Review: Only Hers by Francis Ray

Publisher: Arabesque
Published: April 1, 1996
Copyright: 1996
Pages: 288
Form: Paperback
Series: The Taggart Brothers
AuthorSite | Facebook | Twitter

AN ESCAPE FANTASY

When St. Louis nurse Shannon Johnson inherits a cabin in Texas, she hopes it will be the perfect getaway from her high-pressure job–and her low-energy life.  Unfortunately, the place is a rundown shack with no electricity…except for the sizzling sparks that fly when she meets Matt Taggart, the big strapping rancher next door.

A WHIRLWIND ROMANCE

One of the Lone Star State’s most desirable bachelors, Matt Taggart has seen more than his share of gold-diggers–including his ex-wife–and he’s sworn off love forever.  He’s convinced Shannon only wants a piece of his ranch.  But when he challenges her to help him work the land, Matt begins to see Shannon for who she really is.  And soon those sparks are igniting a fire they can’t put out…

MY THOUGHTS

I admit my love for this book is somewhat sentimental.  This is the first adult romance I’d ever read and picked it up as a twelve or thirteen year old.  The fact that it featured characters who looked like me was the cherry on top.  Though by now I have definitely read more interesting and compelling romance and or love stories, I will probably always count this one as one of my favorites.

Shannon Johnson finds herself in Texas on the Circle T after inheriting a meadow, seeking sanctuary and comfort after a tremendous personal loss.  Unfortunately, her peace doesn’t last long when she meets Matt Taggert, owner, and operator of the Circle T, and a man completely suspicious of beautiful women as a result of the scheming ways of his ex-wife.  He is incensed when he learns his Uncle gave away part of his land to Shannon and will not give her a moment’s peace until he has it back.

Despite the oil and vinegar dynamic, the chemistry between the two is electric and immediate and neither can deny it.  Eventually, Shannon sees through Matt’s so-called tough exterior to the warm-hearted man underneath.  She believes that he is someone who is indeed deserving of love, and she’s decided that she wants to be the person to give it to him.

Shannon is unlike any woman Matt has ever met before.  But his suspicion of women, beautiful women, in particular, has him continuously trying to shove Shannon in the same box as his ex-wife.  After some time Matt finally has to admit to himself that Shannon does not belong in that box and he can’t continue trying to place her there.  But it’s easier to fight his feelings than to make himself vulnerable to being hurt again.

Their romance is a fight and a struggle to the end, but the sparks they kick up in the meantime is palpable.  Matt is entirely too stubborn and Shannon refuses to settle for less.  But when they finally come to understand the true nature of each other, their love can no longer be denied.

Game of Thrones S1E1: Winter is Coming – The Major Players

 

THE NIGHTS WATCH:
A military organization founded thousands of years ago, formed to protect the Seven Kingdoms from any and all threats  north of the wall.  The wall is an immense Ice structure built to keep all people, creatures, and threats North and out of all lands south of the wall.  In the beginning this order was filled with those from prominent houses and was considered an honor to be a part  of.  Some time later the Night’s Watch shrunk in numbers and dedication from prominent houses.  Out of need and desperation they began accepting recruits who had committed crimes or those who felt they had no other place to go and didn’t feel accepted in society or their families in general.  Unfortunately, they are woefully undermanned.

There are three main groups of this order.  The Rangers who fight, patrol, and defend the wall and also go out beyond the wall to find and exterminate any threats.  The Builders who are responsible for maintaining the castles and wall and repairing any damage.  And lastly the Stewards who are responsible for feeding, clothing, and overall general care of the Night’s Watch.  They gather facts and knowledge when needed, and are responsible for communication between the Night’s Watch and the rest of the Seven Kingdoms.

The Night’s Watch Oath:

Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory. I shall live and die at my post. I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the shield that guards the realms of men. I pledge my life and honor to the Night’s Watch, for this night and all the nights to come.

HOUSE STARK: Sigil: Direwolf Words: Winter Is Coming Home: Winterfell Colors: Grey & White

Lord Eddard Stark aka Ned:  The patriarch, leader, husband, and father of the Stark crew. Warden of the North and New Hand to the King.  Believes and pays homage to the old Gods.

