Remembering You by Cass Andre

Remembering You” by Cass Andre focuses on Dray Sloan, a gun-toting, card-cheating, woman whose sister dies and leaves Dray to care for her five nieces and nephews. Lacking any maternal instinct, Dray feels overwhelmed but responsible for the children, and surprisingly finds herself drawn to them. They “warmed her with a feeling she could only compare to that of an honest royal flush” (16).

Isaac Strafford, the children’s uncle from the other side of the family, comes to take the children away. Dray refuses to give the children to a family she deems unworthy. She corrals two wild stallions in the same pen, hoping Isaac’s smaller horse will suffer a minor injury, enough to keep Isaac from leaving until she can convince him the children will be better off with her. As Isaac tries to break up the rowdy horses, he sustains a head injury and when he wakes, cannot remember anything of his past. Because they need a man around the house to help with chores, Dray and the children convince Isaac he is her husband and their father.

Isaac lives down his brother’s reputation repairing the ramshackle barn, previously damaged by fire, and the dilapidated shanty they live in, leading Dray to believe he is not so bad after all.

Eventually, Dray begins to feel guilty for her deceptions and more than once tries to tell Isaac of her duplicity. Would her nieces and nephews be better off with Isaac and without her, a double-dealer? Dray struggles with the issues of feeling needed for the first time versus the best interests of the children. “Leaving now, when the house had fallen silent to dreams would save her from their tears and her explanation full of whoppers” (126).

Complicating matters further is Caleb Washbrook who won the right to marry Dray in a past card game as he returns to claim her.

The sexual tension between Dray and Isaac is skillfully interwoven among the pages, and Dray’s feistiness leaves the reader wondering if they will ever get together. The children are fun to read about and offer much to the book, though only the personalities of Vincent and Kait shine. The other three read more like backdrop and further interaction with the other children would have made the family seem slightly more believable. How the children were left parentless is skimmed over and the reader is left wondering what circumstances led to their situation.

Well-plotted and well-written, “Remembering You” by Cass Andre provides the reader with a novel in which lies and deceit, back dropped by love of family and sensual undertones, combine into stakes as high as any poker game.

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