I started to read A Man of Privilege and saw that there is a previous book, so I backtracked. At last, a debut that is assured, interesting, and eminently readable, with characters that engage the reader.
Dan Armstrong’s first meeting with Native American Rosebud Donnelly is when he sees her astride her paint horse, dressed in a traditional buckskin dress. She takes a shot at him, hitting his favourite hat. Dan is, understandably, enraged. He is more angry because he has to work with his Uncle Cecil, who has decided to flood part of the reservation to provide hydro-electricity. Dan is, of course, rich, but he’s a Texan oil rich, although his family business has diversified.
Cecil treats him like an employee, despite the fact that he’s technically a partner. He suspects something fishy about the deal and goes to visit the tribe’s lawyer, who happens to be Rosebud Donnelly. She is running her law practice on a shoestring but has seen off Cecil’s representatives before. Since the author explains just how she achieved this, I could buy into it. This is no magic heroine, she works hard in a community prejudiced against her and her tribe.
Dan is more enlightened and asks Rosebud to help him. He’s also immensely attracted to her.
Well, it wouldn’t be a Desire if he wasn’t. I like Dan. He has the traits of a Texan, but not to excess, not to caricature level. He thinks deeply, and since much of the story is told from his point of view, the reader gets to share in his ruminations. It also means that there are no big misunderstandings or artificial contrivances to keep him apart from Rosebud.
I find Rosebud a little harder to like, but she’s had a lot to put up with, and since she doesn’t flounce like a schoolgirl or have tantrums or go silent and walk off, I learned to like her. She has a hard exterior, understandable considering what she has to put up with, and I finally warmed to her in a particularly terrifying scene set in a diner, where the community’s hatred of her and her kind comes to a head.
I find it hard to believe that such communities exist in this day and age, but presumably Anderson has done her research. It reads as valid anyway, and it definitely factors into the story. Cecil has bought into all this, but his desire to defeat the Native Americans is more practical. He wants their land, and he has the law on his side, in a complex explaination I didn’t begin to understand, except that Money Talks. Which I understand completely.
Dan and Rosebud are hopelessly attracted to each other and the development of their relationship is shown in loving detail. Unfortunately, this being a category romance, parts have to be skipped, but the story holds together and shows the progression and the gradual defeat of the barriers to their love.
The author writes in a classic, smooth style. The only habit that took me out of the story occasionally being the tendency of the characters to have acrobatic eyes. Their eyes move around the room, sweep over each other’s bodies—you get the picture. But that apart, the prose led me on to finish the story in less than a day.
I enjoyed the story very much. A few rough edges prevent me giving the book an A, but I will definitely be reading A Man of Privilege in the near future.
Attorney Rosebud Donnelly has a case to win. And she never lets anyone see her sweat. But her first meeting with Dan Armstrong doesn’t go according to script. No one warned her that the COO of the company she’s fighting would be so…manly.
From his storm-colored eyes to his well-worn boots, Dan is an honest-to-goodness cowboy. But is he honest? Her yearning for the Texas tycoon goes against reason, against family loyalty, against everything she thought she believed in. And yet, in Dan’s strong arms, Rosebud feels she might be ready to risk everything for one more kiss….
Read an excerpt.
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