Lieutenant Magdalena Cruz had come home... And though all she wanted was to be alone, infuriatingly handsome Dr. Jake Dalton -- of the enemy Daltons -- would not cooperate. And she needed him to, because the walls around her heart were dangerously close to crumbling every time he came near...
Jake had spent most of his life trying to get closer to Maggie, with little to show for it. But she was the woman he'd always wanted, and no injury in the world could change that. Now if only he could convince her that the woman who stood before him was beautiful, desirable, whole... and meant to be his...
Dr. Jake Dalton is part of the ranching family of the Cold Creek Daltons. He and his two brothers, Wade and Seth, survived their childhood with their tough and dishonest father, Hank. They have all built lives they can be proud of and none more than Jake, who is now the dedicated and hardworking sole physician in Pine Gulch. Despite all these accomplishments, Jake is a lonely man who spends his days working long hours and takes little time for himself.
Maggie Cruz is home. After a tour of duty in Afghanistan that ended in the loss of a limb, numerous surgeries and five months of rehabilitation at the Walter Reed Army Hospital, Maggie is ready for some tender loving care. Rancho de la Luna and her mother Viviana can provide that for her, and frankly she doesn't feel she has too many options at the moment. With her nursing career at an end and her self-confidence in tatters, is there a better place to hide than home? Maggie is not taking Jake into consideration.
There is a history between Maggie and Jake. They grew up together and although both their fathers are dead, what happened between them still affects Maggie's view of Jake and his family. Her contempt for all things Dalton is evident from their first meeting early in the book and Jake seems to be her focus. Jake on the other hand can't stay away from Maggie -- he always had feelings for her and now she's back, in obvious pain and needs him. He's not about to stay away.
Dancing in the Moonlight has that 'secret crush' trope that I love to read in this type of romance. Thayne does an excellent job of bringing these two characters together and developing their relationship. The fact that they've known each other their whole lives helps with the development and gives them the background history needed to make the romance a believable one.
Maggie's struggle through her physical and emotional trauma was both believable and touching. Her cluelessness when it came to Jake's feelings was also understandable under the circumstances. She was carrying a lot of baggage and we share Maggie's growth by seeing her go through different phases: pain, insecurity, stubbornness, pride and self-awareness. Jake's persistence, patience and understanding were just what Maggie needed. He was a wonderful hero, if a tad too perfect at times. Neither an alpha nor a beta, Jake certainly knew what to say and when to say it. I liked him and wanted him to get his woman.
There is a sense of community in the book as secondary characters are kept in the periphery, with Maggy's mother, Viviana, and her uncle, Guillermo, highlighted within the story. The focus is kept squarely on the couple as is customary in these romances.
It has been a long time since I read a Silhouette I wanted to recommend -- Dancing in The Moonlight is that book. Needless to say I enjoyed it and will not only check Thayne's back list, but I'm also looking forward to her new release.
Dancing in the Moonlight is part of Raeanne Thayne's Silhouette Special Edition Cowboys, Cold Creek series. This is Book #2 in the original trilogy featuring the Dalton brothers: Light The Stars (Book #1) and Dalton's Undoing (Book #3).
Ms. Thayne has an extensive back list of Silhouette Special Editions, Silhouette Suspense and Silhouette Intimate Moments books. A Cold Creek Homecoming, a new Cowboys, Cold Creek series release is scheduled for September 2009.
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