In a nutshell: Rico Salvatore is a decorative young man with a reputation where women are concerned; he'd never been told no. When Lily Fortier arrives claiming ownership of the Rock Creek saloon, he is intrigued by this woman who seems immune to his charms. After working hard to convince her and then only getting her on her own terms, a relationship develops that quickly turns to love. Then her past catches up with her, tearing them apart. His past then rears its ugly head.

Third installment of the "Rock Creek Six" series: The continuity is superb. Every character stays true to the personalities that were developed in the first book,Reese (Rock Creek) and further developed inSullivan (Rock Creek). Very impressive considering there are two different authors involved in this series.

My opinion:
The first time I read this—about 3 years ago—I was not impressed with Rico, the character. This time, I was in a different frame of mind and realized that while his character may not have been so developed as the heroine's, he was still a believably tortured young man, traumatized by the verbal abuse he'd suffered at the hands of his father and later, his experiences in the war. He was likable and romantic and despite his belief that he could get any woman in his bed—(gross)—he was not unbearably cocky about it.

Lily was an interesting, unusual heroine. Her past trauma had turned her into a self-sufficient, worldly-wise woman willing to do what she must to survive. She really made the story. She was someone the reader could root for, empathize with, and envy all at once. I could go on all day about how wonderfully she was developed but I will leave it at that. :o)

Supporting characters: I find myself falling more and more for Cash with each successive book in this series. Each book gives a little more of a glimpse into his personality. If I remember correctly, I had the same feelings the first time I read this series. Each of the six men were further developed in this story, even the previous two heroes, as were their wives. As I mentioned before, excellent continuity.

Complaints: None, really, except the usual. There were certain words and phrases that didn't seem in keeping with the time and, of course, the love scenes were too detailed, but I skipped them anyway, so, whatever. :o)

Previously, I gave this 4 stars because I could not connect with Rico, which annoyed me. Now, I give it 5 stars for continuity, character development, emotion, and flow. I look forward to the next book,Jed (Rock Creek).