This must be my week for crying. I mean, I found myself tearing up a
couple of times while reading the Signet Christmas anthology. But while
reading Dinah McCall's most recent single title, I wasn't just tearing
up; I was out and out crying. Once again, she got me. She sure does
know how to tell a story that engages this reader's emotions.
Legend is a multi-layered tale. It is a paranormal based on a
supposed Apache legend. It is a story of two lovers separated by fate
and family who find each other again. And it is an tale about the
destructive power of evil, greed and selfishness.
Twelve years ago, seventeen year old Raine Beaumont left the small
Arizona town of Oracle when her parents moved. She left feeling
betrayed and abandoned by her love, Joseph Colorado. Now she is coming
back to take care of some unfinished business. She has one request to
make of Joseph.
Joseph is stunned to see the woman he had loved and who, he believed,
had betrayed him walk back into his life. He is even more stunned at
the request she makes. She wants to move the body of the stillborn son
she had given birth to almost twelve years ago from an impersonal
cemetery in Chicago to his father's land.
Joseph is distressed to learn that Raine had borne him a child and lost
the baby before she even held him in her arms. He is devastated to
discover that their parting had been engineered by her father who
objected to an Apache dating his daughter. He is saddened to realize
that, in his youthful pride, he had left the girl he loved to suffer
Joseph is certainly willing to agree to Raine's request, but he wants to
know why. He discovers that she suddenly has given up her job at the
Tribune and is leaving the city to travel around the world. She wants
her son to be where his grave can be tended.
Raine discovers that Joseph has matured markedly, that he seems older
and wiser than his years. And, indeed, such is the case, for Joseph has
become the hereditary guardian of the healing place, a place known to
only a few, whose powers can defeat any disease.
But knowledge of the healing place has come into the wrong hands.
Stuart Damon Rossi III has lots of money and little time. A
hemophiliac, his also suffers from congestive heart failure. When he
sees a young woman who only months before was dying of AIDs but who is
now the picture of health, he wants to know how this miracle has
happened. And he is willing to kill to get this knowledge.
Thus, we have the essence of the Legend. McCall is a gifted
storyteller whose characters are deftly drawn. If Joseph seems larger
than life, well, after all, he has been touched by the mysteries of the
universe. Raine has her secret, a secret that she finds she cannot
share with Joseph even after they learn to love again. She is a woman
who has suffered more than her share of pain and sorrow, and she needs
Joseph's healing love and healing place. The secondary characters –
Joseph's weak brother and the evil Rossi – are likewise fully developed
I am not an avid fan of paranormal romances, but somehow McCall always
makes me suspend disbelief and accept that there are forces in the
universe that are not accessible to my alarmingly prosaic mind. Most of
all, she makes me care about her characters. Legend is no
exception to this rule and I heartily recommend the book, especially to
those who don't mind smeared mascara.