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They were two untamed outcasts on a Texas-bound wagon train. Two passionate travelers, united by need, threatened by pasts they could not outrun ... Lydia Bryant --- voluptuous and russet-haired, fleeing from a secret shame, vowing that never again would a man, any man, overpower her ... Ross Coleman --- dark, brooding and iron-willed, with the shadow of a lawless past in hi They were two untamed outcasts on a Texas-bound wagon train. Two passionate travelers, united by need, threatened by pasts they could not outrun ... Lydia Bryant --- voluptuous and russet-haired, fleeing from a secret shame, vowing that never again would a man, any man, overpower her ... Ross Coleman --- dark, brooding and iron-willed, with the shadow of a lawless past in his piercing eyes, sworn to resist the temptation of his wanton longings ... Fate threw them together on the same wild road, where they fought the breathtaking desire blazing between them, while the shadows of their enemies grew longer. As the wagon train rolled west, the danger to them drew ever closer, until a showdown with their pursuers was inevitable. Before it was over, Lydia and Ross would face death ... the truth about each other ... and the astonishing strength of their love ...


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They were two untamed outcasts on a Texas-bound wagon train. Two passionate travelers, united by need, threatened by pasts they could not outrun ... Lydia Bryant --- voluptuous and russet-haired, fleeing from a secret shame, vowing that never again would a man, any man, overpower her ... Ross Coleman --- dark, brooding and iron-willed, with the shadow of a lawless past in hi They were two untamed outcasts on a Texas-bound wagon train. Two passionate travelers, united by need, threatened by pasts they could not outrun ... Lydia Bryant --- voluptuous and russet-haired, fleeing from a secret shame, vowing that never again would a man, any man, overpower her ... Ross Coleman --- dark, brooding and iron-willed, with the shadow of a lawless past in his piercing eyes, sworn to resist the temptation of his wanton longings ... Fate threw them together on the same wild road, where they fought the breathtaking desire blazing between them, while the shadows of their enemies grew longer. As the wagon train rolled west, the danger to them drew ever closer, until a showdown with their pursuers was inevitable. Before it was over, Lydia and Ross would face death ... the truth about each other ... and the astonishing strength of their love ...

30 review for Sunset Embrace

  1. 4 out of 5

    Nenia ✨ I yeet my books back and forth ✨ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest I actually bought this book because of all the negative reviews for it. They were saying that the hero was cruel, that the plot was OTT, and that there was dubious consent. None of those things particularly bother me, and given that this was published in 1985 when that was basically the de facto standard for books of this type, I wasn't particularly surprised. But SUNSET EMBRACE doesn't pull back any punches when it comes to its problema Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest I actually bought this book because of all the negative reviews for it. They were saying that the hero was cruel, that the plot was OTT, and that there was dubious consent. None of those things particularly bother me, and given that this was published in 1985 when that was basically the de facto standard for books of this type, I wasn't particularly surprised. But SUNSET EMBRACE doesn't pull back any punches when it comes to its problematic content. The story literally opens with the grievously ill heroine giving birth to a stillborn baby in a field that was the product of abuse. **WARNING: SPOILERS TO FOLLOW** From there, it gets worse. The heroine-- Lydia-- is taken in by a kind-hearted family who are part of a wagon train. She stays with them for a while, until we learn that one of the other wagon owners, a man named Coleman, has just had his wife die in labor. The family that took Lydia in decides that she'd be a great wet nurse for the hero, Ross's, baby, never mind the fact that he has nothing but bad names to call her, all variations of whore, slut, and tramp, and says he'd rather let his new son die than take sustenance at the bosom of a woman of ill repute. Because THAT'S parenting! But the matriarch of Lydia's savior family, known to us as Ma, is determined to play matchmaker, and Lydia ends up staying in Coleman's wagon... and from there, it gets worse. This book is like 300+ pages of diet lactation erotica. The hero goggles at her every time she feeds his son. At one point, he expresses jealousy that his son "knows what she tastes like." Eventually, he goes in for a taste of his own, because of course. We are constantly informed about the heroine's endowments, and how she doesn't fit into any of her dresses on account of her chest being too big. For some reason, her blouses keep getting wet, so their are lots of descriptions of her soaking wet "impudent nipples" and the like. During one sex scene, the hero implores for her to "nourish him" and the heroine wistfully bemoans the fact that she has no more breast milk to feed him with. There's several side stories that are equally cringe. A couple of the teenagers in the camp have this really graphic and lurid affair with each other, and one of them is a girl named Priscilla who ends up becoming a prostitute at the end of the story (and her chest gets tons of description time, as well). Coleman's father in law is also running up a bounty on him because it turns out he used to be a bank robber and he believes Coleman only wanted his daughter for her fabulous fortune. And then, there's Lydia's step-brother-- the one who got her pregnant through rape-- who is now choking prostitutes to death when he's not planning on taking Coleman's bounty money for himself. I don't even know what this book is. I've read a lot of WTFistically written bodice-rippers, but this was honestly one of the most squeamishly bizarre. In addition to all of the other stuff, the one Black character is threatened with a lynching for a murder he didn't commit (don't worry-- I believe he actually ends up all right at the end of the book), one of the villain characters throws the N-word around to show us all he's a bad guy, and the hero rapes the heroine after trying-- and failing-- to get it up in a whorehouse. Why? Because she was tending to a male friend with tuberculosis and he decided they looked too friendly, so he "punishes" her, a rape victim, with sexual assault. I thought about giving this 2* at first because it was just so over the top and gratuitously awful that I was like, "Welp, I can't help but admire the ballsiness of this author." But I didn't really enjoy it all that much, and $3.99 was a lot to pay for a book I really had to force myself to finish. I did find this story morbidly fascinating but it wasn't pleasant to read, and in terms of WTFery that this author has written during her bodice-ripper years, I think I prefer SLOW HEAT IN HEAVEN. 1 to 1.5 stars

