The Seduction of Shamus O'Rourke by N.J. Walters
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Another great installment in the Jamesville series! Can this series get any better? :)
Cyndi Marks, formerly known as Cynthia James, is returning to Jamesville after fourteen years, to settle her deceased father's affairs and to finally face her past. She knows people won't be welcoming her back with open arms, mostly due to her father's less-than-pleasant dealings with the town folks but also due to her own wrongdoings, but she's back to stay. As fate would have it, the first person she meets when she arrives is Shamus O'Rourke. They feel attracted to each other almost immediately, but this is one aggravation she doesn't need. Cyndi did some very hurtful things to Shamus's sister Dani and brother-in-law Burke in the past, and there's no lost love between Cyndi and Shamus's family. Plus, Cyndi is wary of being nine years older than Shamus. So she's got all the excuses she needs to avoid getting involved with him, right?
Not exactly, because Shamus is a goner from the moment he meets Cyndi and he won't let her go. His family is more than upset to see him pursuing a relationship with her and basically orders him to stop seeing her because they don't trust her. He won't cave to their demands, because he's learned the truth behind Cyndi's past behavior and, more than ever, believes she deserves a second chance. But his family isn't willing to give it. Will he have to choose between his family and his woman?
Wow, how the world turns! I absolutely hated Cynthia James when I read Discovering Dani and could never picture her as the heroine in a future book, so imagine my surprise when I found out that she was not only the heroine in this book but she was also being paired with sexy, lovely Shamus O'Rourke! This isn't going to work, I thought. How would Ms. Walters be able to redeem such a villainess?... Well, I stand corrected. Cynthia was more than redeemed, and I found myself rooting for her and cursing Shamus's family for the way they treated her in this book. That was some great writing, if I may say so.
As for Shamus, he was just wonderful through it all. It was nice to see that the easygoing teenager introduced in Discovering Dani wasn't as oblivious as it seemed back then, and I loved the way he made his family realize that. He was the "baby" of the family, the good guy always willing to give a helping hand and smooth things over, but he also knew what he wanted and how to get it.
There was a secondary plot involving some attacks on Cyndi's life - someone was more than unhappy with her returning to Jamesville - and it gave the story a hint of action and danger. But that wasn't the focal point of the story, so I wouldn't call this a romantic suspense novel, per se. This book was basically about Cyndi, and I think that 'The Redemption of Cynthia James' would have been a more apt title. Probably not as appealing to us romance readers, though.
Overall, this was an excellent read and I loved everything about it. I'm not sure I want to move to Jamesville anymore because those town people can be mean when they set their minds to it, but I'm definitely going to keep reading this series.
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