TEARS OF GOLD by Laurie McBain

PUB. INFO: Sourcebooks, August 1, 2011
SETTING: Louisana & California, 1850
TIMESPAN: A year or so

To many, she has a perfect life-freedom to travel the world, expensive gifts from wealthy men. Consummate actress though she is, she can never make herself believe the love is real. One more job. That's all she needs to ensure her family's financial future. And California is just teeming with gold. There, her daring impersonation will fool everyone...except one man.

The wealthy Creole's dreams are haunted by her laughing golden eyes. He will not rest until he has his vengeance for what the temptress did to his nephew, no matter how far he as to go to find her. But once he meets Mara in the flesh, he sees through her façade of rigid control and begins a new pursuit...one that will make her abandon everything to desire-this time to stay.

MY THOUGHTS: This didn't live up to my expectations in any way. Mara, 20, and her older brother Brendan, 26, involved themselves in an odd charade that didn't make much sense to me. When the hero, Nicholas, 35ish, discovered it, his reaction should have been more explosive than it was.

This wasn't much of a love story. The main couple didn't meet until over 100 pages in. They didn't spend too much time together until about the last third of the story. I never sensed an emotional connection between them. Yes, they were attracted to each other and it was evident with Nicholas but Mara, she always seemed indifferent toward Nicholas. They admitted their love for one another at one point but I was left feeling cold about it. They never seemed like a true couple to me.

I didn't care for Mara's brother Brendan at all. The story could have done without him. He was prominently featured throughout most of the story. I found him to be very annoying and I didn't like this personality or he way he spoke. I did like his six year old son, Paddy, a lot. Brendan and Paddy's mother are married yet estranged from one another. She's a pretty evil woman and you'll get to read about her should you ever read this book.

I wasn't paticularily interested in the heroes family and he sure had a lot of it. One male relative in paticular is pretty evil. Nicholas wasn't as exciting a hero as I'd have liked for him to have been. He wasn't alpha enough for me. Mara, she was OK as a heroine but nothing special. I liked that she was helping her brother raise Paddy and Paddy saw her as his mother.

Overall, this was a pretty boring story that was filled with unmemorable characters. It could have been 150 pages shorter too.

I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Below is the original cover and synopsis along with a photo of the author.
Haunted by the memory of her aristocratic father's desertion of his mistress and children, Mara O'Flynn grew up despising men. She sought her livelihood in the theater, where, as a beautiful actress, she found vengeance in enchanting and discarding suitors, teasing them with subtle promises of ecstasy only to reject them with an air of finely tuned cruelty. It was an amusing sport...until the young Lord Julian--half mad with desire--shot himself. Then Mara, with her brother Brendan and his small son Paddy, departed for America. Brendan hoped to strike it rich in the California hills...Mara wanted only to forget young Julian's desperate act. She had no idea that Julian's uncle, Nicholas Chantale, was in pursuit. Dashing, reckless and rich, Nicholas Chantale had vowed revenge on the temptress who brought his nephew to such an extreme. Nicholas desired one thing--to win the affection of this evil beauty and then spurn her! Unsuspecting, Mara found herself in love, her long-suppressed passions awakened for the first time....by a man whose seductive allure concealed the hate in his heart.

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