  2. 5 out of 5

    Duchess Nicole

    DNF-ing at about 65%. POSSIBLE SPOILERS!!!! Don't read on unless you want the details. I read this book in the past and remember liking it, although I do recall that the hero was a standout jerk at first. Upon this reread, I confirmed my earlier thoughts but honestly, he went way beyond jerk territory into complete asshole. The premise is already an uncomfortable one at the beginning. In the opening scene, Lydia is giving birth to a stillborn baby conceived through rape via her stepbrother. She's DNF-ing at about 65%. POSSIBLE SPOILERS!!!! Don't read on unless you want the details. I read this book in the past and remember liking it, although I do recall that the hero was a standout jerk at first. Upon this reread, I confirmed my earlier thoughts but honestly, he went way beyond jerk territory into complete asshole. The premise is already an uncomfortable one at the beginning. In the opening scene, Lydia is giving birth to a stillborn baby conceived through rape via her stepbrother. She's ready to die and okay with the fact that the baby is dead. A couple of boys from a passing wagon train stumble upon her and the baby, and their ma and pa take her in. Coincidentally, Ross Coleman's wife dies in labor a few days later and Lydia is needed as a milk cow to keep the baby alive. Ross is an unbelievable ass. I understand that he is grieving, but the way he treats others says so much about him. Lydia is dealing with a horrific past and a shaky, scary present, and yet she maintains her dignity and poise. Ross just turns into a mean, nasty person. He loves calling her a whore, treating her like a second class citizen, making her feel like a burden to him, and constantly letting her know how she could never measure up to his dead wife. The cherry on the top of his degradation of Lydia is when he rapes her...literally holds her down, bruises her wrists, fucks her raw, and does this while she's screaming and crying out in pain, begging him to stop. There's no forced seduction here, nothing titillating or pleasing about this encounter. And yet somehow, when Lydia...who has never known sex to be anything but rape...thinks about this encounter the next day with tenderness and longing. What the actual fuck? This is the point where I lose interest in the story, because no matter what happens from here on out, I can't get past the rape, and I can't imagine a woman who is brutalized that way romanticizing it the very next day. I know sometimes I enjoy stories with forced seduction and scenes that ride fine line between that and rape. I have no excuses except that often there are subtleties that influence my opinion, and I don't feel the need to make excuses for my preferences. They are what they are Seeing as how I'm a romance reader and let's face it...romance is often predictable...I'm fairly certain I know how the book will play out. But I'm listening to the audiobook, and still have something like four or five hours to go before the end. I'm just not interested in investing that much more time in it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    MBR

    I first read Sunset Embrace by Sandra Brown in 2009 and this romance lodged itself permanently in my heart and my favorites shelf for eons to come. Lately my hankering for a fix of romance that features a dangerous hero whose undeniable passion towards a woman that seems to be the least likely match for him literally brings him down to his knees had me re-reading this oldie but goodie and finished it off loving it as much as I did it back in 2009. 20 year old Lydia Bryant is found on the verge of I first read Sunset Embrace by Sandra Brown in 2009 and this romance lodged itself permanently in my heart and my favorites shelf for eons to come. Lately my hankering for a fix of romance that features a dangerous hero whose undeniable passion towards a woman that seems to be the least likely match for him literally brings him down to his knees had me re-reading this oldie but goodie and finished it off loving it as much as I did it back in 2009. 20 year old Lydia Bryant is found on the verge of death after delivering her stillborn child in the woods, craving the oblivion of death more than her next breathe. Her savior comes in the form of two teenage boys from a nearby travelling caravan, whose mother Ma Langston nurses Lydia back to health. 32 year old Ross Coleman is a man who has a dangerous past. Married to Victoria, a lady from genteel society who is carrying his child, Ross is forever grateful to the woman who shares his life because Victoria accepted him into the elite circle of which Ross doesn't feel he is worthy of. The bastard child of a whore, Ross is handsome and dangerous, a heady package that is liable to make any woman with even half her ovaries intact swoon. When Victoria dies in child labor giving Ross his son Lee who refuses to be fed from any other source and is on the verge of death himself, Ross is forced to take in Lydia to take care of Lee, a woman who raises his hackles because he thinks Lydia to be a woman who is no better off than his own mother. But even from the first moment when eyes of green clashes with that of amber, there is no turning back for either of these two whose undeniable attraction towards one another could practically be cut through with a knife. It is an interesting passage that Lydia and Ross takes towards happily ever after, each guarding the secrets of their past with a vengeance. Lydia who refuses to bow down to any man after the constant abuse she has suffered in the past and Ross who vows that he would always honor the memory of his genteel and beautiful wife Victoria finds themselves in a battle of wills that is no match for the hunger that each inspire in the other. There is none who can weave strong sexual tension like Sandra Brown can and this is evident in each and every single encounter between Lydia and Ross in Sunset Embrace. More effective than even the most explicit erotica, Sunset Embrace evokes all sorts of emotion, providing an angsty read that I loved to the maximum. Ross Coleman is a hero that feminists may not like. But I love him as he is, his broody character and the way he tries to deny his burgeoning feelings towards Lydia the woman towards whom he is drawn towards like a moth flame. Lydia doesn't fare off any better with her undeniable need for a man who seems to despise her, but in reality despises himself for his weakness when it comes to Lydia. In the heady passion that swirls between them, Lydia and Ross both discover a love that is unlike any other, a fragile trust that forges between them that breaks into silvery shards when their pasts come calling. It is love of the truest kind that sees them through, delivering a happily ever after that I rooted for right from the very beginning. For me, it is the sensations that the heady desire between Ross and Lydia invoked deep within me that turned out to be the best part of the book. Recommended for those who love the American Western romance genre, and for those who can take a hero who has the ability to make you swoon and gnash your teeth in equal measure, the type of heroes that authors refuse to write anymore because they aren't well received by the ultra feminists who complain when heroes don't fit into the ultra sensitive mold cast by them. For me, I need my fix of the bad-ass heroes every now and then. Wish authors would write heroes like Ross Coleman more often. *sigh* Rating=5+/5 A different version of my review can be found on MBR's Realm of Romance P.S. I just had to write down this review after re-reading to share my thoughts on one of the most wonderful American Western historicals out there.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nikki ღ Navareus

