One Last Letter by Pema Donyo

One Last Letter by Pema Donyo
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (103 pgs)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 4 stars
Reviewed by Edelweiss

A romantic hardened by reality…

Evelyn Lancaster turned her back on her love for ranch hand Jesse Greenwood when she was sixteen to pursue a career and marry into wealth that could save her father’s struggling ranch. Now twenty-three, she works hard to keep the property afloat, but no suitor has stirred her heart the way Jesse did. After her father falls ill, she needs all the help she can get to keep the ranch running.

A cowboy returning to what he left behind…

After making his fortune, a newly wealthy Jesse has returned home to see his younger sister married. Still smarting from Evelyn’s rejection, he finds the tables have turned, and now only his investment could save the ranch that he vowed to never step foot on again.

When he agrees to help her salvage her family legacy, they must overcome their pride and painful past to work together. As long-held emotions rekindle, Jesse pretends indifference, only to admit his true feelings in an unsigned letter left on Evelyn’s porch.

Evelyn finds the missive and writes back, beginning a furtive correspondence. She dares to hope her mystery admirer is Jesse, but then another man comes forward to claim the letters as his own. Will one last letter give them the courage to say yes to love on the wild Texas plains?

Cowboys, cowgirls, ranches, cattle, barns, horses, ranch hands and the old west. Nothing makes a more perfect setting for romance, lost love and second chances.

I loved the characters in One Last Letter, both the stars and the supporting cast. The character that comes closest to being an antagonist is suitably dislikable. Evelyn’s best friend is fun and bubbly. Her father also is an interesting and surprisingly layered character. I loved Jesse’s sister and the ranch hands. It’s just an extremely enjoyable group that made reading the book so much fun.

Evelyn was a very strong female lead. Her commitment to the ranch and her home is admirable. You can appreciate how far she’s come in her life and how much she’s learned. She’s a woman trying to find her place in the life and in the world, whose still trying to figure out what she wants and what she should do. She was a wonderful, imperfect heroine and one I easily rooted for.

It was also fun watching her interact with Jesse. They both behaved in a mature and levelheaded way to each other a lot of the time and that felt fresh and different. Jesse worries about his sister marrying well socially, which was interesting since he believes his social position was the reason Evelyn rejected him when they were younger. It gives an insight into Jesse’s character and feelings and the way Evelyn’s rejection affected them.

The two leads were often suffering from miscommunications and doubt. They often misread each other’s actions and motives and each time they did I was rooting for them to work it out. I felt very invested in the relationship and really cared that the two find their happy ending.

Occasionally the dialog felt uneven, ranging from awkward phasing attempting to sound historically accurate to the usage of expressions that would not have been used in that time but it seldom distracted from the rest of the book.

The book reaches some interesting conclusions on some pretty big ideas such as responsibility, growing up, consequences, and what you should do for love. I didn’t agree with all of it, but I respected the author for the ideas and the unique perspective.

The detail and descriptions were perfect; giving a real sense of being in the middle of a western, from the way the author described the ranch to the little details such as the creaking floorboards.

One Last Letter is a great romantic read with great western flair. If you like westerns or just love a good story of second chances, you’ll love this book.

Speak Your Mind