Lady Catelyn Stark aka Cat: The matriarch, wife, mother, and protector of the Stark crew. Formerly Catelyn Tulley of Riverrun.  Believes in both the old Gods and the New.

Robb Stark:  The oldest and true born son of Ned and Catelyn Stark. Heir to Winterfell. Direwolf is Grey Wind.

Jon Snow: The bastard son of Ned Stark.  The same age as Robb.  Raised and accepted among his brother’s and sister’s but resented by Katelyn Stark and doesn’t always exactly get the Stark treatment.  Direwolf is Ghost.

Sansa Stark:  The oldest daughter and true born daughter of Ned and Catelyn Stark.   Lives in a fantasy world and is annoyed by her tomboy sister and also resent that she has a bastard brother.  Direwolf is Lady.

Arya Stark: Youngest true born daughter of Ned and Catelyn Stark.  Is uninterested in being a ‘lady’ and doing ‘lady’ activities.  Arya is rough around the edges and would rather learn sword fighting than needlepoint or sewing.  Direwolf is Nymeria.

Brandon Stark aka Bran:  1rst to last true born son of Ned and Catelyn Stark.  Desires to be a knight when he is older and is an expert climber.  Direwolf is Summer.

Rickon Stark:  Youngest true born son of Ned and Catelyn Stark.  The angriest Stark as he has an understanding that things are not right and will never be as they were again.  Direwolf is Shaggy Dog.

Theon Greyjoy:  War prisoner or ward of Lord Eddard Stark and heir to the Iron Islands.  Even though he was taken as a prisoner as a boy, he has always been well treated by the Starks and considered and extension of the family.

Maester Luwin: Counselor, Healer, and Tutor of Winterfell.

HOUSE BARATHEON: Sigil: Crowned Stag Words: Ours is the Fury Home: Storm’s End but currently resides in the Red Keep since he is King. Colors: Black & Gold

King Robert Baratheon:  King of the seven kingdoms, patriarch, father and husband of the Baratheon crew.

Queen Cersei of House Lannister:  Queen of the seven kingdoms, matriarch, and mother to the Baratheon crew.

Prince Joffrey: First son and heir to the Iron Throne and the Seven Kingdoms.

Princess Myrcella:  First and only daughter.

Prince Tommen: Second born son.

HOUSE LANNISTER: Sigil: Golden Lion Words: Hear Me Roar! Home: Casterly Rock Colors: Red & Gold

Tywin Lannister: Lord of Casterly Rock, Warden of the West, and Shield of Lannister.  Wife Joanna, died in childbirth.

Ser Jamie Lannister:  First Son and Heir to Casterly Rock and twin brother to Queen Cersei.

Queen Cersei Lannister: Wife of King Robert Baratheon and first and only daughter to Tywin and Joanna Lannister.

Tyrion Lannister: Youngest son of Tywin and Joanna Lannister.  A dwarf and commonly called the imp.  Very educated and wise.  Resented by both his father and sister.  His brother Jamie is the only one in the family who genuinely cares for him.

HOUSE ARRYN: Sigil: Moon-and-Falcon Words: As High as Honor. Home: The Eyrie

Lord Jon Arryn: Lord of the Eyrie, Defender of the Vale, Warden of the East, and Hand of the King, recently deceased.

Lady Lysa Arryn:  Formerly of House Tully and sister of Catelyn Stark, widow to the recently deceased Jon Arryn.

Robert Arryn:  A sickly boy of six years, Now Lord of the Eyrie and Defender of the Vale.  The only son of Jon and Lysa Arryn.

HOUSE TARGARYEN:

Prince Viserys: The third of his name, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, called the Beggar King.

Princess Daenerys: Called Daenerys Stormborn, last surviving daughter of House Targaryen.  Wed to Khal Drogo in which after she is referred to as Khaleesi

DOTHRAKI PEOPLE (THE HORSE LORDS):

Khal Drogo:  A cheiftan of the Dothraki who has one of the biggest and mightiest Khalasars of the Dothraki people.  A horse lord and great warrior who has never lost in battle.

Illyrio Mopatis:  A merchant Prince and Magister of Pentos.  A supporter of the old dynasty Targaryens and benefactor to Daenaerys and Visery Targaryen.  His is rich and lives in own well protected city.