Believe in Me
Book Two of the Rosewood Trilogy
Ballantine Books (January 2011)
EVEN THE MOST TIGHTLY LOCKED HEART HAS A KEY.
After learning of her husband’s affair, Jordan Radcliffe is crushed, but she knows she must stay strong for her three young children. So she moves back to Rosewood, the idyllic horse farm where she grew up. Wishing only to recover and reassess her life, Jordan feels an undeniable attraction to architect Owen Gage—and does her best to ignore it. Her heart is too fragile to love again.
Yet when Owen, who himself is wary of any romantic involvement, offers her a job she badly needs, Jordan has no choice but to accept, even though it means she’ll be working alongside him every day. And that closeness could intensify the connection between them—a desire as unnerving as it is powerful.
Read the Reviews
"I would have loved this book for the scene where a snobby bitch gets her comeuppance, if for no other reason, but it offers much more than that one glorious scene. It is the kind of contemporary romance I see too little of these days—a story about a relationship that develops in compelling and credible ways, one that involves the hero and heroine as fully dimensional characters. Jordan and Gage are adults with all the baggage that adults accumulate through decades of living. Sex is powerful, but easy compared to the risk of trusting your heart to someone and making them part of your life. Jordan’s children are real kids with distinct personalities and not always convenient needs. One of the delights of the book was watching Kate, Max, and Olivia work their way into Owen’s reluctant heart. Jordan’s sister Margot and brother-in-law Travis, the heroine and hero of Book 1, play meaningful parts in the story rather than making mere cameo appearances, and the turbulent times of teenage sister Jade continue...
Jordan and Owen’s romance is less dramatic and conflicted than Margo and Travis’s, but the reader is no less engaged in their tale. The Virginia horse country and the historic Rosewood add their own charms to the story. If you like family series and romances that include heart-tugging scenes along with some sizzle, I think you’ll like Believe in Me as much as I did."
The Romance Dish
"This book was...full of details about horse farms, interior decoration and house restoration. If you don’t like slow building relationships, and long books that have more to do with everyday life than great events, and where the problem between the protagonists comes from within themselves and not because of a misunderstanding, then probably this book isn’t for you.
I enjoyed the love story between Jordan and Owen...The other thing I loved was that for once we get a realistic portrayal of the ex, yes he was a jerk, but regardless of how bad he was to Jordan, he was a good father who loved and missed his children, and even Jordan recognized that...And I think they resolved their issues as adults, he wasn’t the villain of the story, in fact, this book doesn’t have a villain, as I said before, the problems are everyday problems, and the obstacles they have to face come from their own issues and personalities.
Overall this is a book about family, everyday life and second chance at love. I think you will like it..."
"One way that I judge a book is by whether I find it easy to put down or if I resent anything that cuts into my reading time. Believe in Me by Laura Moore is a book that I did not find easy to put down. And when I had to stop and do necessary housework, the book stayed on my mind. Even with interruptions, I started the book Monday afternoon and finished it Tuesday...
...For readers who haven't read Ms. Moore's books before, her books are longer and the pacing a little slower then a lot of romance novels because they are entrenched with horse lore as part of her world building. As a non-horse fanatic, I wasn’t bored, enjoying the snippets about training colts, grooming, etc., since those touches immersed one more in the fictional Rosewood.
What made the book so emotionally satisfying to me was the development of the relationships. The one between the Owen and Jordan starts out slow but showcases the character growth of both. Many times mental lusting jars me out of the story, but with the slower development of the romance, it felt natural and the love scenes are sensuous. The children also feature prominently in the story. As an only child, Owen knows nothing about children and his discomfort around them is humorous. Also, I was captivated by Jade, the troubled younger sister.
If you're looking for a story that will draw you in and warm your heart, then Believe in Me is a perfect choice."
All About Romance
"This was an all-round fantastic read. I fully admit to laughing out loud and gasping in surprise at some of the twists in the story. I also admit to falling in love with Jordan, and especially with Owen, from the very first. Both remarkable characters in their own right, together, they are a pair than absolutely should not be missed. This is a heartfelt, touching story that is expertly told, and will keep you spellbound until the last chapter is complete."
The Romance Reviews
"The hero and heroine do not consummate their relationship until halfway through book two in Moore's Rosewood trilogy, which allows readers to experience the characters growing into a relationship, as opposed to jumping in headfirst. The author does an excellent job of developing both the major and minor characters. The sensual scenes are steamy without going overboard with the raunchy details. Additionally, the expert information about the horse training and breeding business creates an interesting backdrop."
