12953293Now that J.R. Ward has found rousing success with her Black Dagger Brotherhood and Fallen Angels series, it looks as if she is delving into the writing past and bringing back her early works with new, pretty covers.

Only problem is, she’s not bringing them back in order.  😦

Heart of Gold is the second of four books Ward first wrote under her maiden name of Jessica Bird, and none of these books belong to a ‘series’ per se, but they are all connected to each other in some fashion, although you can read them out of order like I did and be none the worse for wear.

If you would like a complete reading list, in the story line’s chronological order (not publication order), check me out here.

But as for Heart of Gold, what do you get when you cross a centuries old murder mystery, a smart and sassy socialite-turned-archeologist and a dark, brooding corporate raider?

Well, one hell of a love story for starters.

Here we are introduced to Carter Wessex, the estranged daughter of a millionaire who like to get down and dirty with history.  Then we have Nick Farrell, millionaire playboy with a shuttered heart and a dark past, who just so happens to own a mountain in the Adirondacks where a boatload of gold was supposed to have gone missing in the late 1700’s during America’s civil war, along with some redcoats and revolutionaries.

Now normally Mr. Farrell is not one to take kindly to people digging up the mountain, searching for gold he believes to be nonexistent, but how can he resist the daughter of a business partner who intrigues him from the first?

Toss in some explosive hormones between our hero and heroine of the hour, a sociopath on the hunt for the gold as well, and some budding young love to boot, and you have Heart of Gold.

I loved it.  Couldn’t put the darned thing down to save my life once I started it, and I had it finished in less than 24hrs.  All I did was eat, sleep and read it was that good.  For me at least.

The only downside is you don’t really get the motivations of the sociopath.  He’s a nemesis of our heroine who seems to have an unhealthy attachment for her, and there are hints as to why he does what he does to her and throughout the book, but there’s definitive reason aside from him being bat shit crazy.

Ok, minor spoiler here:  He kidnaps Carter and hold her for ransom because he needs to get out of the country right quick and in a hurry, and this is all after he threatens her life, her home, the lives of her friends, as well as her virtue when they are alone together.  There are also strong allusions that he’s got a serious psycho crush going on for her, but after her rescue complete with the aid of local law enforcement, no police report ever surfaces detailing the how, whys and wherefores of his motivation which is what I for one am used to seeing.

But aside from that, I think it was really well done.

And I really should learn to do a bit more research with these things, especially when I know full well going into it that it’s a reprinting of an earlier work.  The completionist in me gets a little rankled when I read things out of order. *sigh*

Ah well.  It’s still a good book.

Enjoy folks.

Up next: Time Untime by Sherrilyn Kenyon

12077553The Mayans aren’t the only ones with a 2012 prophecy…

Long before recorded history, there was a Keetoowah warrior so feared that everyone trembled before his wrath. Only a brutal betrayal by the one closest to him could defeat him. But not even death was the end of a man so strong.

The Time Untime approaches…

Kateri Avani has been plagued her entire life with dreams she doesn’t understand. Images of places she’s never been and of a man she’s never seen. Her quest for answers has driven her to Las Vegas where she hopes to finally silence the demons in her mind.

What she never anticipates is coming face to face with the warrior who has haunted her her entire life. One who belongs to a world the scientist in her refuses to believe is real.

Ren Waya came back from the dead to keep the prophecy he began from coming true and ending the world. For thousands of years, he has fought the same evil that once possessed him. But now that evil has found the one person he can’t fight. The one person who, against his will, holds the most sacred part of him.

His heart.

But if he doesn’t kill Kateri, the deadliest of evils will reemerge and destroy everyone else on the planet. It was a sacrifice he made once.

Will he be able to make it again?