“A passionate, arresting story that you wish would never end.”
– Robyn Carr, New York Times bestselling author of Paradise Valley
The Barnes & Noble Review
From Eloisa James’s “READING ROMANCE” column on The Barnes & Noble Review
Most women would agree that it’s preferable to be labeled a goddess than “hardheaded.” It’s true that Cat Stevens celebrates his hardheaded woman — she’ll “make me do my best” — but Elvis Presley has a different take, calling her “a thorn in the side of man.” Love songs aside, a man with a “head like a rock” is not high on my list of ideal spouses. However, these five novels make a strong play for the desirability of a stubborn partner. The problem is that a hardheaded person is likely to have planned out his or her life without including you. And he or she is unlikely to want to change direction.
Julia London’s A Light At Winter’s End is a complex and heartbreaking novel about a country western songwriter, Holly Fisher, whose sister has a breakdown and dumps her baby on Holly’s doorstep. Heather graduated valedictorian, married the perfect man, and wears diamonds and heels. Holly, on the other hand, has stubbornly kept writing country music her entire life, in the face of her family’s conviction that she’s a drifter and a failure. Holly’s career is finally taking off when she has to move to the country to take care of the nephew she hardly knows. Her neighbor turns out to be a lonely cowboy, Wyatt Clark, who knows more about babies than she does, since his wife left him, taking their child. Together Holly and Wyatt forge a sweet, tentative, and joyful family — until Heather reappears. When Holly, sans baby, is swept off to Nashville, she leaves Wyatt behind. She’s spent her whole life fighting to be a singer, and she can’t imagine changing direction — even just to include Wyatt in her plans. It takes her quite a while to realize that she’d been a fool to think that her life had to go as planned. When she tells Wyatt that she misses him, that she loves him more than anything, “more than music,” it’s doubly romantic because we’ve watched her fight so hard against that realization.