loved double-standards, she simply couldn't make up her mind about herself, her father, the hero...Everything. I simply couldn't stand the woman.   I loved Nick (the hero, though). Despite all his flaws, his cold mask, and his te Heart of Gold Well, it was better than Leaping Hearts, but still not par with her latest work under the name of J.R. Ward (though we're talking about two completely different genres).Once again I found myself hating the heroine. Her reasoning was rather narrow-minded, she loved double-standards, she simply couldn't make up her mind about herself, her father, the hero...Everything. I simply couldn't stand the woman.   I loved Nick (the hero, though). Despite all his flaws, his cold mask, and his temper, the guy quickly wormed his way into his heart and hasn't left yet. There's just something about a guy who plans his seduction rather meticulously and then ends up completely head-over-heels, mooning after the woman without exactly knowing how he got that way.   I love these kind of storylines, because I'd give anything to somehow reform a bad-boy. Not entirely, naturally, he has to retain his badness, but reform him just enough to make him see that he doesn't lose his 'tude just by falling in love.   And after this slight heart-outpouring let me tell you, this was a sweet, little contemporary romance, though the little jaunt into the suspense waters turned said waters a little to murky for my taste, making the story a little too genre-crammed. I liked it, though.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Lina

    This is the first book, written by J. D. Ward, that doesn't have any paranormal or sci fi plot and heroes in it. It was sooo nice reading it. The story goes fast. And they were moments when I wished to be on the same place with all the characters including the beautiful nature and scenery :). This is the first book, written by J. D. Ward, that doesn't have any paranormal or sci fi plot and heroes in it. It was sooo nice reading it. The story goes fast. And they were moments when I wished to be on the same place with all the characters including the beautiful nature and scenery :).

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dorothy Shaw

    Still another sweet romance from JR Ward - but she started to break out of the shell in this one. Overall I enjoyed the book and the characters. =)

  6. 5 out of 5

    Pennie Morgan

    This was pretty good, definitely early in J. R. Ward's career. Carter Wessex wants to dig on Nick Farrell's mountain looking for early American artifacts. It was quite a fight between them and fighting the attraction was something else. Definitely enjoyed this one. This was pretty good, definitely early in J. R. Ward's career. Carter Wessex wants to dig on Nick Farrell's mountain looking for early American artifacts. It was quite a fight between them and fighting the attraction was something else. Definitely enjoyed this one.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Francesca the Fierce (Under the Covers Book Blog)

