One Last Letter by Pema Donyo: A Book Review

One Last Letter
Author: Pema Donyo
Genre: Historical Fiction, Romance
Publisher: Crimson Romance
Release Date: August 18th, 2014
Pages: 171
Source: This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: A romantic hardened by reality… 

     Evelyn Lancaster turned her back on her love for ranch hand Jesse Greenwood when she was sixteen to pursue a career and marry into wealth that could save her father’s struggling ranch. Now twenty-three, she works hard to keep the property afloat, but no suitor has stirred her heart the way Jesse did. After her father falls ill, she needs all the help she can get to keep the ranch running.

A cowboy returning to what he left behind… 

     After making his fortune, a newly wealthy Jesse has returned home to see his younger sister married. Still smarting from Evelyn’s rejection, he finds the tables have turned, and now only his investment could save the ranch that he vowed to never step foot on again. 

     When he agrees to help her salvage her family legacy, they must overcome their pride and painful past to work together. As long-held emotions rekindle, Jesse pretends indifference, only to admit his true feelings in an unsigned letter left on Evelyn’s porch.

     Evelyn finds the missive and writes back, beginning a furtive correspondence. She dares to hope her mystery admirer is Jesse, but then another man comes forward to claim the letters as his own. Will one last letter give them the courage to say yes to love on the wild Texas plains?

     My Review: One Last Letter tells the story of Eve and Jesse, young lovers who dreamed of running away together. Instead of running away, Eve is struck by reality to save her farm and her family. She rejects Jesse, a cowboy who works on her ranch, in favor of an advantageous marriage. Years later, Eve is still unmarried because she hasn’t found a rich suitor that is interested in her and not just her land. Jesse, after having struck rich in California, returns and immediately saves her ranch, invests in it, and hires on to work as a cowboy again. Jesse is determined to win Eve’s heart, even though he is afraid of being rejected. Eve still has feelings for him, even though she wants to marry someone of social standing.

     The character of Eve is very conflicted and human. She was once a romantic, but because of harsh realities, she had to choose duty over love. At first, she is fine with her decision, but soon she is filled with regret, loss, and longing over what might have been. When Jesse comes back into her life, she tries to rekindle a romance between them. Yet, she is also drawn to a rich suitor of social status. Eve is also educated. She wants to become a doctor, but when her ranch is financially unstable, she must also give up her career for her family and home. Because she is hardworking and determined, she must make responsible decisions.

     Jesse is a romantic. He has a constant love for Eve. He loves her despite all his flaws, and he never breaks his promises to her. Because he is still hurt by her rejection over his social status, he feels that he is not worthy of her and is afraid to tell her his love for her. He expresses his feelings by writing to her anonymous love letters. Jesse is determined to win her heart, yet afraid that she will break his heart again.

     Overall, the story is about friendship, broken love, regrets, family, sacrifice, renewed love, and choices. The message of the story is to follow your heart and to do what you think is right. I found the love story touching and sweet, and the ending was very satisfying. The characters are likable, and the setting of the Texas plain is lush and beautiful. The story is a lot like Jane Austen’s Persuasion, and there is a reference to the novel. I recommend this novel to anyone, who is looking for a light-hearted, feel-good romance.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This is a video of the author talking about her books including, One Last Letter:

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