    This was so beautifully angsty. I loved the scathing verbal hate that Ross repeatedly punished Lydia with when they were first forced to be together, and then off and on through the rest of the story. I know that's wrong, but asshole heroes are my sickness. Poor Lydia had such a horrific past and had very little self esteem left by the time she was found and rescued by the good people she came to know as friends. Ross's hateful name calling and rude assumptions of Lydia reduced her confidences ev This was so beautifully angsty. I loved the scathing verbal hate that Ross repeatedly punished Lydia with when they were first forced to be together, and then off and on through the rest of the story. I know that's wrong, but asshole heroes are my sickness. Poor Lydia had such a horrific past and had very little self esteem left by the time she was found and rescued by the good people she came to know as friends. Ross's hateful name calling and rude assumptions of Lydia reduced her confidences even more. Her verbal abuses were heartbreaking to experience in this story. I loved every word until towards the ending when Lydia suddenly lost her brain and started making ridiculous decisions that were not only deadly to her friends, but more importantly, to her immediate family. Those frustrating pages of Lydia's stupidity almost had me knocking off an entire star from this story. Aside from the part of the story where I wanted to throttle Lydia myself, I adored every bit of the rest of this angsty goodness. And despite Lydia acting like a moron for a while, I know I'm going to re-read this one again in the future when I need a good angst fix, so the star is staying on and now I'm off to read the next story in this saga.

  5. 5 out of 5

    AH

    I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. It arrived with a signed copy of Long Time Coming. I have mixed feelings about this book. This is my first time reading Sandra Brown and I didn’t know what to expect. This is also one of her earlier books. I enjoyed the story, but I absolutely despised the characters. Sunset Embrace takes place on a wagon train ride out west. Our heroine Lydia is discovered nearly dead after giving birth to a stillborn son in a pile of leaves by two members of I won this book in a Goodreads First Reads giveaway. It arrived with a signed copy of Long Time Coming. I have mixed feelings about this book. This is my first time reading Sandra Brown and I didn’t know what to expect. This is also one of her earlier books. I enjoyed the story, but I absolutely despised the characters. Sunset Embrace takes place on a wagon train ride out west. Our heroine Lydia is discovered nearly dead after giving birth to a stillborn son in a pile of leaves by two members of the wagon train. Lydia is taken in by Ma Langston and she continues on with the wagon train. A short while later, a woman dies during childbirth. Her husband Ross is inconsolable with grief and the baby is near death. Lydia is recruited to be that child’s wet nurse. And so begins a rather annoying relationship. I think what bothered me the most was Ross’ treatment of Lydia. Lydia was never as good, as pure, and as perfect as his late wife Victoria. He constantly calls Lydia a whore, yet he is jealous when anyone pays any attention to Lydia. Lydia is damaged goods. She comes from an abusive background where her stepbrother took pleasure in raping and degrading her. Ross’ character had possibilities. After all, he was a member of the Jesse James gang. That alone could have provided endless interest. But Ross was just plain mean. Sure he had his tender moments, but raping your wife sure doesn’t fall into that category. I understand why Lydia put up with Ross’ behavior. She didn’t know any better and life in those times was difficult for an unmarried, unchaperoned woman. Lydia did stand up for herself, but I really wished she had revealed her abuse earlier. I do have a copy of Sandra Brown’s newest book Ricochet. I am interested to see how her writing style has evolved over the years.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Vi

    A typical bodice-ripper of the 80s. The male lead(Ross) is a alpha-hole and the female lead (Lydia) is your typical tragic Mary-Sue. So plot summary first: Lydia is pregnant, on the run from somebody. At the opening of the book, we find her giving birth to a still-born baby (which she wants to die because she was raped). She is found by two boys a traveling train and nursed by their mother. Ross, then has his wife going into labour and dies as she gives birth to a baby boy. Lydia is then tasked A typical bodice-ripper of the 80s. The male lead(Ross) is a alpha-hole and the female lead (Lydia) is your typical tragic Mary-Sue. So plot summary first: Lydia is pregnant, on the run from somebody. At the opening of the book, we find her giving birth to a still-born baby (which she wants to die because she was raped). She is found by two boys a traveling train and nursed by their mother. Ross, then has his wife going into labour and dies as she gives birth to a baby boy. Lydia is then tasked to nurse the baby boy - which she seems to without having any residual feelings for her own baby. So these two start living together in the same wagon. Ross thinks of Lydia as a whore/slut for 2/3rds of the book. Giving birth to a baby boy without a marriage and because he's attracted to her makes her a slut. And he acts like a dog-in-manger. He's jealous of any other man paying attention to her. And he's a hole because he constantly compares her to his first wife Victoria who was a pure and white as snow. Lydia, on the other hand, is a radiant Mary Sue - small, petite with radiant, beautiful hair. Both characters had possibilities. After all, Lydia was sexually abused and Ross was a part of the Jesse James. I was hoping for character growth through out. But no, Ross didn't have any appreciable change. Lydia didn't seem to have any hang-ups from her abuse. And then this scene happens: (view spoiler)[ After getting drunk and jealous, Ross RAPES Lydia. Lydia later enjoys this and it makes it ok in her book? WTF?? (hide spoiler)] I nearly DNFd it but I wanted to see how it ends. It didn't get any better. A disappointing offer from Sandra Brown.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Lisa - (Aussie Girl)

