Title: Violets Are Blue
Author: Ronda Thompson
Published in July 2002 by Dorchester/LoveSpell
Violet Mallory is gone. Not only that, but it appears she has robbed a bank, and her mentor doesn't know what to do. Violet. He thought she was happy; he had done as his daughter, Lilla, had asked and given her clothes, education, a home, and his love. The last part wasn't a request, it just was. Violet was like that: she inspired one to love her, and lord knows Miles Traften did. With Lilla happy in Texas, Miles had taken Violet home and lavished her with as much love as he did his own daughter. Now she has taken one of his best horses and gone who knows where...He has to find her, and find out why she left, but who can he send after her? Wade and Grady are too far away, but of the two, Grady would be best. Miles doesn’t have time for Grady to come all the way to St. Louis, however; that would take too long. Why was Violet seen with that unscrupulous looking man? What was she thinking? So many questions and no satisfactory answers.
Violet is on her way. The bank robbery went well, and so far her plans are going without a hitch. Thank heavens that cowboy she met outside of St. Louis left her alone. Gregory Kline. He had changed, and fortunately so had she. He didn't recognize her and thank heavens for that! Violet is a woman on a mission. She has a plan -- a means to an end, and it's vengeance and revenge. Two men are going to be very sorry they ever tangled with her; she’ll see to it personally. Violet is proud of the name-dropping she did at the bank. It was inspired. Dalton is a name that everyone recognizes and everyone fears. Maybe she doesn’t feel bad about her actions because she is truly rotten to the core, and after all, her real last name is Dalton. She will make sure that her father pays for his crimes even if she has to frame him herself. The man who raised her, beat her, and then sold her for a case of whiskey will spend the rest of his life in jail, and the first bank is an easy start towards that goal. Her father: Harold Dalton. The string of robberies leading right to his door should do the trick, and with any luck, she can rescue her siblings and get out before the law shows up to find the evidence and haul her father away. Violet is glad she changed into a dress outside of town; the posse rode right by her looking for a man. Spending time in this hotel was also a good idea. The bubble bath is relaxing, and as she slides further into the water she realizes how much she loves bubble baths.
Gregory Kline is angry. He knows that Miles exiled him to Wyoming because he tried to blackmail Wade into getting the deed to the Circle C ranch. He also tried to woo Lilla, and his methods didn't endear him to Miles. Three years! He had been stuck in that awful Wyoming wilderness for three years and it didn't sit well at all. He had a hunch that Miles was just going to leave him there, and there was no way! He wanted to confront the man. But when Gregory walks into Miles's study, he doesn't expect to find the hard as steel businessman near tears. Violet, Violet, Violet. What is going on here? Why is Miles so upset over Violet? Where is she? Gregory really doesn't care; he just wants his part of the partnership back. Miles promised Gregory he'd consider it if he was successful with the Wyoming merger. He had done the job, but Miles had ignored him -- for three years! He had to learn some hard lessons while there, but now Gregory is back. True, he has not changed that much. He is still a man bent on climbing up the social ladder and regaining respectability -- not that he has any for real but the illusion will do quite well. Miles Traften is the man who can make it happen.
Dangling the carrot is something Miles knows will work on Gregory and so, using the partnership that Gregory desires, Miles sends him to find Violet. Gregory doesn't know what he's getting into, but in a flash of memory, he realizes where Violet is, and which way she is going. When he catches up with the beauty, Gregory doesn't get what he bargained for, however. A clout on the head with Violet's gun's butt, slipping out of the room they shared, and robbing a bank seem to be just the tip of the iceberg. He is sure there is more to this mess, in this attempt to coax her back to the only real home she has ever known. What is she doing?
I wasn't sure about this book. After making the acquaintance of Gregory Kline in "Prickly Pear" and "Desert Bloom" I just couldn't envision him as anyone's hero, let alone Violet's choice. Boy was I surprised! Ronda Thompson has taken two of the most unlikely people and put together a story that is a blend of tragic pasts being melded into a real future. The childhood that shaped Violet's past is dimmed by the realization that maybe she IS worth something. The misdeeds of Gregory’s past are, in truth, something that he is not proud of doing and that fact alone is mystifying to him. I would not have thought that anything could be done to make me like Gregory, but Ronda did it. I can hardly believe what happened to my opinions with this book. I promised an open mind, and I got much more than I bargained for in Violets Are Blue. The story draws you in and keeps you there with a series of twists that take you through the labyrinth that lead to these events.
The characters are compelling and very well matched. Even with all their faults, both find things hidden within their deepest parts that enable them to change and find love in each other's arms. Within the depths of these two are many hidden fascets, and one good look finds that love may not be so far away. With Violet and gregory, we never really know, and the surprises just keep coming. The how's and why's are for you to find out and I strongly suggest you look for this superb offering from Leisure Historical Romance in July. It is a must for anyone who enjoys a great story and a wonderful romance. It is definitely a must buy!
Yours in good reading,