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The Rose Legacy (Diamond of the Rockies) Paperback – November 1, 2009
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"...plenty of action, emotion, and adventure ...a real page-turner. Highly recommended." -- Church Libraries, Spring 2001 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From the Back Cover
She arrived with little more than what she could hold in her heart....
Crystal, Colorado, is known as the diamond of the Rockies, a mining town where what lies beneath is the only thing truly valued. Overrun with men seeking their fortune and women bound by circumstance, it hosts both dreams and nightmares with little surety for tomorrow. Yet Crystal is surrounded by beauty of a natural kind and offers an independence that Carina Maria DiGratia could never find at home. Driven by hope and vengeance, Carina is old enough to be certain of her own strength, young enough to be caught unawares.
Two men take her under their wings, but both are not what they seem. Will Carina discern the truth and confront the turmoil hidden within her own heart in time to prevent tragedy?
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Heitzman did a superb job in developing this character. She duplicated this in the development of the male protagonist, Quillan Shephard. As is expected in a romance sparks fly between the two protagonists. Each one is strong, independent and dynamic. Kristen balanced these two characters off when she pits them against Berkley Barton, the antagonist. He is everything they are not and is a master in the art of villainy.
Heitzman sets this story in the 1880s in a mining community. She artfully uses vivid details in describing the country side and the town. Although, this tale is set in a fictional town, Crystal, Colorado, these descriptions makes the reader feel that they were right there. Heitzman uses this same technique, vivid details, when dealing with the different types of individuals (the supporting characters) to round out the story. Anyone who is a history buff knows that these types of towns popped up whenever gold or silver was discovered nearby. Along with these towns a myriad of people congregated. Not all have pure motives. Many were willing to capitalize on the hardship of others. Many turned to brutality for their own greed. Heitzman captures this through the supporting characters.
Lastly, I really enjoyed the way Heitzman used the writing strategy of the backdrop to enhance the plot. The backstory about Wolf and Rose was well woven into the plot. Heitzman used the backdrop story to add mystery to this romance tale. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and have no problem recommending it.
Overall, this book was amazing. I felt drawn into the story, as if I was there in Crystal, CO with Carina. I love books that so completely draw me into their world. It offers an escape from everyday life that, let's be honest, everybody needs at times.
All of the characters were well written and developed. I have to admit I see a lot of myself in Carina: Hand-talking Italian, food lover, independent, stubborn, determined. I think we'd get along really well. Ha!
There were a few slow points in the book, but for the most part I was completely engrossed. This isn't your typical, predictable romance book. I love that. I could hardly put it down.
As for the reviews complaining that it's open-ended...
I actually enjoy the fact that the entire series centers around the same couple. I hate when series are more focused on a location and each book is about a different couple at that location. When I get invested in a character or couple in a book or series, I always want to know what happens next. I want to live in their lives longer. In my opinion this open-ended book gives me that opportunity to stay with the characters I love.
The writing in this book was dismal enough (the poor character building, the nonexistent plot, the embarrassingly juvenile formulaic writing in general) that I was embarrassed for the author. When I realized I wasn't even getting a full story I felt genuinely duped.