    As a lover of Sandra Brown's later thrillers/romantic suspense I was interested to go back to the 80's when she started writing. And from the cover to what's in between this is bodice ripper territory! What a blast from the past for as a naughty teenager this is the type of book I devoured secretly sandwiched between more respectable tomes back in the day. Honestly for nostalgia's sake I quite enjoyed this although reading it with today's eyes there was some really unpalatable themes especially As a lover of Sandra Brown's later thrillers/romantic suspense I was interested to go back to the 80's when she started writing. And from the cover to what's in between this is bodice ripper territory! What a blast from the past for as a naughty teenager this is the type of book I devoured secretly sandwiched between more respectable tomes back in the day. Honestly for nostalgia's sake I quite enjoyed this although reading it with today's eyes there was some really unpalatable themes especially the one involving (view spoiler)[ rape in marriage (hide spoiler)] . There is a whole feminist discussion there concerning the impact of such books but I'm not going to debate that here as I put it into the category of it is book written in a certain time and thankfully we have moved on from that. 3.5 stars

  8. 5 out of 5

    Laurie | LOHF

    This is one of Sandra Brown's earlier books way back when she was writing historical romances instead of mysteries. I read this book years ago after reading rave upon rave about how fantastic, how romantic, how wonderful, how classic a romance, etc. I found it disturbing, horrific and migraine inducing. The hero is this sullen, angry, vindictive brute of a man who infuriated me page after page. Ten years later I *still* remember what a cretin I thought him and that's saying a lot since some days This is one of Sandra Brown's earlier books way back when she was writing historical romances instead of mysteries. I read this book years ago after reading rave upon rave about how fantastic, how romantic, how wonderful, how classic a romance, etc. I found it disturbing, horrific and migraine inducing. The hero is this sullen, angry, vindictive brute of a man who infuriated me page after page. Ten years later I *still* remember what a cretin I thought him and that's saying a lot since some days I can't remember my own name.

  9. 5 out of 5

    *TANYA*

    I liked this book very much, however I reckon it was epic when I was younger. Still you can't go wrong with Sandra Brown. I liked this book very much, however I reckon it was epic when I was younger. Still you can't go wrong with Sandra Brown.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Lydia's Romance

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. 5 Stars Western Historical Romance Triggers galore! **NOT SAFE** If you're a sensitive reader, turn around and run for the hills. BEWARE OF SPOILERS This book was written in the 80's; it's very old-school, a bodice-ripper on steroids. I was actually shocked at some of the things I read in this one, but I was also not surprised considering when it was written and the setting of the book. Personally, I enjoy old-school romance, and 'Sunset Embrace' worked for me. Sure, there were things that bothered 5 Stars Western Historical Romance Triggers galore! **NOT SAFE** If you're a sensitive reader, turn around and run for the hills. BEWARE OF SPOILERS This book was written in the 80's; it's very old-school, a bodice-ripper on steroids. I was actually shocked at some of the things I read in this one, but I was also not surprised considering when it was written and the setting of the book. Personally, I enjoy old-school romance, and 'Sunset Embrace' worked for me. Sure, there were things that bothered me...like the sexist, slut-shaming BS. But when it comes to fiction, I'm not overly sensitive to these issues. And ridiculously macho heroes? They're my catnip and I'm not ashamed to admit it--because fiction. Anywho, Sandra Brown hooked me with Ross Coleman. He was a colossal jerk, and I love (and resent) these types of heroes. I'm not even going to delve into why that is. I did have some issues with Sunset Embrace: Ross said and did things to Lydia (our heroine) that were extremely harsh **NOT SAFE** and because of that, I expected an epic grovel from him, which I didn't really get. My biggest pet peeve was that even though Lydia was a little spitfire, she was still a doormat. I understand that she didn't have many choices and was only trying to make the best out of her wholly unfortunate situation, but I wish she hadn't been so accommodating, not end up at the hero's feet all the damn time. I always find that maddenning. Admittedly, I felt a small sense of dissatisfaction when I finished the book, because I wanted more atonement from the hero. Also, there was no epilogue. Ugh. **NOT SAFE** Something that made me very uncomfortable was reading about the sexual abuse Lydia experienced by her disgusting, hillbilly stepbrother. It was awful *gags and shivers* So why 5 Stars? √ The awesome angst factor. This one has the dead wife theme, and I was dying to know if the heroine would be the hero's greatest love. She was<3 “You are my love. My dearest love that I’ll go on loving and needing every day of my life.” √ Ross Coleman. I found his entire backstory highly intriguing, some of it even appealing; he was a WANTED man! Swoon LOL And I can't believe I'm going to say this, but I even loved his western mustache. √ The steam factor. Explicit af. It was incredibly and fabulously steamy. √ Sandra Brown's storytelling ability. My first Sandra Brown romance. I'm hoping to find another gem in that pile of newly discovered books. HEA: Yes Triggers: stillbirth (graphic) rape (graphic) murder (not graphic) cheating: Physically? Not really but some might still consider it cheating. Emotionally? He still loved his deceased wife, but he always felt more for the heroine.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Simona

    Raw and beautiful. It doesn't shy away from dirty side of humanity. It showcases inane goodness of humans. It delves into the constant conflict one has over the matters of heart. Both H and h showed growth throughout the story overcoming their pasts as well as present circumstances. The book always kept the sexual angst at the edge through the first half before fully exploring the passion between the two protagonists in the second half. Raw and beautiful. It doesn't shy away from dirty side of humanity. It showcases inane goodness of humans. It delves into the constant conflict one has over the matters of heart. Both H and h showed growth throughout the story overcoming their pasts as well as present circumstances. The book always kept the sexual angst at the edge through the first half before fully exploring the passion between the two protagonists in the second half.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Splage

