Published by Lyrical Press on November 17th 2017
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo
The moment she arrives in California, Deirdre falls in love with the untamed land that will become the Widows’ Winery. Despite no one in all of Sonoma county being willing to sell them materials or labor, she is determined to find a way to build their homes and the winery. She must, for if she doesn’t meet the land improvement deadline, they’ll lose their land and their dream. This pursuit keeps her in the company of Kin O’Leary, a handsome business man full of innovative ideas. But, considering how she married for money the first time—as her family dictated—she convinces herself she will only find true love in a man of lesser means.
Dylan, a strapping young cattle hand who is helping build her home soon catches her eye as well. Her plans for an unconventional romance become derailed when she is forced to spend more time with Kin during the planning of her closest friend’s wedding. Something more than base attractive begins to build in her for him, making her resist all the stronger. It doesn’t help that Dylan has a rugged dangerous side to him that draws her deeper into a world of secrets. With the cattle baron Ainsworth thwarting her every attempt at building the Widows’ Winery, Deirdre’s choice in men may prove their downfall, or their salvation.
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
Deirdre’s True Desire is the third book in the Emerald Belles series by Heather McCorkle. It can easily be read as a stand-alone story although some of the characters from the previous book have a large part in this story too.
War Widows Sadie and Deirdre complete their arduous journey from New York via wagon train where they join Cat, a fellow widow (her story is in Courting the Corporal). All three of them have a very short amount of time to build their homes on their land before the government reclaims the land. It’s a task that would be easily achieved if not for villainous landowner Ainsworth. He’s a powerful, rich man who wants the widows’ land and is doing everything in his power to stop the women building. Once the land is taken back he figures he will swoop in to pick up the land for a song.
Deirdre’s marriage was one for convenience arranged by her family. The man in question was much older than her, there was no love between them, but when he discovered a secret of Deirdre’s he couldn’t bear to touch her. The last year of their marriage was a cold one so when Deirdre found herself a widow she had no need to shed a tear for the man. Since befriending Cat and Sadie, and making plans to move to Sonoma where the three of them intended to start up a vineyard, Deirdre has finally begun to live her life again. All she would like to make it perfect is the perfect man. An adventurous, exciting man, who will love her just as she is, a woman who won’t settle into a boring life ever again. He will also need to accept the secret she holds.
Immediately upon reaching Sonoma two men attract Deirdre’s attention. Dylan, a very attractive man who already flouts convention with her upon their first meeting, and Kinan, an extremely attractive man who makes Deirdre nearly drool from just looking at him. He has a wild look about him and she is sure that there is no way he would be as stuffy as her ex-husband. The more she learns about Kinan and the more time they spend together trying to thwart Ainsworth, the more she likes him. She knows he has a wild side to him and is flummoxed as to why he seems to want only to be a proper gentleman when he is around her.
Can he help Deirdre and the widows find a way to get their homes built in time, and can he be his true self in front of Deirdre and not lose her affection? He also hides a secret that could send her running from him, dare he let her know what it is? What of Dylan, he offers his help to the widows too, but is he trustworthy, he does work for Ainsworth after all??
I loved this story, it had so much going on that there was never a dull moment. Deirdre is a strong-minded woman who knows exactly what she wants from life, sometimes she seems a bit sex starved, but hey, why wouldn’t she be after having such a cold marriage. I love that this story was much more than a romance. The plans to thwart Ainsworth were exciting to watch unfold, and I couldn’t see how they would ever be out from under his thumb. The conclusion of that part of the story was most satisfying, as was Deirdre finding love again. It was a feel-good story where the underdog comes out fighting! A real joy to read.
I voluntarily reviewed an advanced readers’ copy of this book.