The plodding pace of Haven and the author’s bland style result in a book memorable only for being forgettable.
After being shot by a bank robber, Aaron McBain, the sheriff of the Ottawa Falls community in Colorado, counts himself as fortunate – not only for surviving, but also because he is now being tended by a woman who reminds him of an angel. Anna Whitfield is the name she gives him, but she’s actually Susannah Carvel. She’s been running and using false names ever since she was blamed for the murder of her husband, an abusive man and a powerful figure in Washington D.C.
Aaron soon realizes that Anna reminds him of more than just an angel because he’s seen her face on a Wanted poster, but, nevertheless, he finds himself far too attracted to either lock her up or to let her go. After all that Susannah has been through, she’s desperately in need of a man who can protect her and Aaron seems like the one.
The romance starts off slowly and quietly. I found the premise interesting and was willing to wait for it to grow to fruition. Unfortunately, the book and the author wore out my patience. The plot turns out to be unbearably plodding and ordinary. Even the ending takes far too long to arrive, and it’s followed by an epilogue that offered nothing unique. I can’t say I was surprised by anything that happened throughout the course of the story.
No matter what occurs, there is a huge absence of tension and suspense. Everything that happens carries with it a sense of inevitability. Of course, Susannah runs away. Of course, Aaron finds her again. Of course, there are bad guys after Susannah. Of course, she is saved. The subplot with the villains was especially thin and full of gaping holes and it takes what seems like forever to build and forever to resolve. For example, they repeatedly approach her to harass her…and then they go away. And Aaron does nothing to track them down, even though he swore to protect her. Why? It made no sense.
Susannah is such a weepy, vanilla character that I simply couldn’t care for her, in spite of all she’s been through from her previous marriage. As for Aaron, while possessiveness can be a sexy trait, at times he acts almost like a caveman. I found him and Susannah a very odd couple. She seems like she can barely stand on her own two feet without crumbling, while he’s reaching for his gun when someone just knocks on the door. The author has the two delivering lines that can only be described as cheesy, and their love for each other just never felt convincing.
The author incorporates some interesting historical details from this time, but in the end nothing could make up for the weakness of plot, characters, and romance.