    This review was posted at Under the Covers There is a pretty big distinction in the writing when I read a Jessica Bird book as opposed to a J.R. Ward book. It also shows how much the author has grown into her own voice as a writer. With HEART OF GOLD, her second book ever published, I found the story to be a thrown together. Don't get me wrong, it was still cute but there was no originality and the conflicts were weird and felt like they were building up to something big that never came and the This review was posted at Under the Covers There is a pretty big distinction in the writing when I read a Jessica Bird book as opposed to a J.R. Ward book. It also shows how much the author has grown into her own voice as a writer. With HEART OF GOLD, her second book ever published, I found the story to be a thrown together. Don't get me wrong, it was still cute but there was no originality and the conflicts were weird and felt like they were building up to something big that never came and the resolutions were just...too easy. Nick Farrell is a sexy hero. Hot, young, rich and very much the brooding and grouchy type. Used to always getting his way and quite often rude to others. His sister died recently leaving him in charge of taking care of his teenage nephew. He's had archaeologists asking to dig on his mountain looking for gold for a long time and it's not until beautiful and young Carter Wessex asks him that he agrees. And that has everything to do with his attraction. First the issue of Nick's nephew having a crush on Carter, then the reason why Carter hasn't talked to her father since her mother's death, then the fact that Nick is apparently in love with this woman without actually spending any time getting to know her just a few small conversations and well of course sex. There were just so many things that could've blown up into something more and given depth to the story but never did. I thought the book was an enjoyable, light read. Although I have other authors that I enjoy more than this to read when I'm in this kind of mood, HEART OF GOLD was still sweet with a touch of sexy enough to like it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Jessica Bird is a pseudonym for J.R. Ward of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Heart of Gold was published in 2003 and it has an alpha male and some of the wit and tension of the earlier Brotherhood books. A contemporary romance, it is the story of Carter Wessex and Nick Farrell, two strong professionals who rattle each other verbally while trying to figure out emotionally what each means to the other. Outwardly gruff and curt, Nick Farrell handles everything better in black and white. Respected as a Jessica Bird is a pseudonym for J.R. Ward of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Heart of Gold was published in 2003 and it has an alpha male and some of the wit and tension of the earlier Brotherhood books. A contemporary romance, it is the story of Carter Wessex and Nick Farrell, two strong professionals who rattle each other verbally while trying to figure out emotionally what each means to the other. Outwardly gruff and curt, Nick Farrell handles everything better in black and white. Respected as a sharp businessman he has trouble showing emotion with people who become close to him. He has custody of his teenage nephew Cort who loves to bicker with Nick. Add Carter to this mix, someone who does not back down from his blunt manners, and this intrigues him. Carter, a young archeologist, is working on some land that Nick owns. She has her own predicaments: she has almost severed her relationship with her father because of some issues and a co-worker is giving her trouble. These are the two weaker areas of the book that drag the storyline and caused me to give the book three stars rather than four or five. Carter is a strong heroine and a smart individual; I found it hard to believe that she would have not have dealt better with each of these complications. Still, Ms. Bird has a written a sweet romance that tugs at your heart. Read this fiction if you want a nice romance. The chemistry between Nick and Carter is appealing. Cort is endearing as a 16 year old who has a crush on Carter and lends some believability to the older characters' relationship. Nick loves Cort but has a hard time figuring out how to manage this obstacle. Just don't expect an abundance of suspense with Carter's problems and you won't be disappointed.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    The second book of this author has been re-released after the success of her two series. I am very happy with that, because it is a wonderful book that is easily and fun to read. I could hardly put it down. Nick and Carter are matched against each other. The discussions between the two are well written. The other people in the book are written down as real persons. Like people you can just walk into in real life. Also funny to see people come along, whom in later books will be the main characters The second book of this author has been re-released after the success of her two series. I am very happy with that, because it is a wonderful book that is easily and fun to read. I could hardly put it down. Nick and Carter are matched against each other. The discussions between the two are well written. The other people in the book are written down as real persons. Like people you can just walk into in real life. Also funny to see people come along, whom in later books will be the main characters. Carter doesn’t like rich men after the death of her mother, she doesn’t want to talk to her father. But Nick has a mountain on his land where probably a historic find place is hidden, but nobody is allowed do dig there. Carter neither, but then Nick changes his mind and allowes her to do the job. She thought that Nick would not be at present, but he is. The attraction between Nick and Carter is causing fireworks between them. Both find it difficult to trust the other. Will they trust each other at last? For that you have to read the book, you also discover what is found on the mountain that way.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mareli

    I liked it a lot. Normal people (even if he's a sort of supermillionaire), fun and romantic. A very relaxing reading. I liked it a lot. Normal people (even if he's a sort of supermillionaire), fun and romantic. A very relaxing reading.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

