Sunday, February 10, 2008
About the book:
1803, the colony of Texas, Marianne Phillips, the daughter of a wealthy rancher, has never agreed with her father's harsh treatment of the poor mestizos who first inhabited the colony of Texas. When rebels kidnap Marianne, in hopes her father will trade back their land for her freedom, she realizes her loyalty lies with her abductors, not her father, who plans to marry her off to the don of a nearby estate.
Armando Garcia is the locals' reluctant leader, but his people revere and depend on him. Knowing that without his leadership they'd be forced from their land, Armando accepts his role, but does not approve of the latest attempt to manipulate their enemy. When he learns that Marianne actually speaks his language, of her loyalty to his people, and of the faith that keeps her strong, Armando is faced with a difficult decision. Will his newfound love keep him from letting her go? Or will he set her free and risk losing their land forever?
I've read many books written by Diann Mills, and this story is my favorite. It's definitely the most romantic book, in my opinion, that she has ever penned. Life in 1800s Texas was portrayed in such a way that I got a strong sense of the culture during those hard times. Marianne had some difficult choices to make and she had to choose wisely. Several gritty and edgy topics arose in this adventurous tale and I applaud the author for her excellent portrayal of the destructiveness of domestic violence, alcoholism, and greed. Her clear portrayal of true faith is also to be commended. The author contrasted traditional religion with a relationship the believer has with the Living God, and the hope and true peace such faith produces.
Armando was the ultimate hero. He was strong, yet compassionate, dedicated, yet torn because of his past. The author's description of him made me think of Antonio Banderas. Zorro here I come! Ah, what a tale of love! It was so passionate and felt so real it swept me off my feet. I loved every yummy kiss and the emotion I experienced as the hero and heroine dealt with all of the things separating them, along with all of the things drawing them together. Fabulous romance. Great historical fiction. This story gets my highest rating. It's a real page turner! The Avon Inspire line has some of the best, most inspirational and romantic historical fiction I've read to date!
Awaken My Heart was published by Avon Inspire (Harper Collins) and released in February 2008!