B. Nakia Garner
4 Stars - Hot!
Jordan rechecked her makeup. Thanks to Kristin, a stylist friend of Margot’s, she had become an expert in the uses of concealer. She’d learned not only how to erase the violet smudges beneath her eyes, but also how to use blush and the right hues of lipstick to emphasize her cheekbones and mouth. By employing a subtle mix of tones around her eyes, she’d discovered that she could fool people into thinking that the shadows lurking in them were exotic, mysterious, rather than a darkness that threatened her soul.
She raised her ringless hands to smooth her hair, which she’d decided to wear loose today. Better to look feminine than professional: in Nonie Harrison’s world not too many women actually worked.
Rising from the small bench in front of her vanity table, she checked the floral print crepe de chine skirt and ivory sleeveless silk knit top in the mirror and wondered what was missing. Jewelry, of course. She bent down and opened a square leather case and found a pair of antique gold earrings that had belonged to her mother and a delicate diamond pendant that Margot and Travis had given her for Christmas.
There, she looked understatedly elegant, exactly how Nonie would expect Jordan Radcliffe to appear. Meet people’s expectations and they rarely bothered to look deeper.
No need to take a sweater or a light jacket, she thought, as she picked up her purse off the white bedspread. It was a glorious spring day . . . wasn’t that funny, how the days had slipped by? The Virginia air was mild, sweetened with the perfume of sunshine- kissed flowers. This year’s crop of foals was frolicking in the pastures with their dams. The breeding season was upon them. Nocturne, the stallion they had standing at stud, was eager to meet his mares in the breeding shed. All around her Rosewood was bursting with life. How sadly out of step with the farm she was, so blighted and dead inside. But that, too, Jordan had learned to conceal from the world.
She left her room on the third floor and went into the adjacent attic bedroom shared by Kate and Olivia, a smile lighting her face. Olivia and Miriam Banner, their housekeeper Ellie’s niece, were sprawled on the pale blue and pink hooked rug building a tower with Olivia’s cardboard nesting blocks. As soon as Miriam placed the last block atop the slender pyramid, Olivia lurched to her feet and kicked the tower with a happy cry.
“Hi, there, Olivia,” she said.
At the sound of her voice, Olivia’s face lit up and she tottered over on stubby legs, her short arms held out— a blond, mini- Frankenstein with a cherub’s smile.
Jordan scooped her up and kissed the sweet hollow of her neck. “Let’s get you changed so you’ll be nice and clean when you and Miriam go and pick up Kate and Max at school, okeydokey?”
Miriam rose to her feet. “I can do that—”
“That’s okay. I’ve got her,” she replied, already setting down her purse. She laid Olivia upon the changing table, pulled down the elastic waistband of her blue- and- cream-striped leggings, and undid the tabs on the diaper. Moving with the precision of a pit stop mechanic at the Indy 500, Jordan shucked the diaper, dropped it into the garbage pail by her feet, cleaned Olivia with a baby wipe, sprinkled her bottom and thighs with baby powder and, for good measure, her rounded tummy, too, and then fastened a fresh diaper. Up went the leggings, down went the dancing dog printed T-shirt, and Olivia was good to go.
“All done,” she announced, hefting her powder-fresh baby in her arms. “Now, Miriam, are you sure you’re okay with picking up Kate and Max?”
“Okay. I left the minivan’s keys on the tray in the front hall. For lunch there’s mac and cheese. It’s in the fridge, wrapped in foil. For dessert you can—” she stopped in mid- sentence at Miriam’s grin.
“It’s cool, Jordan, I’ve got the routine down. We’ll be fine. Remember, you’re only going out to lunch. It’s not like you’ll be away for a week.”
The thought of being separated from her children for an entire week made her slightly faint. “I’ll be back by three. If you could get Max to nap when Olivia goes down, that would be great. Tell him if he does, he’ll have a better riding lesson with Jade. And I have my cell in case you need me.”
“Of course you do,” Miriam nodded gravely. “And in case all the satellites get taken out by an asteroid, Aunt Ellie might be able to give me a hand. Don’t know whether I can count on Margot coming to the rescue, though, since after lunch she’ll be all the way down at the main barn.”
Jordan managed a weak laugh. “Right. Thanks for the reality check.”
“Have a good time at lunch. You’ll knock Mrs. Harrison off her feet, I’m sure. Now, give Mommy a kiss bye- bye, 'Liv, and then you and I are going to build the biggest tower ever.”
“Bye, bye,” Olivia said.
Bless her for being a happy, carefree baby and not a neurotic mess like her mother, Jordan thought, squeezing her daughter tight and kissing her cheek.