Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Letters to a Secret Lover by Toni Blake

Every so often I read a book that seems to have been special ordered for my needs at the time. You know the ones – they have just the right amount of angst, just the right level of steam, the perfect amount of relationship building before they finally admit they belong together and a story line that touches you deeply. Well, Letters to a Secret Lover is all that and more.

I can’t really tell you why without spoiling the story, but Rob Colter is my champion. Few storybook heroes touch me the way he did, and I have to admit, I cried more than a few tears for him. There were moments when my heart just broke because of the pain he’s lived with – the loneliness, the emptiness – knowing that there’s something he’s missing out on and believing he’ll never have it in his life. I can’t tell you what that something was without giving away too much of the story, but suffice it to say it moved me deeply.

Lindsey Brooks was such a fun loving heroine. To be honest, I didn’t much like her in the beginning. I thought for someone doling out relationship advice on her wildly popular Love Letters blog, she was pretty ditzy. But once she left Chicago and found her way to Moosefalls, she really started to become grounded. I loved how she grew as a person, realizing that there really was more to life than shopping for Jimmy Choos and being seen with the social elite she’d always associated with before her move. I’m glad she became the woman she did, because I couldn’t have accepted her relationship with Rob under any other conditions!

The other characters, the residents of Moosefalls, were all awesome people. They were just down to earth men and women who I’d love to have as friends and neighbors!

I love Toni Blake’s writing. It’s so easy to read, so normal… so real. I don’t feel like I’m reading a book, rather more like I’m watching a story unfold before my eyes. The characters are compelling people and their passions run deep. The sex scenes sizzle and border on erotic, but never feel out of place within the story. The physical relationship enhances the emotional relationship and that’s an absolute must if I’m going to give a book 5 stars. There was one thing that I thought was a little too coincidental, but it didn’t take away from my overall enjoyment of the story.

The bottom line – this is my 3rd Toni Blake book and I’ve loved each one. Whether part of a series or a standalone like Letters to a Secret Lover, she’s become one of my favorite contemporary romance authors. I laughed, I cried, and I’m happy to say that I fell in love with Rob, Lindsey, and the entire town of Moosefalls, Montana. And I wouldn’t mind revisiting there someday.

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