Review: There All Along by Lauren Dane and Megan Hart

there all alongReviewed by Jen

This two story anthology features novellas by Lauren Dane and Megan Hart. The blurb says they are set in futuristic worlds, though I felt like the Hart story had a more sci-fi feel, and Dane’s had a more Old West flavor.

Land’s End – Verity Coleman is tired of putting aside what she wants to please others. Married off to an abusive husband at the age of 14, becoming a widow was the best thing that ever happened to her. For the past few years, she has been nursing a crush on Loyal, the lawman who travels into town every few months. But she’s ready to act on her feelings and seize the opportunity to get out of the town that’s stifling her.

I liked Loyal. He’s not exactly the strong, silent type, but he’s close. He’s kind of a big gruff man who has never settled down, never had any roots. But he looks forward to the days he gets in the young widow’s company. He dreams of her. He wants her. But he thinks he’s no good for her. (One of my favorite tropes!) I really enjoyed watching her break down his resolve and seduce him into the kind of relationship they both wanted.

The story did drag for me at times. Occasionally, I was tempted to skim the narrative to get back to the parts where the romance was unfolding. Verity and Loyal had great chemistry, though. And their love scenes are smoking hot.

Rating: B/B-

By the Sea of Sand – I enjoyed this sci-fi romance story a bit more than the first novella. Set in another world, it focuses on Telia, a woman with a young son, who takes in wounded soldiers to heal. She thought she was a widow, until her latest soldier turns out to be her husband, Kason, who was taken by the enemy. The bad guys altered him somehow, suppressing his memories. And Talia can’t clue him in without possibly setting off an implanted trigger in his mind. Kason has to remember on his own, or the results could be disastrous.

The connection between them is clear and immediate, even without Kason’s memories. These two are hot together, which was great. More than that, though, I really felt how difficult it was for Talia to have her husband back, but as a different man. At the same time, Kason’s frustration was tangible… and anyone could see how much these two needed one another.

The danger plot with the aliens was ok. My only complaint about the story was that I felt the resolution was too easy after all the build-up. But that wasn’t enough to detract from my enjoyment of the story.

Rating: B

Click to purchase: Amazon

There All Along
by Lauren Dane and Megan Hart
Release Date: December 3, 2013
Publisher: Berkley

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