    Fabulous book! Lots of hardships for the H&h and definitely had some choke up/ teary moments for me. The book is about a wagon trail heading to Texas and is set back in early America after the Civil War has ended. The hero, Ross and the heroine, Lydia, are in parallel situations. An almost dead Lydia is found by some young boys laying in the woods after she had just given birth to a baby boy (which I think was strangled by its umbilical cord). She wants to die because of the cruel life she is li Fabulous book! Lots of hardships for the H&h and definitely had some choke up/ teary moments for me. The book is about a wagon trail heading to Texas and is set back in early America after the Civil War has ended. The hero, Ross and the heroine, Lydia, are in parallel situations. An almost dead Lydia is found by some young boys laying in the woods after she had just given birth to a baby boy (which I think was strangled by its umbilical cord). She wants to die because of the cruel life she is living and is glad the baby isn't being brought into it. She is saved by a wonderful family. Meanwhile Ma, the mother of Lydia's saving family, a day later is called away to deliver Ross and his upper class wife, Victoria's, baby. Victoria dies in childbirth, but Ross's son, Lee, lives. Ross is devastated by his wife's passing and when Lydia is presented to Ross as a wet nurse to save Lee, Ross hates and resents her and says vicious things. He thinks she is a prostitute, since she doesn't have a husband, and wants her nowhere near Lee or himself. Lydia is described beautifully and I just loved her. She was an innocent temptest (not sure if this is a word, might have made it up) with all the right alluring parts and Ross hated her because she distracted him from his perfect wife's memory. Ross had a sordid past as well and the dead Victoria made him respectable by marrying him and bringing him into her upper class world. I also loved Lydia because she stood her ground against Ross's insults and bad tempers, loved his son, and didn't try to take over Victoria's position in Ross's heart. She did it naturally and became loved by everyone.Lots of meat to this story and many crisscrosses. There were so many rich secondary characters and even though Ross was a hurtful, horrible jerk through half the book I respected him for his honorable and loyal ways. Good side stories and BAD villains too. Very fulfilling read!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Pamela(AllHoney)

    The first book in the Coleman Family Saga by Sandra Brown. Lydia Bryant is on the run and pregnant. She gives birth to a still-born baby in the wilderness. She is found by two young boys who bring her to their wagon train. Also in the wagon train is Ross Coleman and his pregnant wife. Ross's wife, Victoria ends up dying after giving birth to a baby boy. Lydia is needed to keep the baby alive. I read this years and years ago and reread it recently and still loved it. About 2 people thrown together The first book in the Coleman Family Saga by Sandra Brown. Lydia Bryant is on the run and pregnant. She gives birth to a still-born baby in the wilderness. She is found by two young boys who bring her to their wagon train. Also in the wagon train is Ross Coleman and his pregnant wife. Ross's wife, Victoria ends up dying after giving birth to a baby boy. Lydia is needed to keep the baby alive. I read this years and years ago and reread it recently and still loved it. About 2 people thrown together by necessity and slowly learn to love despite their circumstances. Both had their flaws and issues with the past but eventually love prevails.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Anita

    A lot of extremely successful Romantic-Suspense authors started with Historical-Romance and Sandra Brown has a few. This book blends both the genres and very well. With the Civil War ended a group from Tennessee is traveling by wagon train to Texas. Even though some of the situations wouldn't pass muster these days, it was reality in the 1800's. Well written, fully developed characters and the Audio was fantastic. Lydia escaped the hell of her life, giving birth to a stillborn baby in the woods. A lot of extremely successful Romantic-Suspense authors started with Historical-Romance and Sandra Brown has a few. This book blends both the genres and very well. With the Civil War ended a group from Tennessee is traveling by wagon train to Texas. Even though some of the situations wouldn't pass muster these days, it was reality in the 1800's. Well written, fully developed characters and the Audio was fantastic. Lydia escaped the hell of her life, giving birth to a stillborn baby in the woods. She is found by boys from the wagon train and taken in by a wonderful family. Soon after, Ross's wife, Victoria, dies in child birth and the baby would die too unless he would feed and the only available wet nurse is Lydia. Ross is not receptive to the wanton looking woman who gave birth with no husband. Both Lydia and Ross have dark histories and it takes a lot for them to find their way to each other. Unfortunately, those dark histories are not going to stay history and the past is stalking them both. 3 1/2-Stars

  15. 4 out of 5

    Vi ~ Inkvotary

    Inkvotary This is the first book of the Coleman Family Saga. I know Sandra Browns books since many years, and I personally believe she is at her best, when she´s writing thrillers. Yes, she has one or two good books in the other genres she´s written about, but Sunset Embrace isn´t one of them. I missed the brilliance in her writing style, her fantastic use of the words she usually has and of course the lack of the thrill. Sure, the story of Sunset Embrace has some kind of thriller elements, there Inkvotary This is the first book of the Coleman Family Saga. I know Sandra Browns books since many years, and I personally believe she is at her best, when she´s writing thrillers. Yes, she has one or two good books in the other genres she´s written about, but Sunset Embrace isn´t one of them. I missed the brilliance in her writing style, her fantastic use of the words she usually has and of course the lack of the thrill. Sure, the story of Sunset Embrace has some kind of thriller elements, there are a lot of hot scenes, shooting, dead people and a wonderful love story is developing between Ross and Lydia; but the rest? Sandra Brown tells in this novel the story about some families and how they make their way to Texas. Lydia was found by the eldest son of Ma Langston and brought to the trek and Ma took care of her when she recovered from giving birth to a still born. And Ma Langston is it, who sees the solution when Ross Coleman´s wife Victoria dies during the birth of his son Lee. The widowed father is now alone with his baby boy and it looks like the baby is following his mother. Ross Coleman – what a man. His dark past and what he´s done many years back have changed him in many ways. He killed, he tricked during Poker games and he had no conscious about whatsoever. But when he met Victoria, the daughter of a rich man, he saw his chance of becoming something, he wasn´t from birth. Oh yes – Ma Langston is one heck of a woman! She fears nobody, no matter if woman or man, and she says what she has to say, but only when the time is right. She takes not only care of her own bunch of kids, but also of Lydia and Ross and she is it, who kind of saves Ross just like that by walking bye from giving in into his dark soul. This novel isn´t one of the best, Sandra Brown has ever written no doubt about that. And only because two figures could really convince me, I gave three stars. Otherwise there would´ve been none.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Leea