    3.5 or maybe 3.75 Gosh, where do I start? First of all, Jessica Bird aka J.R. Ward is my favorite author and I'm always sad to give something below 4 or 5 so this is totally unrealistic. I'll start with things I didn't like. First thing, well actually a person.. was Nick, aka the main male character. He was one of those rich boys that thinks he can get anything he wants. He was extremely rude to Carter and he didn't even know her... Well, Carter wasn't any nicer, still tho it started from him. The 3.5 or maybe 3.75 Gosh, where do I start? First of all, Jessica Bird aka J.R. Ward is my favorite author and I'm always sad to give something below 4 or 5 so this is totally unrealistic. I'll start with things I didn't like. First thing, well actually a person.. was Nick, aka the main male character. He was one of those rich boys that thinks he can get anything he wants. He was extremely rude to Carter and he didn't even know her... Well, Carter wasn't any nicer, still tho it started from him. The lack of feminism and self love/respect in this book was rather disturbing to me. I will never understand those hate (but actual hate) to love romances, I think they're unhealthy and based only on lust that was created between the characters. So, basically, the thing that I didn't like about this romance book was, well the romance. What I did like was Buddy and Cort. Those two were absolutely hilarious and Buddy's lines had me laughing the way he friendly mocked Carter for being in love was such an amazing representation of friendship and crushes. Cort, a troubled teen, has such hilarious and amazing lines, and him shading Nick gave me life, even tho sometimes it was incredibly rude because no child should talk to their uncle like that. Nick had some good and funny lines too, when he wasn't an ass. Their family relationship was, however, written amazingly. All of the family relationships, actually. We had Buddy and his daughter Ellie, which showed as a happy family full og love. We had Carter and her dad, the family that holds grudges because of something that happened years ago but turned out to be a misunderstanding. And Nick and Cort, the family that is a bit difunctionl but eventually becomes a happy one (no such thing in real life but that's why we call this fiction). Also, the smut in this book was amazing. Warden's smut is generally amazing and I missed it in her BDB series, and to read it again was so amazing and like coming back home. And the last thing I'd like to say is that, no matters the bad romance I really liked and enjoyed this book, I don't think I wasted my time on it, I had fun time reading it. The story and plot, besides romance, was amazingly written.

