The night before Rafe Sutherland was to leave Texas to return home, the Texas Ranger was captured by Comanches and tortured horrendously. He had thought for sure he would die, but he had been rescued and sent home under federal escort. Although he is nearly healed, the scars remain and he refuses for anyone to see his chest. He knows that no woman will want him if she sees them. Rafe had not even allowed his mother, who nursed him back to health, to see the scars, to her dismay. During the ten years he had been away, his brother Patrick had done his best to keep the family business, Sutherland Shipping, afloat. But things are not good and it looks like the business might last another nine months at most. Their best shot at increasing revenue quickly and substantially is through Worthington. Rafe’s heroic reputation is the only reason that Worthington has agreed to meet with them. Although Rafe had heard that Worthington had a beautiful daughter, Rafe has given up on the idea of marriage. He does not want a wife who is repelled by his scars or children who will be frightened by them.
At his first social event since his return, Rafe meets Tarin and finds the claims of her beauty to be understated. The attraction between them is mutual and his attitude toward her mission is refreshing, but her goals come first. Still, he can make her do things that she would not otherwise do. She knows his business is struggling, so when he asks to court her, she cannot help wondering if he wants her or her father’s business.
Rafe is determined to save the family business for his mother and his brother, but to do that he needs to do business with Worthington. Worthington figures that Rafe would be the ideal man to marry his daughter. After all, as a Texas Ranger he had had to be strong enough to fight outlaws and Comanches, so he should be able to handle Tarin. Therefore, he offers Rafe his business if he marries his daughter. But how can he convince her to marry him when she won’t even agree to let him court her? Rafe admires Tarin for the person she is and he supports her goals, but he cannot allow her to see his scars. However, despite the conflicts keeping them apart, there are other - unseen - forces working to get these two together. A mother’s love is everlasting!
An absolutely delicious tale, HEAVEN SCENT, the first book by exceptional author Sophie Greyson, is a hauntingly beautiful and emotion-laden historical romance that I hated to see end. In this story, the scent of roses is used as a portent of Heavenly involvement. For example, as Tarin’s mother is dying, there is the scent of roses and, again, just before Rafe is rescued from the Comanches, there is suddenly the scent of roses. I loved this extra touch! The historical accuracy, heart wrenching deathbed scene, sizzling hot passion, complex and compelling characters, believable dialogue, a touch of the supernatural, romance and a forever-after love all combine to give readers a story they will remember long after the book is closed. The characters are convincingly drawn, with their vulnerabilities as well as their strengths. I highly recommend this amazing story and look forward to reading more works by this extremely talented author! In fact, Ms. Greyson has just been added to my list of ‘must-read’ authors.