Consent to Love by author Abby Wood is a story about two people from different background who overcome obstacles to be together. Kane is a Native American who lives on the reservation raising horses and does not plan on ever leaving his home or his people. Ana is a young, Caucasian woman who works as a barmaid but has talent as an artist yet to be fulfilled. The two are instantly smitten as they stare across the room at each other and soon embark on a passionate weekend together. After the weekend is over, Kane lets Ana go because he doesn't believe she could be happy living on the reservation with him but realizes he misses her too much. I loved the emotions portrayed throughout this book from the passion between Kane and Ana, the friendship between Ana and her friends Daphne, Will, and Sarah and the protectiveness from her boss, Chum. Kane's sacrifice in order for Ana to achieve her ultimate dream of being an artist was touching and heartbreaking at the same time. I found myself rooting for this couple to find their happily ever after. This long-awaited book did not disappoint.
Consent to Love by Abby Wood * I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*
Ana is a small town girl, born and raised. She works in the local bar as a waitress but is hoping to move up to cook when she completes her cooking lessons. She paints as a hobby but would love to be able to take lessons and paint full time. She doesn't have confidence in her paintings until one sells at a gallery in New York and they ask for more. Her heart's desire may be closure than she realizes but what is the cost?
Kane is a Lakota Indian that truly believes his place is on the reservation with his people. When he was young, he moved off the reservation with his woman but he never dreamed the problems it would cause him. Ana is different but he is afraid she will grow tired of the reservation and regret her decision. He regrets pushing her toward her dream, will she ever forgive him?
It is obvious Ana is from a small town. She enjoys the simple things in life and the slow pace of her town. People may be small minded but they come together when needed. She likes working at Chum's bar but she doesn't make enough. She has no desire to leave the town or her people; she would just like a little breathing room.
When Ana first meets Kane at the barn raising, she can't believe this sexy man is talking to her. She isn't looking for love but she is enjoying the attention she is getting from Kane. Ana lacks self-confidence but she is intrigued with Kane. She wants to get to know him better and when he offers her a no-strings weekend, she takes him up on his offer. Neither realized the impact they would have on one another.
Kane is a sexy Lakota Indian that loves his people, land and beliefs. He tried to move away when he was younger but disaster followed, bring shame to his people. He swore he would never leave again. He believes he is meant to marry a Lakota woman but there is something about Ana that he can't get off his mind. She is smart, funny and beautiful but oblivious to her appeal, if only she could see herself the way he does.
These two are made for one another. They both have issues that they will have to overcome before they can have a life together. She lacks self confidence in herself and he helps her see that she is value. He needs to overcome his belief that if he leaves Lakota land, bad things will happen. You see them both grow and adapt as the story progresses.
The author does a fabulous job of describing life in a small town, including the small town beliefs. You are drawn into the story and become invested in the characters. The secondary characters are limited but add to the story.
Overall I enjoyed Consent to Love and give it 4 Flaming Hearts.
This was one of those stories where if I had gone by my first inclination then I would not have finished the book. And that would have been a shame because it got better as it went for me.
The premise of the story is about how a small town girl, Ana Reynolds, with a few dreams and little self-confidence in the relationship department sees an incredibly handsome Lakota man who to her is out of her league and off limits- Lakota's only choose Lakota women. Ana is working a bartending job, but she's taking cooking classes to advance to dinner cook at the bar and she has plans to go on to college and pursue her art. Meeting Kane, or Howahkan, changes all that.
Howahkan, or Kane as he goes by off the reservation, is instantly attracted to Ana. Her sweet spirit calls to him and he wants to be with her. But he has chosen to live and work at his leather crafts and work with horses on the reservation and to help support and promote his people's way of life. He was hurt before by a woman for whom his chosen path was not enough and will not open himself to that again. He can only promise Ana a one time fling or at most occasional getting together.
Ana agrees to his offer and they come together, but it is soon evident to both of them that there is something real between them that has now been strengthened. Kane sticks to his promise though and will not allow the spark to deepen. They are both hurt, but go their separate ways. Only-
They get another chance. What will they do with it? Is what they have together strong enough to overcome outside prejudice and ambition?
The plot was simple since this was not a long story and it was fairly straightforward. I struggled because I'm not a fan of the insta-love and lust stuff. In this one, one hot look and a hotter weekend fling has Ana convinced that they are fated and I could only shake my head over that. I also struggled with how stilted the story felt at first. But once I got used to the author's voice (or maybe it got better, not sure), I really enjoyed the story that unfolded. It brought up real issues that these two had to deal with- cross culture relationship, insecurities brought on by the past, and the possibility that their dreams would interfere with them being together. After the passionate weekend, the relationship did turn into one of growing attraction and discovery about each other though the sultry bedroom scenes did continue.
The world building was nicely done. I enjoyed the little peeks at the Lakota traditions and the back drop of the small ranching community.
I really liked Ana and Kane once they started really trying to be a couple and opening up to each other. The secondary characters added to the story and I liked them too. One of the secondary characters, Daphne, has her own story and I'll probably check that out at some point.
Glad I kept reading to the finish! Enjoyable read for those who like me enjoy Western Contemporary Romances.