Marriage at Circle M

by Donna Alward
Heart to heart love!

Marriage At Circle M is a short tender romance set in ranching country between a hero and heroine who have known each other for a long time but who discover each other anew as they reveal their secrets and vulnerabilities in heart-to-heart exchanges. These conversations vary from tender to dynamic and fiery.

Grace Lundquist returns home, determined to hide her pain and her past. She is a hard worker, always there for everyone. The town loves her but what about her childhood sweetheart who upped and left when things got to serious? Of all the people to show up back in her life, Grace just has to encounter Mike Gardner, the man behind all her pain, the man she never really stopped loving! Grace and Mike know each other down to the very soul, but that certainly doesn't mean things will be easy. Knowing someone intimately isn't quite the same as loving someone. Can their heart-to-heart conversations lead to love or will Grace's secret be more than either of them can handle?

The title of the mini-series Heart to Heart is perfect for this romance! Donna Alward narrows the plot action down to specific moments and focuses instead on the interrelation between the hero and heroine. It works well in this romance. The reader see both the intimacy and the distance between the hero and heroine in their heart-to-heart conversations. These two really do know each other at heart but also, as they share, that knowledge becomes more intimate. The reader feels the love growing between Grace and Mike as they begin to share their vulnerabilities. Marriage At Circle M shows how intimate talks are wonderful but don't exactly equate to romance itself. Dating a good conversationalist is easy but love takes more than just a good heart-to-heart talk. As the reader hears Grace and Mike talk --- including their mistakes with one another ---- the happily ever after of this romance has more power than just a good talk. Mike and Grace find a certain intimacy and understanding of one another's hearts that will sustain them long after the book's ending. Nice!

As a reader, I particularly appreciate a romances that have heroines who represent women in all our variety. In Marriage At Circle M, Donna Alward goes beyond a stereotype of the traditional romance woman in her creation of the heroine. A nice twist in Grace's character!

From the back cover:
Secrets are hard to keep in a small town…

But Grace Lundquist is determined to hide her pain. Hardworking and always cheerful, she's the town's sweetheart. Everybody loves her.…

Grace knows that one man isn't fooled. When Mike Gardner looks at her, she feels he can see right into her soul. But, try as she might to keep the strong, gorgeous cowboy out of her business, Grace can't douse the spark between them.…

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