One Hour of Magic by Melinda Cross
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Wow. I really liked this book. The intensity and character development was fantastic. I like how the layers pull back and you can see more and more about both characters. Daniel was definitely a deep guy. He was like the Beast to Holly (even though she didn't consider herself beautiful)'s Beauty. He was super-grumpy and angry and initially, it gave me a way different impression of him, but as Holly's perception changes, so did mine. That was very clever storytelling.
As I get older, I get jaded about the power and the allure of romance. I really crave a true blue romance with deep, powerful emotions and a strong bond between the couple. I always go back to Harlequin Presents because they are short novels, but they have the desired intensity in the short format, when done right. This one was done right. On the surface, Daniel doesn't seem as accessible a hero to the one in Pulse of the Heartland, but he's ten times the man that Nick was. I love characters who feel things deeply, especially when still waters run deep, or when they are just intense by nature. Daniel was a little of both. I liked how he challenged Holly to come out of her safe zone and to see the world deeper and differently.
I like heroes who are very strongly attracted to the heroine, but I want it from a "Can't Live Without Her" perspective as opposed to just scratching an itch. At first you can't tell which is driving Daniel. But the reveal gave me goosebumps. The end was so touching and it really ends this book on a high note. I'm not afraid to admit I did cry a little.
This one is worth tracking down if you can.
Overall rating: 4.5/5.0 stars.
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