Believe in Me

Laura Moore
Believe in Me
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Ballantine Books
Release Date
January 2011
Book 2 of Rosewood Trilogy
Contemporary Romance


After learning of her husband's affair, Jordan Radcliffe is crushed, but she knows she must stay strong for her three young children. So she moves back to Rosewood, the idyllic horse farm where she grew up. Wishing only to recover and reassess her life, Jordan feels an undeniable attraction to architect Owen Gage—and does her best to ignore it. Her heart is too fragile to love again.

Yet when Owen, who himself is wary of any romantic involvement, offers her a job she badly needs, Jordan has no choice but to accept, even though it means she'll be working alongside him every day. And that closeness could intensify the connection between them—a desire as unnerving as it is powerful.

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Feb 22, 2011   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
235 people found the following review helpful
This book should come with a warning label. One that explains that, while reading this book, you will forgo work and forget to sleep. You might forget to eat. I know I did all of these. Between the fantastic setting and the electric chemistry between the main characters, I was nearly incapable of putting this book down until the very end.

Jordan Radcliffe has devoted her life to her husband and her three young children. When her husband's affair becomes a public scandal, Jordan is devastated, but determined to stay strong for her kids despite all that she is suffering. She moves back to Rosewood, the stunning horse farm where she grew up. There, surrounded by her two loving sisters, Jordan finds the strength to establish her own interior design firm and begin to carve out a life that is all her own, and free of any further potential heartbreaks.

Her plan is almost immediately foiled by the presence of Owen Gage. A renowned architect and restorer of historic houses, Owen is handsome, charming, arrogant and self-assured: all qualities that make Jordan want to run as far away as she can. Not to mention the fact that Owen is a confirmed bachelor, who has made it a priority to stay away from relationships, especially with a mother of three who is carrying the baggage of her painful divorce. Despite all her better instincts, however, she agrees to design the interior of Owen's newest project, working side-by-side with a man who both terrifies and fascinates her. Even as the two clash professionally, it is obvious that neither can hide their growing attraction, and the fact that in each other, both may have found just what they needed all along.

Jordan is a fantastic heroine; strong, selfless and a fantastic mom, she has been through a colossal betrayal and manages not just to carry on, but also to build a new life for herself and her family. Though definitely hurt, she refuses to give in to fear or self-pity, and I really admired the strength it took to do that. Her spirit shines through in her relationships, but in particular with Owen. Though he is completely phenomenal, Owen can be rather intense, and Jordan never lets him get the upper hand. The perfect balance of these two headstrong, forceful characters made for an electric chemistry from start to finish, with scenes so tense that I realized I was holding my breath while reading.

Owen is…Owen. Suave, sweet and larger than life, his presence is palpable, even when he is only observing the scene unfolding. I love that we are given glimpses into his head, and allowed to watch his feelings for Jordan and her family develop. It was really refreshing to read about someone who seemed too sure of himself and so outwardly cool, and to know that, inwardly, at least, he was just as flustered by his feelings for Jordan as she was around him. His interactions and reactions to her children and family were touching and funny in equal measures and delightful to follow. It isn't often that both characters in a romantic pairing are so well captured, and it was a real treat to get to know them both.

The population of Rosewood is a joy to meet. Margot and Travis, Jordan's sister and brother-in-law, have already been introduced in the book Remember Me, while the youngest Radcliffe sister, Jade, gets her own book, Trouble Me, due out in January 2012. Jade is a fiery, troubled young woman with a heart of gold, and her treatment of Owen throughout the book made me cringe and laugh in equal measure. The small-town politics and pettiness of Warburg were expertly described, as well, and the secondary characters in the book were as colorful and entertaining as the main cast.

This was an all-round fantastic read. I fully admit to laughing out loud and gasping in surprise at some of the twists in the story. I also admit to falling in love with Jordan, and especially with Owen, from the very first. Both remarkable characters in their own right, together, they are a pair than absolutely should not be missed. This is a heartfelt, touching story that is expertly told, and will keep you spellbound until the last chapter is complete.
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