The Romance Studio
A Place to Land
Available from Black Lyon Publishing
Ulianna Markova, an immigrant from Russia, is determined to be wholly American, self-supporting, and to help her parents and siblings to a better life. In lieu of the usual job interview, she travels to northeastern Oregon to do an article about wolves. Her first interviewee is handsome Jackson Holt, a wealthy ranch owner who refuses to talk to her about the subject. Determined to succeed, Uli continues to ask questions of other ranchers, and a local Native American teacher, even after sustaining slashed tires, a broken windshield, and a kidnapping.
Jackson, in spite of his feelings about wolves, falls for Uli and watches over her. Uli, still determined to return to Portland to help her family, falls for Jackson. Then she realizes she loves Jackson and wants to stay, but before she can decide, she is attacked again, learns who is doing this and why, but might not live to make her decision.
This wonderful romance held my interest from the first word to the last. The author has a way of describing the surroundings so you feel you could drive out there and find the place. You see the gorgeous scenery, the sprawling ranch, and the two cowboys who work for Jackson and who watch out for her.
The characters are wonderful. Ulianna’s struggles between the old world and the new are evident in her reactions and decisions. Her strength of character shows in her persistence, even in the face of danger. Jackson, a bachelor, reveals his feelings, beliefs and strengths, as well as his gradual willingness to listen to Uli. The author depicts the stages of the romance in a way that fits perfectly with the feelings and doubts of Uli and Jackson.
The loving older couple, from whom Uli rents a room, depicted as the average American couple and who become like surrogate parents to Uli, greatly add to this story. The mystery behind the attacks is well hidden, yet the clues are there. I did not learn the surprising truth until the end.
A delightful, poignant read. I’ll be looking for more from this author.
Sensuality rating: Very sensual
Reviewer: Jaye Leyel
May 25, 2010