  12. 5 out of 5

    ALPHAreader

    Carter Wessex has just had the dig of a lifetime dangled before her. A promising young archaeologist, Carter loves a good mystery and a challenge. But she’s going to get both, in spades, with Nick Farrell. Nick owns a good parcel of land, including Farrell Mountain which, legend tells, is the final resting ground of Revolutionary War soldiers and the gold that got them killed. But Farrell, a renowned businessman, has never given permission for authorities to dig on his mountain. He has even gone Carter Wessex has just had the dig of a lifetime dangled before her. A promising young archaeologist, Carter loves a good mystery and a challenge. But she’s going to get both, in spades, with Nick Farrell. Nick owns a good parcel of land, including Farrell Mountain which, legend tells, is the final resting ground of Revolutionary War soldiers and the gold that got them killed. But Farrell, a renowned businessman, has never given permission for authorities to dig on his mountain. He has even gone so far as to chase money-grubbing archaeologists off his mountain, with the help of his gun-wielding grounds keeper. But recent evidence has, illegally, come to light confirming that Farrell Mountain holds the key to a Revolutionary mystery and possible gold, and Carter Wessex is determined to dig. Normally Nick Farrell would flat refuse any offers to dig on his mountain – but Carter Wessex is the estranged daughter of one of Nick’s business partners. Not to mention she’s also disarmingly beautiful, and not afraid to put Nick in his place. He is intrigued and willing to let Carter and her team dig on his mountain if it means getting to the mystery of her. . . ‘Heart of Gold’ was the 2003 stand-alone romance novel written by J.R. Ward (under the name Jessica Bird) which has recently been re-packaged (along with ‘Leaping Heart’), following the crazy success of her paranormal ‘Black Dagger Brotherhood’ series. Before the crux of the plot starts to unwind, Bird introduces readers to two fairly complicated individuals in Carter Wessex and Nick Farrell. Carter is a smart and gutsy archaeologist, one of the youngest and most celebrated in her field. She can usually be found knee-deep in dirt, wearing tatty clothes and jet-setting all around the world – if only to avoid her estranged father’s pleading devotion. Carter and her father have not spoken since her mother’s death, and while we don’t know the reason for the prolonged silence, Carter is adamant that it’s all her father’s fault. When the gold on Farrell Mountain is dangled before Carter (though she’s far more interested in the bones of the Revolutionary soldiers) she is reluctant to follow the dig, for more than just the reasons of Nick’s infamous refusal to permit people on his mountain. She knows that Nick and her father probably travel in the same business circles, and she cringes at the idea of bumping into him. But the bones on Farrell Mountain call to her, and Carter takes a chance. . . Nick Farrell, meanwhile, is at the end of this tether. His young sister died a few years ago, leaving Nick as the sole guardian of his teenage nephew, Cort. The boy has some medical problems and unaddressed issues concerning his parent’s death. But worst of all, Cort is a teenager and rebelling against his uncle seems to be his number one hobby at the moment. The two of them seem to constantly be at loggerheads, at a perpetual impasse. But when Nick decides to let Carter Wessex and her small team dig on his mountain, the experience of helping out on the dig opens Cort and Nick’s struggling relationship up and gives the boy a new purpose over the school holidays. Nick’s motives for letting Carter dig are somewhat selfish. Yes, she is beautiful and feisty and he is intrigued – but Nick is also thinking of business prospects with her estranged father, if he can be the peace-maker that brings these two together again, surely the old man would owe Nick a favour or two. . . She took a deep breath, wrapping her arms around her body. “So I’m supposed to believe you’ve asked around, read my curriculum vitae, and suddenly decided the sum of my virtues is sufficient to justify changing your mind? I don’t get it.” “Perhaps conversions happen,” he murmured, “even in people like me.” “I’ll believe that when I see it.” “Maybe you just need to get to know me better. I could have a heart of gold under this gruff exterior.” “That would be fool’s gold, no doubt.” He laughed, a low, husky sound. I bought this book on a whim – curious to read J.R. Ward when she was Jessica Bird and before her Black Dagger Brotherhood’ series. I read her ‘Moorehouse Legacy’ series and ‘The Billionaire Next Door’ book for the same reason, and got some enjoyment out of them. ‘Heart of Gold’ is just ‘okay’ by comparison. The entire storyline is pretty predictable from the blurb alone, and as far as the sexy stuff goes – this is probably the tamest Warden book I've read. Carter and Nick’s romantic appeal rests in their sparking chemistry and witty parrying. It’s there, but it’s not particularly clever and reads sort of like paint-by-numbers for romantic conflict and tension. Actually the most interesting thing about this book is reading the escalating drama, when a rival archaeologist called Conrad Lyst starts making trouble on the mountain, and threatening Carter. The storyline is as outlandish as it sounds, and I didn’t find it interesting so much for the cheesy plot-twists, but because I really started to see how Jessica Bird could be slowly drawn more towards the urban fantasy/paranormal romance side of things . . . I really felt like ‘Heart of Gold’ started out as a stock-standard romance. Rich millionaire who can’t commit is intrigued by a made-her-own-way millionaire’s daughter who likes to (literally) get down and dirty. For a little while Bird follows the suspected trajectory – but then she seemed to get a bit bored. She threw a spanner in the works with Conrad Lyst, and suddenly there were threats and kidnappings. The plot just seemed to suddenly explode into this completely different action book. With the BDB series in the back of my mind, I thought I could definitely see why the more outlandish paranormal romance genre would appeal to the Warden – because I truly felt like she wanted to stay with the fast-paced and dangerous kidnapping/action plot for longer. All in all ‘Heart of Gold’ is so-so. If you’re reading this hoping to fill the ‘Black Dagger Brotherhood’ void between releases, you’ll probably be disappointed. This is thoroughly contemporary romance, and while the Warden (as Bird) herself seemed to be a bit over the strictly lovey-dovey stuff, judging by the sudden careening action plot-twist, fans of her paranormal work will probably just be bored. As a contemporary romance it’s okay – not great, not terrible, but if this had been my first encounter with Jessica Bird I probably wouldn’t have been moved to read through her backlist. 2.5/5

  13. 4 out of 5

    TheMadHatter

    This book was first published in 2003, about 2 years before the first Black Dagger Brotherhood book was released. It is a contemporary romance book about Carter (an archaeologist) and Nick (a business tycoon how owns a mountain that Carter wants to excavate). The biggest criticism against JR Ward is that she can't write female characters (with all the Chosen crap etc) and this book further cements that. This is supposedly about a smart, independent woman - but the whole time she is whining or th This book was first published in 2003, about 2 years before the first Black Dagger Brotherhood book was released. It is a contemporary romance book about Carter (an archaeologist) and Nick (a business tycoon how owns a mountain that Carter wants to excavate). The biggest criticism against JR Ward is that she can't write female characters (with all the Chosen crap etc) and this book further cements that. This is supposedly about a smart, independent woman - but the whole time she is whining or throwing tantrums or doing illogical things like not reporting a maniac at the digsite who threatens physical and sexual abuse even though there is a teenage girl staying up there (sometimes on her own). A whole pile of stuff that make her totally unlikable and make you spend your entire time going "who the hell wrote this character?". Add in really wooden (and cringe-worthy) dialogue and a psychotic archaeologist who kidnaps the heroine and the whole book is just silly with very little chemistry. I listened to this on audiobook and at one stage put it at 1.7 speed because I just was over it and thought it couldn't get any worse with high pitched voices :-P. It is no surprise that I love JR Ward and if this is an evolutionary step in the writing process to turn her into the writer she is today then I am all for that. But this story was just painful....

