For the Love of Callie by Maggie Casper
Samhain Publishing
Contemporary Romance
ISBN: 1-59998-196-3
Reviewed by Cassie

   

 

Callie Jones is in trouble.  She’s about to lose the ranch she grew up on, and she has nowhere else to go.  She hopes the auction will provide a little money over what she owes to help her start a new life, but to her horror the only bidder is her one-time-love, Mica Blackfeather.

Mica buys the ranch and blackmails Callie into marrying him in order to get revenge for his mother and himself being thrown off the ranch for no reason years ago.  After they marry, however, Mica realizes he still cares for Callie and his banishment may not have been her fault.  Will he be able to let go of his desire for revenge?  And can a marriage based on anger and blackmail ever become real?

For the Love of Callie had a pretty standard premise—angry man who’s made good returns for revenge on the woman who hurt him.  What sets this one apart from the legion of similar stories is the truly deep emotions and character growth involved.  Callie has become hard, bitter, and prickly after years of hardship.  Mica is cold and calculating due to his years focused on revenge.  Both of these characters don’t seem very likeable at the onset of the book, but as the story progressed I began to sympathize with and root for both of them.  Their sorrow, regret, and love come through beautifully.  I also enjoyed the character of Delia, Mica’s mother, who provided wisdom, kindness, and a bit of knowledge of Cherokee language and culture.  The Cherokee words sprinkled throughout the book, and the afterword about the language provided at the end, gave a unique flavor to the story.  Yes, For the Love of Callie has a very standard premise, and yes, there are several parts in which the characters could have easily solved their problems by a simple conversation, but in spite of the simplicity of the story I really liked this one.  Maggie Casper created a pair of flawed but loveable characters it’s very difficult not to care about, and the motivations and fears she gave them showed the reasons why they couldn’t just talk it out.  If you like ranch stories, revenge-turned-to-love stories, or contemporaries, pick up For the Love of Callie.  It’s a quick but emotionally involving read.

     

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