||Black Opal Books
||Feb 11, 2011
The Heart of Roamnce
She’d saved his life…
Rafe Hawk refuses to accept the inheritance, of a large English estate, and the title that goes with it, after his birth father’s death because the man chose duty over the woman he loved and their son.
So when he finds himself temporarily living at Kinsale Hall, he’s not prepared to trust anyone associated with the place, including Trudi Delaney and her daughter.
So why, when he looks into their eyes, does he suddenly remember a woman who may have lost her life after a storm while saving his over a decade ago?
Now he could destroy hers.
Instinct warns Trudi Delaney the arrival of the contemptuous American architect at Kinsale Hall will change her life forever. Especially when she discovers he spends so much of his time in areas of Kinsale Hall off-limits to visitors.
Eleven years after escaping from her psychotic husband with a stranger, she’s still plagued by nightmares of events she can’t remember. Events such as, who fathered her beautiful daughter?
Now more than a decade later, she is confronted by another stranger. Will this one destroy everything she holds dear?
Duty is the theme of this captivating romance. The consequences of past choices that impact on Rafe Hawk, the hero's present and future decisions.
Duty is something Trudi Delaney knows all about, and there comes a time when she must put duty to herself and herfamily before others.
“Stop the car!” Rafe Hawk swung round to face the driver. “I recognise this road. You never said the commission to build those retirement units was at Kinsale Hall. You know damn well I swore never set foot in the place again, eleven years ago.”
Rage hazed his vision. “You knew I’d refuse the commission if you’d revealed the location, and because you withheld that vital information, Arthur, this contract is null and void.” He shot forward in his seat when Arthur tramped on the brakes.
His friend from their Uni days skewed round in his seat. “How long have we known each other?”
Startled by Arthur Clifton’s question, Rafe hesitated. “What’s the length of our friendship got to do with anything? Other than the fact you’re stretching it very thin, if you think I’ll set foot on Kinsale territory again.” He swung open the car door and leaped out, his fingers tunnelling through his windswept hair.
Brilliant blue skies overhead offered a large playground for the early summer sunshine, and the fluffy white clouds sailing by. He saw the high chimney-tops through the trees.
“Do you really think I’d bring you here without a very good reason?” Arthur remained in his seat, his hands on the steering wheel, watching Rafe pace up and down the soft verge beside the open-topped car.
"I can't think of a single reason good enough that justifies you resurrecting events that nearly cost me my life, and possibly cost the life on an unknown woman."
I recently reviewed a book by Sherry Gloag for this site. It was her debut novel, and I wasn’t too fond of it, but I remember thinking that with time, her writing was only going to get better. That is why I am exceptionally glad that I didn’t shy away from reviewing another of her books. From the first page, I could tell that “Duty Calls” was going to be better than the previous Gloag novel I had read.
Rafe goes unwillingly to his birth father’s estate to help an old school friend with an architectural project. The reason Rafe is furious about having to return to England becomes clear very quickly. In addition to his immense hatred of his birth father, Rafe had also had quite an unpleasant encounter on the estate with his half brother. It turns out that Rafe had beaten his brother, Danny, in a poker game, and Danny wasn’t anywhere close to happy about it. Maybe it was because Danny had wagered his wife in the game, leading the reader to wonder whether or not Rafe and Danny’s wife had a hot night together, or whether Rafe will turn out to be a decent guy who didn’t accept the wager.
Rafe and his friend Arthur fly to England to inspect the estate. It turns out that the woman who now owns the property is Arthur’s sister, Trudi. Trudi is a little bit uptight, but ultimately a very caring woman – she’s responsible for caring for her daughter, her best friend, and her best friend’s daughter. Trudi’s secrets are revealed pretty early on. It turns out that Trudi is the very same woman who Rafe won in the poker game. She also is, conveniently, missing part of her memory: the part that involves who the stranger she was sold to was. As a reader, we’re able to gather that Rafe is the father of Trudi’s child. Trudi has no idea who he is, though he does seem familiar to her. Rafe has no idea who Trudi is, which really bothered me, because they clearly slept together, and as there’s nothing wrong with Rafe’s memory, should he at least think that she seems vaguely familiar?
About halfway through, the intense animosity between Trudi and Rafe becomes almost unbearable. And then Rafe kisses her. The kiss is a game changer, as Rafe finally puts two and two together and realizes that Trudi was, in fact, the woman from 11 years before.
At this point, Trudi still isn’t quite sure what it is about Rafe that seems familiar, and it drives her crazy. She doesn’t like him, and wants him gone from her house, but at the same time she wants him to stay. And just as she realizes it, Rafe takes off, without a word, for Boston.
Rafe’s flight to Boston sets off a huge chain reaction that was masterfully connected to all of the stories previous events. I actually read the last half of this book much faster than the first half, because I was so anxious to find out what was going to happen. Even during the action, I was never able to forget that this was a romance novel – Rafe and Trudi’s tension and headbutting was so real, that sometimes I actually wondered if they would make it in the end.
I am so thrilled that didn’t shy away from giving this book a read. Even though this was only her third book, Sherry Gloag has come a long way from her first novel. The improvement in clarity, character development, and plot development was outstanding. And I truly did love these characters. Even the secondary ones were vibrant and relatable. This was a story about the importance of family and love, and it was beautifully done. I really enjoyed reading this one, and certainly wouldn’t hesitate to read another of Ms. Gloag’s novels.
Duty Calls, by Sherry Gloag, is a book that kept me reading nearly start to finish (I had to put it down to sleep, finally). Published by Black Opal Books, this new contemporary romance gets you invested in the characters and leaves you rooting for the happy ending.
Rafe is a cynic when it comes to love and romance. His father is one that put duty before love and Rafe is determined not to let love into his life. As a high profile architect, he is contracted by an old college friend to come to England and design some chalets for retired government personnel that need someplace out of the public eye to retire to. There just one catch. The chalets are located on his deceased father's estate. The estate that he is supposed to step up and take responsibility for but refuses. Of course, Rafe is unaware of all of this until he reaches England. The last time he stepped foot on this estate, he nearly lost his life - but he also spent a memorable night with a woman that disappeared with the morning light.
Trudi is the caretaker of the estate. Rafe thinks she is immoral due to a misunderstanding that isn't cleared up for quite some time. She lives at the estate with her friend that is dying of cancer, her friend's daughter and her own daughter. The two little girls win Rafe over with their sweetness, and Trudi gets to see the his nice side in his interaction with the girls and with her friend.
Trudi has a problem though. Well, a couple of problems actually. For one, she was in a brutally abusive marriage for years, so she doesn't trust easily. For another, the night she fled from that marriage is wiped from her memory. All she knows is that, on that night, she helped a stranger escape. A stranger that she can't remember. And it was the night her daughter was conceived. Will she be able to bring herself to trust another stranger?
This is a great read that you are sure to enjoy. Hopefully there will be a follow up book for a couple of the other guys in the book too. They could definitely carry a book on their own.
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