Reviewed by Sandra Scholes
The loss in this novel is what Lance Olsen, Triple Aces Ranch co-owner feels when his wife, Colleen and son are killed in a fire. Four years have passed, and not without him thinking about her, and how he will cope with her absence. He puts all his attention into his ranch, not thinking about women – his grief is too great for that, and his heart broken after what happened.
The gains are yet to be imagined for when Colleen’s sister, Janaya returns to the ranch, she doesn’t expect his reaction to her homecoming would be a bad one where he shouts at her and accuses her of being selfish. She hasn’t had the best of lives, been to the two funerals of her sister and her son, Gavin but once all the hard feelings have blown over, she finds she has fallen in love with Lance, and thinks as he has closed off his heart to other women, there will be no chance of him ever falling for her.
Janaya makes a living from appearing in radio commercials even though she could pay her months rent from the check she had got for it. She has dreams to become a successful Country and Western singer, but the gigs she got were hardly what she would call successful, as her time in bars would barely make others listen to her if it weren’t for the drinks and other entertainment around. Janaya wants to have the life Colleen and Lance had, and the idea of settling down with a husband and children suits her just fine, but for the fact she has no man to call her own and a series of jobs that won’t buy her a big enough house for a family.
Going back to Lance seems the most sensible idea, but the reception she gets isn’t one of love or caring – it’s of years of pent up frustration, anger, and sadness at what happened to Lance four years ago.
The reader will get to know a lot about Janaya and her life, and how it had disappointed her so much. She knows with the right contacts she could have been a star, but she more than knows that life isn’t paved out like that, and sometimes God or fate has a different role for her. I found this to be a love story that grows out of desperation, and hurt from a great loss. Lance has to leave the hurt inside him, and let love grow instead; maybe get rid of some of the frost off his heart for a change. Janaya acts as his hope later, and readers can gain a lot from reading it.