In every Elizabeth Lowell I’ve ever read, the hero has always pinned a nickname on the heroine – “little cat,” “sunshine,” “schoolgirl,” “city girl” among them – that serve to emphasize the hero’s adult-ness and the heroine’s youth and assumed helplessness (and indeed, this has sometimes been the case). In Warrior, it’s “fairy-tale girl.” These often demeaning and snide sobriquets are repeatedly used throughout each story like an irritating little mantra, until I just want to scream, “Use her name, already!” While “fairy-tale girl” is less offensive than most, it’s an Elizabeth Lowellism I could really do without. I realize my confession has little to do with this particular story, but it’s a gripe I just had to get off my chest. Thanks for your patience.
Nevada Blackthorn has locked his emotions away behind a wall of rigid self-control. He was a soldier in a war-torn part of the world, and he’s experienced horrible pain and suffering up close and personal. Nevada doesn’t believe in love, not for anybody, least of all for himself. He considers himself a warrior in heart, mind, and body, and has created a singular life for himself, one that will never include a woman.
Originally from a remote part of Alaska, Eden Summers has come to Colorado to track and monitor the cougar population in the hopes she can prove the big cats are no threat to the local cattle herds. No one wants to destroy the cats, and the data Eden collects can potentially save their lives. When Eden inadvertently ends up in the midst of a bunch of drunken, lust-crazed cowboys, it is Nevada who steps in to save her from a likely gang rape. Nevada’s a warrior, remember, and a good one at that.
When Nevada realizes he’s attracted to Eden like no woman he’s ever met, he steers as clear of her as possible. That is, until a fall from his horse leaves him pinned under a boulder and Eden’s cougar-tracking wolf, Baby, leads her to him. It’s Eden’s turn to rescue Nevada, which puts them neatly in the same wilderness cabin at the same time for a couple of days, and nights. Ah, yes. Romance would come to a screeching halt without those isolated little snow-covered cabins, now wouldn’t they? I want one.
Because Eden bears emotional scars of her own, she understands Nevada and is drawn to him. She falls in love with him despite his hands-off demeanor, and tries to find a way to get through the wall he has built around his heart so they can find some happiness together.
Nevada is one of this author’s more realistic heroes. He’s not arrogant and controlling, but is lonely and hurt, a man out of place and time who is drawn to Eden’s loveliness and vulnerability, as well as her intelligence and strength. His only crime against Eden is that he believes himself unworthy of love and pushes her away. But determined Eden won’t be pushed – she’ll take this man any way she can get him.
This is a quick read that held my interest. I liked the characters, and the love scenes are very sexy and tender. While it’s not exactly a must-read, I think you’ll get your money’s worth with Warrior.