Review: Once Upon A Love by Marilyn Yarbrough

Once Upon A Love by Marilyn Yarbrough
Release Date: July 28, 2011
Publisher:  The Wild Rose Press, Inc. (American Rose)
Pages: 322
Source:  Publisher

Hurt too many times by women, Jake Tyrell no longer believes in happily-ever-after. Despite his vow to never marry, he promises to provide a home for his dying brother’s children. When the hired nursemaid arrives in California, she is not the woman he expected. This woman, although beautiful, can’t cook, wash, or clean, and worse, she believes in a fairy tale life—one that includes love and marriage. On the run from her controlling brother and a life of privilege, Amanda Collingsworth rescues three abandoned children and arrives by coach in Sacramento posing as their mother. Safely at her destination, she finds her false identity both protective and problematic. Working with Jake to safeguard the children, she finds herself attracted to a man who believes in lust rather than love. Her body craves his touch, but can she ever hope to win his heart?


Review:  What a great story. It held my interest from beginning to end and I wished it could have gone on for a few more chapters. There was great character development, a rich storyline, a happily ever after and closure. The story took place in the 1860’s in California and drew you in immediately.

There were laugh out loud moments, tears, some romance, intrigue and friends. The descriptions of the locations made you feel that you were there. There was never a dull moment with 3 children underfoot as well as all the sparks flying between Jake and Amanda. They had chemistry from the moment they met but neither one wanted to think about what they felt especially since Jake was a sworn bachelor who was multifaceted and could never love a woman due to the way he grew up. They fought and apologized constantly and tried to hide it all from Jake’s nieces and nephew that lived with them. The children’s manners and behaviors always amazed me after the rough start they had to their lives. Amanda was game to try anything and was a quick learner of most things domestic.

The story itself was reminiscent to me of Heartbreak Creek by Kaki Warner in that they both took place in the West, there were orphaned children and a caretaker was needed. I have not read books by Yarbrough before but will be definitely be adding her books to my TBR pile.

Favorite Quote:  That night when she awoke on the sofa with Jake wrapped around her – that was lust. She didn’t like him then, but things had changed. Little by little, one moment at a time, Amanda came to know him for the man he was. A man she admired and respected. A man she loved.