Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Length: Short Story (138 pgs)
Fresh from the post-Civil War salons and drawing rooms of Boston, Lucy McKenna considers herself a sophisticated young woman. But when she meets Texas rancher Ambrose Quince, she turns into a flustered girl. He’s too old, war roughened and unrefined—and she has no idea how to deal with the sensual hunger he inspires.
Ambrose falls fast and hard for the innocent debutante visiting Eclipse, Texas. Persuading Lucy to accept his pursuit becomes a duel of wits and passion as he awakens her desire.
Lucy leaves Boston and childhood behind when she becomes Mrs. Ambrose Quince. Her lonely days on the Double-Q ranch are filled with work and frustration. But the nights are spent in her husband’s arms, learning carnal awareness…one molten caress at a time.
Lucille “Lucy” McKenna only wanted to stay in Boston to keep living the life to which she had become accustomed, and of course attend the society functions that all proper young ladies of a certain age attend as part of their season. She would flirt and dance her way through until she found a suitable match for a husband, but a trip out of town soured those ideas. Lucy’s father decides to take on a new life direction that will involve bringing his only child with him. It was never supposed to be a permanent situation or at least that’s what Lucy thought.
Ambrose Quince wasn’t exactly looking for a wife, but there she was having just arrived in town. Love at first sight wasn’t expected either, but there it was all the same. When Lucy refuses his advances, it only fuels his need to have her. She is a challenge in so many ways, but he sees right through the exterior to the woman and ranch wife beneath. Now Ambrose just needs to convince her that there is something more to him aside from his gruff exterior.
The story reads like a young woman’s journal as she experiences working and living a Texas life back in the 1800’s. Lucy has quite an awakening as she travels from the sophistication of Boston society to the rugged and simplistic living of Texas. It is a somewhat painful transition that Lucy endures and reading it from her perspective creates an automatic connection with the reader. Along her journey, she learns what it is like to truly be free from societal bonds and live a more meaningful life. Lucy is a very naive character and most times others take her ignorance and treat her like a child, which only serves to make her more determined. They believe her to be petulant and spoiled and at times she is, but not to an extreme and they most certainly didn’t expect her gumption.
The interactions of men and women and the place a woman has in the home during this time period is very well portrayed in this story. The dialogue and character dynamics were also quite engaging. The pacing, however, was a bit choppy as it seemed to focus on certain scenes and then fast forward without warning through others. The intimacy between Lucy and Ambrose was very erotic yet sensually done in a way that transmits the emotions clearly. I very much enjoyed the well-roundedness of the story and the transformation of Lucy from girl to woman.
Being a fan of Ms. Sivad’s work, I would absolutely recommend this story to fans of historical western romance. And if you haven’t tried this author before, this story is an excellent place to start.