  14. 5 out of 5

    Debbie DiFiore

    Liked the mystery more than the romance The story of Reverend Winship and his gold was far better than the romance. I hate when the hero has a other girlfriend for 30% of the book. They were even sleeping together but there was no scenes thank goodness. But he was lusting and kissing on the heroine at the same time. He called his girlfriend back because he needed sex He thought and so she came back and stayed with him in his room and bed. The hero didn't even like her. And so then he decides he Liked the mystery more than the romance The story of Reverend Winship and his gold was far better than the romance. I hate when the hero has a other girlfriend for 30% of the book. They were even sleeping together but there was no scenes thank goodness. But he was lusting and kissing on the heroine at the same time. He called his girlfriend back because he needed sex He thought and so she came back and stayed with him in his room and bed. The hero didn't even like her. And so then he decides he wants the heroine he sends the girlfriend away, and sleep with the heroine the next day. In the same bed. I was squicked out but the heroine didn't seem to be. So the romance part did get better eventually but it ruined that for me. But the mystery and the teen nephew and a nefarious colleague kept me engaged in the book. The book was well written and kept my interest even though I just planned on skimming it. I ended up reading it all through and it had a cute ending. With a Red Hawk no less. It was rumored to be the spirit of the Indian that had led the expedition into the wilderness. All in all a nice read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Veronica Rivera

    An unexpected surprise. This was the second book ever written by JR Ward. This was when she was still writing as Jessica Bird. This book was full of great imagery of the Adirondack Mountains, it's lakes, it's mystery. We can almost see how the female character who is an archeologist and her team unearth the site and find pieces from the colonial past. The characters were vivid, it felt like as a reader you got transported into the scene, and as both Nick Farrell and Carter Wessex dance around thei An unexpected surprise. This was the second book ever written by JR Ward. This was when she was still writing as Jessica Bird. This book was full of great imagery of the Adirondack Mountains, it's lakes, it's mystery. We can almost see how the female character who is an archeologist and her team unearth the site and find pieces from the colonial past. The characters were vivid, it felt like as a reader you got transported into the scene, and as both Nick Farrell and Carter Wessex dance around their attraction you want them to just submit to what they feel. I enjoyed the story, I can definitely see how from Nick Farrell you can easily jump into the alpha world of the Black Dagger Brotherhood. Even the female character of Carter Wessex is not a pushover, she knows her mind, is as hard headed and strong willed as much as the male character. Side characters always lend an air of family connection that is needed, no one can stand truly alone, there is always someone to lean on, even when you try to deny it. Overall great read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    I cannot even begin to tell you how terrible this book is. I think I should just list the infuriating things I encountered. Lack of character development. Misogynistic, sexist (bears repeating), not at all likable male lead. Bumbling, idiotic, not at all likable female lead. Way too many tangents to the story. Weird supernatural element that is just kinda barely talked about. Seriously this heroine is a moron. She finds one of the biggest discoveries in her career and then takes a day off to go I cannot even begin to tell you how terrible this book is. I think I should just list the infuriating things I encountered. Lack of character development. Misogynistic, sexist (bears repeating), not at all likable male lead. Bumbling, idiotic, not at all likable female lead. Way too many tangents to the story. Weird supernatural element that is just kinda barely talked about. Seriously this heroine is a moron. She finds one of the biggest discoveries in her career and then takes a day off to go on a boat ride? She is threatened with rape and bodily harm but tells no one, not even the father OF THE 15 YEAR OLD GIRL IN HARMS way. That being said rape is treated way too lightly in this book. You aren't assaulted and the shake it off to never think of it again. The lead keeps calling Carter "woman" and talking down to her and she just takes it. This book is a sexist nightmare. And to top it off there is not an ounce of chemistry between the two and the romance is non existent.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Dekaydreader

