I make my home in Fredericton, New Brunswick–land of beautiful trees and walking trails, and birthplace of Walter the Farting Dog (see John Buhler’s review in v12 i35).
My experience of Alberta is limited to two family weddings, and a fast-paced week at the Calgary Stampede. I’ve visited the Rockies, and canoed Lake Louise. And of course, thanks to the wonderful world of technology, I am an Athabasca University student. So when I came upon the novel, Lauren’s Eyes, by New Brunswick-based romance writer, Norah Wilson, and was transported to the foothills of Alberta, the read was an interesting experience. And a rewarding one.
Prompted by a paranormal vision of murder, East Coast veterinarian Lauren Townsend finds her self bound for an Alberta dude ranch. On a mission to save Marlena, the mysterious woman in her vision, Lauren encounters the rugged, handsome and complicated, Cal Taggart.
The two soon find themselves embroiled in a passionate physical affair, and, fighting it all the way, a deepening love affair also. But there’s a problem. Cal could very well turn out to be the murderer in the vision that has led Lauren west. He has the motive. He has the opportunity. But soon, he also has Lauren’s heart.
Cheering for the heroine is easy in this novel. Lauren is smart, confident and strong. But Wilson also portrays her as very ‘real’. She worries about relating the secret of her visions for fear of losing Cal. She has past pain and heartache to contend with. Wilson has created a heroine the reader can relate to. Lauren has hopes and fears, problems and victories, like all of us.
A very intriguing secondary character in Lauren’s Eyes, is the beautiful, yet troubled, Marlena. I liked this character, Cal’s ex-wife, very much. She is a woman down on her luck in the world. She made some wrong choices in her life, and deserves a second chance. So, I found myself cheering for her also, hoping that Lauren would save her in time, and too, that she would ultimately save herself from her own destructive behaviour.
Not only does Wilson paint a beautiful and vivid picture of the Alberta landscape, she captures the reader into her novel and doesn’t let go–making us cheer for the protagonist, fall head over heels for the cowboy, and keeping us wrapped in the mystery throughout.
Lauren’s Eyes is a very entertaining and satisfying romance read with believable characters, wonderfully written (hot and spicy) love scenes, and page-turning suspense. Norah Wilson is an award-winning writer, and it’s easy to see why.