    4.5 stars... What a pleasant surprise Sunset Embrace was. I wasn't expecting this book to evoke such deep emotions in me from the beginning. We meet Lydia in the woods writhing in pain as she is birthing a child that she doesn't want and was made with violence and hate. She is taken in by a beautiful family that takes wonderful care of her and she also finds herself needed by Ross who just lost his wife during childbirth. Lydia has milk to feel baby Lee and this is where the story takes off. This 4.5 stars... What a pleasant surprise Sunset Embrace was. I wasn't expecting this book to evoke such deep emotions in me from the beginning. We meet Lydia in the woods writhing in pain as she is birthing a child that she doesn't want and was made with violence and hate. She is taken in by a beautiful family that takes wonderful care of her and she also finds herself needed by Ross who just lost his wife during childbirth. Lydia has milk to feel baby Lee and this is where the story takes off. This is my first novel by Sandra Brown I found her writing to be so realistic and honest. Her description of nursing, pregnancy and motherhood was refreshing. I gave me flashback to nursing my own children. I cannot wait to read the next book in the Coleman Family Series.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Marishka

    Safety -- (view spoiler)[ Hero of book one dies in book two (hide spoiler)] Safety -- (view spoiler)[ Hero of book one dies in book two (hide spoiler)]

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brandy

    Did not like what Ross did to her and how he treated her, but other than that, the overall story was good and saved this from being a two star review (because of what he did).

  19. 4 out of 5

    Yolanda

    This novel was written by one of my favorite authors. I gave the book only 3 stars because the story was prolonged. The beginning of the book was great but somewhere in the middle I was thinking please get to the point or ending already. The characters held my interest enough to finish and I am a sap for a love story. The downside of reading multiple books by one author is the comparison and this book left me disappointed.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Crista

    After all the 5 star reviews, I'm wondering what in the world is going on? Did I miss something? Am I this "different" from the rest of the world? I feel like I've entered the twilight zone! I won't rehash the plot, but here is why I feel so bothered and disturbed by this book. Ross Coleman, the "hero" of this book is not a nice man. It is important to me, as a romance novel lover, to "like" the hero. I don't need to love him or even want him for my worst enemy but I need to at least have some c After all the 5 star reviews, I'm wondering what in the world is going on? Did I miss something? Am I this "different" from the rest of the world? I feel like I've entered the twilight zone! I won't rehash the plot, but here is why I feel so bothered and disturbed by this book. Ross Coleman, the "hero" of this book is not a nice man. It is important to me, as a romance novel lover, to "like" the hero. I don't need to love him or even want him for my worst enemy but I need to at least have some care in my heart for him. Ross just wasn't nice enough to like...even a little bit. He: - calls Lydia a "[...:]" and treats her like one right up until the very end. - rapes Lydia during their first "sexual" encounter (how's that for romance!) - is ungrateful to Lydia for all she does for his son - is mean with his actions and word towards Lydia for almost the entirety of the book - doesn't trust Lydia...ever (not even in the end after he knew her story!) - uses Lydia for his own pleasure and when she FINALLY experiences pleasure...he assumes it's because of all her "experience" as a "[...:]"...yuck! There is nothing remotely romantic about this man....Lydia traded one abuser for another....Not romantic in the least! If you like this plot line...try Night in Eden by Candace Proctor. It has a similar plot line that is executed perfectly. Happy Reading.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Dendera

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. *** 4.5 Stars *** My first Sandra Brown book and it sure was a difficult one to rate. I really had to think about it hard. In some elements of the story, I really wanted to give it 5 stars, but other parts I found myself forgoing a whole star. I continuously wavered between 4-5 throughout most of the story, but finally ended up giving it a 4.5. The first reason is because of how much of a complete douche the hero was to the heroine. We're talking about over-the-top mean and foul-mouthed her at ev *** 4.5 Stars *** My first Sandra Brown book and it sure was a difficult one to rate. I really had to think about it hard. In some elements of the story, I really wanted to give it 5 stars, but other parts I found myself forgoing a whole star. I continuously wavered between 4-5 throughout most of the story, but finally ended up giving it a 4.5. The first reason is because of how much of a complete douche the hero was to the heroine. We're talking about over-the-top mean and foul-mouthed her at every chance he got. The second reason is because of how our heroine, Lydia, was your boring Mary Jane. The third is because I found the hero's obsession with Lydia's breasts during the whole book a little not to my liking. It had become strangely annoying by 3/4 of the storyline. Another thing I disliked was all the disturbing violence and crimes. Some scenes were just too much to imagine. But overall, I did really enjoy this book a lot. The drama, action, and suspense was, above all, better than in most HRs that I've read. Sandra Brown is a talented story-teller and her writing reminds me a lot of Linda Howard's. Edit: I might change the review of this one as I continuously read more HRs. I find that my standards do change sometimes.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jacqueline J

