For as long as anyone can remember Seylah Wickes-Barnes has been at the side of August Leclaire, her best friend and the boy her fathers took under their wing. Now a grown woman and looking for love, Seylah's deepest regret, and secret, is quickly coming to surface: She has been in love with August for as long as she can remember.
For years she has been content in her role as secretary to the Sheriff's department in Gold Sky, Montana. Mostly for the opportunity to be around the men of her family, and the one who still owns her heart. But there is no denying that the woman behind the desk is far more suited to wielding a gun and keeping the peace. If only she could convince her fathers to see her in a new light, as a person worthy of a deputy's badge.
Determined to put her past behind her, Seylah gives her attentions to a handsome new arrival. One who sweeps Seylah off her feet-quite literally. Things are almost perfect until August suddenly declares his intent to court her. Can she trust that August's affections are true and not inspired by jealousy?
Amongst gun fights and forbidden kisses, childhood friendships mature into a love built on forever and intimate desire in this tale of friends-to-prickly-allies-to-lovers romance
Honor and Desire was well-written and fairly true to the voice of its respective period, but there was something unexciting about the story. Seylah is a gun touting and sharp-shooting woman whose only wish is to protect the town and the people she loves. Being a woman in this position, though fully embraced by her family, is still unheard of. August, her best friend, is quietly the love of her life. Except despite their closeness, they seem doomed to remain just friends. The strongest part of the novel aside from the easy-to-follow writing--was the family. The characters in the family, particularly her sisters, leaped off the page in their realness. I have to admit the cover, and not the story initially pulled me towards the novel. The author didn't rely on character descriptions. With only the mention of the curl of Seylah's hair; and the mention of a dress complimenting her complexion; there isn't concrete proof the MC was a Black woman at all. Much to my disappointment. I don't know what I expected, but I thought her being black would have turned the story in an altogether different direction. Regarding the romance, I almost didn't expect it to happen. I wouldn't call the romance slow-burn, because there wasn't much or any build-up. August seemed so disinterested in Seylah. When she finds out just how uninterested he is, it almost sours their friendship. Once she sets her eyes on someone new, he declares his undying love for her, and they begin their courtship. There's a small period of doubt, but it lasts only but a minute. There were plenty of sweet moments, but I didn't expect the relationship, even though it's spelled out in the blurb. I have to admit; I didn't read it, so there's that. Their relationship was grounded in inevitability rather than romance. There's no conflict between the two, even after they paired off, and I think the story needed conflict to shake things up a bit. Carter does a good job of penning this historical romance; at times I felt pulled from the story because of the occasional contemporary language. Again, I could be off the mark due to my lack of ignorance, but there were moments it felt more contemporary than historical. Overall Honor and Desire is a perfectly readable and engaging tale. It's rather well-written, though I found the story lacking in action and thrill. I'd be perfectly content to read more books from this author; particularly the forthcoming novels that focus on the sisters who I felt were the true stars of the novel.