Review: Only Hers by Francis Ray

Publisher: Arabesque
Published: April 1, 1996
Copyright: 1996
Pages: 288
Form: Paperback
Series: The Taggart Brothers
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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.


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…


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.

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