Hard Lovin' Man

In Name Only

Tanner Ties

That McCloud Woman

The Texan’s Honor Bound Promise
by Peggy Moreland
(Silh. Desire #1750, $4.50, PG-13) ISBN 0-373-76750-1
This is a very different type of story – one that needed to be written but is not your typical sexy Desire novel. The story however is a little bit downbeat because it deals with lost family members in Vietnam, highlighting the ongoing saga of the families of soldiers listed as MIA. But don’t avoid it. The Texan’s Honor Bound Promise is a good story. It seemed like a lot of the background was missing, but if you can ignore that and take what is there, you’ll enjoy the romance and a look into something that affects many families but doesn’t get much press.

Sam Forrester is a Secret Forces Marine who is on leave to pursue a mission for a friend. He is looking for some type of letter that fits into a puzzle from men who were in Vietnam. His friend thinks that this letter was torn up and distributed by many members of one squad and sent home to their loved ones. He is trying to find all the pieces.

Leah Kittrell is one of the loved ones. Her father served in the unit and has been MIA since she was just a child. Her mother loved him so much, she basically drove herself crazy with grief, leaving Leah and her brother to grow up feeling rather neglected. Her brother ended up in Iraq and was killed, leaving behind a thirteen-year-old son and a grieving wife. Leah is determined to be the support for her nephew Craig, who seems to be drifting into the wrong crowd at school. One strategy she tries to help him is to find someone to rebuild her father’s vintage car, which was something her brother had hoped to do with his son.

Sam ends up at the house and Leah mistakes him for someone answering her ad. He allows her the misunderstanding and agrees to help her with the car, asking for a place to stay in lieu of a fee. He hopes to get the information while he is there. Thus we have a reason for their interactions, proximity and heat that comes off the pages.

Moreland takes us into the minds of both Sam and Leah, giving us both sides of this complicated tale. The sex is hot, but more importantly, they seem to connect emotionally. Craig’s feelings are handled well and Sam and Leah are able to help him in a way that seems realistic for an aunt and a guy he has never met. Of course, there is the “facts untold” that stand between them. As Sam gets to know Leah, he realizes that she hates the military, making it harder and harder for him to come clean. She is also detached from her feelings about her father and brother…she is full of hate but she hides it by downplaying what she is feeling. This leads us to the climax. Moreland handles it, although it does come together rather conveniently.

I enjoyed the tale and the romance. I didn’t quite understand what the importance of this letter was nor was it really finalized. I assume it is part of some bigger series. By not delving into more, it left the reader feeling that this was rather insignificant to be the purpose of Sam’s visit. The whole issue of Sam’s career and Leah’s hatred of the military is also conveniently solved. There are some other little details that are never explained such as how Sam knows so much about restoring cars…he made some comment about it being a guy thing, but that seemed weak at the time and still feels that way.

Overall, The Texan’s Honor-Bound Promise is a good story and romance based on a topic not often seen. Accept as that and enjoy.

--Shirley Lyons

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