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This was recommended to me but about 75 pages in I realized that the hero in this book dies in the next one which I had already read. That just sucked the fun right out of this one. I think in romance novels there is a covenant that exists between author and reader and that is the sacredness of the happy ever after. In regular fiction anything goes but in romance, a hero/heroine should never be killed off no matter how many books later unless you are writing a totally separate story about their This was recommended to me but about 75 pages in I realized that the hero in this book dies in the next one which I had already read. That just sucked the fun right out of this one. I think in romance novels there is a covenant that exists between author and reader and that is the sacredness of the happy ever after. In regular fiction anything goes but in romance, a hero/heroine should never be killed off no matter how many books later unless you are writing a totally separate story about their descendants 300 years later. Historical takes place on a wagon train going west. She has had a baby who died and his wife died in childbirth and she nurses his baby.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Thenia

    A story of two people brought together out of necessity in a harsh world that has injured them both. Lydia and Ross meet in less than ideal circumstances on a bound wagon train on its way to Texas. Ross is reeling from the death of his beloved wife during childbirth and as a last resort to avoid losing his newborn son too, allows Lydia, the disreputable looking young woman who was just rescued after giving birth to a stillborn baby, to nurse him. The two reluctantly agree to help each other out fo A story of two people brought together out of necessity in a harsh world that has injured them both. Lydia and Ross meet in less than ideal circumstances on a bound wagon train on its way to Texas. Ross is reeling from the death of his beloved wife during childbirth and as a last resort to avoid losing his newborn son too, allows Lydia, the disreputable looking young woman who was just rescued after giving birth to a stillborn baby, to nurse him. The two reluctantly agree to help each other out for the duration of the trip, but things are not exactly easy between them. Ross is grieving and angry and takes his frustration out on Lydia, whom he doesn't think highly of at all. Lydia, whose new circumstances are a great improvement over the life she fled, where (view spoiler)[she was sexually abused for years before she ended up pregnant and on the run (hide spoiler)] , is happy tending the baby boy in her care and his hostile father. Ross, who has secrets of his own, namely the fact that (view spoiler)[he used to be an outlaw who was left for dead before he changed his name and life (hide spoiler)] , is more than a little disturbed by the attraction he feels towards Lydia, especially so soon after his wife's death. Their relationship is fraught with tension and pain, but after (view spoiler)[they eventually decide to make their forced temporary marriage a real one (hide spoiler)] , they slowly heal each other of past hurts and fall deeply in love. Unfortunately, both their pasts come back to haunt them and they have to confront them once and for all before getting their happily ever after. A heavy story that was difficult to read at parts, with characters adhering to a harsh world's rules and exhibiting behaviors that were off-putting at times. The series continues with Another Dawn and Jake, aka Bubba's story next, but it will be a long while before I read it, if ever. Apart from the fact that it features one of my least favorite tropes, a couple with a big age difference, it was also a bit spoiled since I unintentionally read about Ross's future, (view spoiler)[which apparently includes 20 years of happiness but has a tragic end, something I do not like one bit (hide spoiler)] .

  24. 4 out of 5

    K. Ryner

    I first read this book in the early 90, so it was very nostalgic for me diving back in my old "Best of" books. I wish Mrs. Brown would update this one and change some things and then publish it again, (like the rape scene), because I can't tolerate rape as romantic in a book anymore. To my excuse I have to say 20-30 years ago it was well accepted in books, if the H and h fell in love after the rape, she forgave him, and the book got a HEA. I know, this never ever would happen in real life. The res I first read this book in the early 90, so it was very nostalgic for me diving back in my old "Best of" books. I wish Mrs. Brown would update this one and change some things and then publish it again, (like the rape scene), because I can't tolerate rape as romantic in a book anymore. To my excuse I have to say 20-30 years ago it was well accepted in books, if the H and h fell in love after the rape, she forgave him, and the book got a HEA. I know, this never ever would happen in real life. The rest of the book was fine with me, exactly how I imagine life 200-250 years ago in the wild wild west could have been. 😁

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cat The Curious

    I don't like giving one star to an author with skill. The author has skill but the story was not for me. I stopped at 30% of this book. The hero seemed to really detest heroine more than any book I can remember and for stupid reasons. Ugh I really disliked this book. I don't like giving one star to an author with skill. The author has skill but the story was not for me. I stopped at 30% of this book. The hero seemed to really detest heroine more than any book I can remember and for stupid reasons. Ugh I really disliked this book.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Bj