    Started out very promisingly, and Bird is one of the rare romance authors who doesn't depend on spell check to pick a homonym out of the hat at random, and knows her grammar. I enjoyed it at the outset, but it simply got too sweet and gooey as it went along. Plus, I never could figure out why Carter kept lying about Lyst. It simply made no sense, except insofar as it helped the fox into the henhouse, as it were. I'm not a fan of the idea that some character has to do something monumentally and i Started out very promisingly, and Bird is one of the rare romance authors who doesn't depend on spell check to pick a homonym out of the hat at random, and knows her grammar. I enjoyed it at the outset, but it simply got too sweet and gooey as it went along. Plus, I never could figure out why Carter kept lying about Lyst. It simply made no sense, except insofar as it helped the fox into the henhouse, as it were. I'm not a fan of the idea that some character has to do something monumentally and inexplicably idiotic, flying against all common sense, to punch up the story line. (The basis for all teen slasher flicks...) Anyway, I much prefer her J. R. Ward persona, all full of grit and edge. If you like it more on the sentimental side, this is for you. If you like it dark and rough, go for Ward - but start at the beginning of a series for the best kick.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    This is the first book I read that was outside of the BDB universe. I enjoyed the development of Nick and Carter a great deal. Bold, feisty Carter is so relatable. Her independence and fire is admirable. Nick, well, he's intimidating to most, but not Carter. Their interactions were fun to read. I felt the progress of the story was a great pace. Nothing felt rushed. I had wanted to know what happened with creeper. Good book. This is the first book I read that was outside of the BDB universe. I enjoyed the development of Nick and Carter a great deal. Bold, feisty Carter is so relatable. Her independence and fire is admirable. Nick, well, he's intimidating to most, but not Carter. Their interactions were fun to read. I felt the progress of the story was a great pace. Nothing felt rushed. I had wanted to know what happened with creeper. Good book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Emmalee

    I didn't care for the undertone of violence, control and borderline abuse in this one. I know it's romance, and some people want that control aspect in romance, but it's too much to bridge between the characters changing in personality. I didn't care for the undertone of violence, control and borderline abuse in this one. I know it's romance, and some people want that control aspect in romance, but it's too much to bridge between the characters changing in personality.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Emma Flemming

    Awww I really enjoyed that! Nick was such a crab, but Carter brought him around and she herself learned to forgive and with it, regained the ability to trust. Another great instalment 😊

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ivelisse Muniz

    Very good I like so much this writer, is so interesting, romantic and I like the drama here. I recommended them, also her series.

  22. 4 out of 5

    TinaMarie

    Not an easy romance, entertaining

  23. 4 out of 5

    Virginia

    I liked all the characters in this one. I liked the archeological aspects as well but I just couldn’t get all the distrust of the characters esp not the heroine not sharing about a threat.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ana Kochhann

    Such a great romance, strong characters in a beautiful place.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Vicki

    Awesome read! I couldn't put it down. J R Ward writing as Jessica Bird. Great Read. Really enjoyable. Awesome read! I couldn't put it down. J R Ward writing as Jessica Bird. Great Read. Really enjoyable.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Delphine

    really enjoyed this re read of some early JR Ward. Brilliant.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Natane

    The actual story and plot in this one were quite good. The sex was rushed, but that's JR Ward's style, it seems. But overall, a decent way to spend a snowy afternoon. The actual story and plot in this one were quite good. The sex was rushed, but that's JR Ward's style, it seems. But overall, a decent way to spend a snowy afternoon.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ruby

    Ward fan I love everything she writes. It’s a wonderful story for light reading and I can’t wait to complete her early book set.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sara

    DNF @ 54% liked everything about this books besides the romance.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Didka

    3,4 stars

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