Heartless (Hqn)

Heartless - Diana Palmer Gracie came to live in the Pendleton mansion as a teenager after her mother's marriage to Myron Pendleton. Jason Pendleton took special care of his stepsister, especially following her mother's death. Now, both of them are struggling with deeper, romantic feelings for each other and Gracie is grappling with fears from her secret past that create barriers to forging any intimacy with men. I struggled with the author's attempt at defining these characters. In the same paragraph, Gracie talks about movers and shakers being attracted to Jason because he is so dynamic but next she describes him as an introvert. Gracie herself is supposed to have a brain injury that limits her but she is extraordinary at mastering planning events on behalf of Jason that would level the best of us. These contradictions persisted throughout. This was a simple, romantic story but too simplistic for my taste. Jason's reaction to Grace's initial retreat from him was pretty dramatic and his relationship with Kittie stretched the imagination. It was hard to not dislike him based on his knee-jerk reactions to fairly minor issues. Both seemed emotionally immature. The story kept my interest so it wasn't hard to continue reading the book and it's a pretty quick read. There are some interesting story lines beyond the romance of Gracie and Jason. You learn quite a bit about ranching and its culture, which I thought was a good thing. Secondary characters aren't expanded on in great detail but add some flavor. Gracie and Jason have some sizzling moments even though theirs isn't the great romantic tale.