    Wow, what an adventure! Sporting the best narration I have listened to so far this year, this memorable wagon trail story, will no doubt be one of my top historical romance listens of the year! Ellen Archer has won a spot on my top narrators list! I just wish she would take on more romance assignments (as it appears that only approximately 10, of the over 80 titles I found, are romances). This was also my first experience with Sandra Brown, and I am now eagerly looking forward to experiencing mo Wow, what an adventure! Sporting the best narration I have listened to so far this year, this memorable wagon trail story, will no doubt be one of my top historical romance listens of the year! Ellen Archer has won a spot on my top narrators list! I just wish she would take on more romance assignments (as it appears that only approximately 10, of the over 80 titles I found, are romances). This was also my first experience with Sandra Brown, and I am now eagerly looking forward to experiencing more of her vast backlist! After this audiobook, I'm sure there is a treasure chest of hidden gems out there that I must soon explore! Lydia Bryant has had a tough childhood. It wasn't always bad, but after her father's death, her mother was forced to take on odd jobs until she married her terrible step-father, who abused her mother by treating her like a slave. As if that wasn't bad enough, her older step-brother sexually abused her on a regular basis, and the horrible life they lived branded them the hillbilly outcasts of their community. When her mother finally passes away, Lydia runs away, but she is already with child. Along the way, dirty and alone, she has a still birth, and would have likely died, had it not been for the generosity and kindheartedness of the Langston family, who finds her, nurses her back to life and brings her along on their Texas-bound wagon train promising her a new life. Ross Coleman, another member of the wagon train, experiences his own heart-breaking loss when his wife dies delivering their son, Lee. Devastated and left caring for a premature infant, he is at a loss as to what to do next. Fortunately, Ma Langston comes to the rescue, and matches Lydia up with Ross, so that she may serve as Lee's wet nurse. While at first, Ross is incensed at the idea of some common girl, who he can only imagine was a whore, breastfeeding his son and sharing his wagon. When it becomes clear, that she may be Lee's only chance at survival, he allows her to stay, but makes sure she is aware of how little he thinks of the likes of her. To her credit, and as a testament her strength, Lydia does what it takes to help the baby survive, and eventually as they spend more and more time together Ross starts warming up to her. Before long, there is definitely a shared passion between Ross and Lydia, though Ross hates himself for it. As circumstances continue to draw them together, they both get to know one another and the shared passion begins to blur with deeper feelings. Danger, however, stalks both of them, as well as, secrets surrounding their pasts which threatens their future together. Will this couple make it to the end of their wagon train journey together? Ellen Archer does an amazing job of bringing this large cast of characters to life. The voices she produces for each are so unique and different that, not only does it make it extremely easy for the listener to distinguish among them, without need for dialogue tags; but, in fact, she makes it nearly impossible to believe that the same narrator could possibly create such disparate sounding people. From the children to the adults, and from the men to the women, her characterizations are all spot-on, and sound so incredibly genuine that you can almost glean the characters' personalities from the intonation in her voice. Moreover, her ability to express emotions is also off-the-charts. From the suspense filled scenes, to the romantic ones and even the ones that are full of despair, Ms. Archer appropriately paces her delivery to highlight the particular tone, adding an extra element of intensity. Her delivery was so masterful, that it almost sounds like it comes from the soundtrack of a movie. I really enjoyed Ms. Archer's depiction of Lydia. So feminine, soft-spoken and even, justly giving deference to her early upbringing, refined; and yet, Ms. Archer also gives free rein to her strength when she fights for the things she believes in. Ross' performance, in turn, evolves throughout the book, just as the listener is provided with additional insight into Ross' true self. So cleverly performed and amazing to listen to! I also knew exactly who was a villain or friend, notwithstanding the particular words being used, just from her depiction thereof. Again, I was so delighted with this incredible, multifaceted performance that it is nearly impossible to describe all the ways in which it excelled. My only reservation with this book, and in all fairness it is a sign of the time when it was first published (the 1980s), is that there are some rather antiquated views included. Not only does it contain a "bodice ripper" scene between the hero and heroine, but the hero, and some of the other characters, at times express outdated views about rape. If these depictions would preclude your ability to sympathize with the hero, or believe in a HEA, then this may not be the right audiobook for you. Perhaps my favorite part of this story is the underlying message that you should never judge a person by a stereotype. It also highlights a vital lesson: those that are the first to judge are, nearly always, covering-up or reacting to their own insecurities. All in all, this is an amazing story which is made even better by Ms. Archer's one-of-a-kind narration! Source: I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for my unbiased review. Title: Sunset Embrace Author: Sandra Brown Narrator: Ellen Archer Unabridged Length: 13h, 40m Published by Blackstone Audio, June 2014 Genre: Historical American Romance Narration: A+ Book Content: B+ Steam Factor: For your burning ears only! Violence: Domestic Violence (including rape between the hero and heroine, child sexual abuse and verbal abuse and a description of a stillbirth); Fighting

  27. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    In Sandra Brown's Sunset Embrace, the first installment in the Coleman family saga series, she took a turn of a page of history for this enthralling classic historical romance. For Lydia Bryant, she fled from a secret shame and vowed never to let a man overpower her. For Ross Coleman, he had the shadow of his lawless past and sworn to resist temptation. But when Fate thrown them together on a wagon trail on the Oregon trail, they fought the desire growing between them, while the shadows of their In Sandra Brown's Sunset Embrace, the first installment in the Coleman family saga series, she took a turn of a page of history for this enthralling classic historical romance. For Lydia Bryant, she fled from a secret shame and vowed never to let a man overpower her. For Ross Coleman, he had the shadow of his lawless past and sworn to resist temptation. But when Fate thrown them together on a wagon trail on the Oregon trail, they fought the desire growing between them, while the shadows of their enemies grew longer. As they headed west, danger drew them closer together, when they faced their rivals together and would face death, the truth and love between them, before it was over...

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jenny Jo Weir

    First Sandra Brown book ever! I would have never read this if not for my bestie and Im so glad she suggested to me. I loved it. I loved all the characters! Truly, I could do a whole review about the support cast alone in this book. I can't express how much I loved them. As far as the 2 main characters, Lidia and Ross Coleman, well, they aren't perfect but I liked that about them. I'm looking forward to Jakes story next. He was one of my favorite characters in this book. First Sandra Brown book ever! I would have never read this if not for my bestie and Im so glad she suggested to me. I loved it. I loved all the characters! Truly, I could do a whole review about the support cast alone in this book. I can't express how much I loved them. As far as the 2 main characters, Lidia and Ross Coleman, well, they aren't perfect but I liked that about them. I'm looking forward to Jakes story next. He was one of my favorite characters in this book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Anne OK

    I'm going to do another read and see what I found so unappealing the first go-round. It has been years sine I read this one and maybe I was in a bad mood, interruptions could have played a part in it, whatever, I just want to give it another chance because I liked the other book of the "Coleman" duo. (Christy Reece, whose opinion I highly respect, loves this one!) I'm going to do another read and see what I found so unappealing the first go-round. It has been years sine I read this one and maybe I was in a bad mood, interruptions could have played a part in it, whatever, I just want to give it another chance because I liked the other book of the "Coleman" duo. (Christy Reece, whose opinion I highly respect, loves this one!)

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rhona

    Another book I just finished today that was a very fine read in Gulu, Uganda. had to take a break from my financial non-fiction books for a bit of romance. This is a hotty with some real description of some loving! Now I need a cold shower...which is all that I get here in Africa anyway!

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