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by Cassandra Ulrich
Brad loves fast horses, cars, and bikes. Life would be perfect if his stepmother could only mind her own business. Instead, his father hired a longtime friend and her family to work in their home, turning his world into a feudal mess.
He wants to hate the new arrivals and it doesn’t help that Kressa, daughter of the newcomers, is the most gorgeous girl he’d ever laid eyes on. With a scent that draws him to her, Kressa causes him more internal conflict than he ever dreamed possible. He falls for her so deeply, he tells her a secret he’d never even told his best friends – that he’s training to be a ninja warrior.
Kressa adores her country and loves hanging out with her many cousins. News of the move to Massachusetts comes as a shock to her. She refuses to be happy in this new place working as a servant for a rich man and his mean son, who had the nerve to be cute. And why does her skin tingle every time her hand brushes against his?
Despite her efforts, she finds herself desperately longing for a friendship with the one boy who scowls at her. Matters are only made more complicated when his family and hers clash. When he goes on a dangerous mission, she wonders, will he return so she can tell him he’s won her heart or will their families manage to keep them apart?
Brad rode Silver Bullet alongside Kressa and Gentle Rider so the horses faced each other upon his approach. He gazed into Kressa’s eyes, longing to learn something new about the girl who lived in his house. Brad removed his riding glove and reached over to brush Kressa’s hair away from her face so he could touch her cheek. She did not shrink away. His fingertips tingled where her skin met his.
So beautiful. Brad’s heart pumped a little faster and his mind swirled. Does she feel drawn to me too? He shook his head slightly. “We should go back now,” Brad said tenderly, realizing once again that the warmth he felt when he touched Kressa also did something to his heart. It was better not to remain alone. He wondered if Kressa would ever admit whether she experienced any affection toward him. He found her hard to read sometimes.
Brad pulled on his glove, led the way back through the forest, and headed for the stable. After brushing, feeding, and watering all four horses, Brad and Kressa strolled back to the house. “Great lesson today. I think before long you’ll be able to go out on your own.”
“Really? That would be great. How many more lessons do I need?” She said eagerly.
“I would imagine one or two more.”
They both laughed at the good news. At that moment, Kressa’s dad appeared around some shrubs at the base of the hill. His face held a fiery red glow.
“Kressa, get to the house right now,” Mr. Morales said grabbing her arm and pushing her toward their apartment. “I don’t know what you were thinking today taking her through those woods, but I don’t like it.”
“Sir, there’s wide open space to run the horses on the other side of the trees. I wasn’t trying to seduce her,” Brad said, feeling some guilt for touching her cheek earlier.
Mr. Morales shot Brad a fierce look and took Kressa away. She followed, pleading with her father to let her go and trying to convince him nothing happened. Kressa and her father began speaking in Spanish, so Brad could no longer comprehend what was being said. Brad headed back to his room in anguish over what he just witnessed. He picked up the handkerchief and rubbed it on his cheek. He was sorry for causing her so much trouble.
Over the next few hours, Brad spent time on his laptop looking up home schooling rules. He gathered all the information he could and went looking for his father. Brad and his dad needed to do a lot of preparation if Kressa were to start school at home in a week. Finding his father in the office, Brad presented him with the draft for a lesson plan needed. It had to be submitted to the school administration.
Dinnertime proved tense for Brad, and he didn’t doubt it was for Kressa as well. He avoided looking at her as much as possible, not because he experienced nervousness concerning their interaction earlier in the day, but because he did not want Kressa’s father to take it out on her. She seemed stiff whenever she served Brad a side dish. He knew her reaction was due to her father keeping a close eye on them all evening. Brad wanted to talk to his new friend, but knew it would be better if he waited until morning.
Wow, this book has a lot going on it but in a good way. What would you do if found out that the “help” had a past with the very people that you worked for? That’s what Brad and Kressa face in the book. Brad’s dad was best friend’s with Kressa’s mom growing up and that sit well with Brad’s stepmom. Loved that little conflict in the book. Kept the adults interesting and not just window dressing in the book. Too often parents in YA books are forgotten about or worse, just window dressing.
Brad is the all-American boy that loves horse and just being a teenager. Bring in a truly Mexican young woman, Kressa and those two couldn’t be more different. I liked the dialogue in the beginning of the book that Brad and Kressa had. I instantly connected with them and liked them. Forced to be together all the time including school, its hard for them not to be friends and in the end fall for each other. But this story isn’t just about Brad and Kressa, its also about their parents and the intensity of the relationship between Brad’s dad and Kressa’s mom. It brought the whole story to a more well rounded read for me.
Something else that I truly liked about the book where the Christian undertones for me. Yes, I do read inspirational/Christian books. 🙂 Love’s Intensity isn’t just about the growing attraction between Brad and Kressa but also about the past and ultimately the future of these two families. The prejudice and misunderstandings are well written and realistic. I truly did like all the characters in the book. Each brought something to the story and made it better.
Of course, I like nothing better than a realistic interracial relationship and this one had it in spades. Brad and Kressa fought their relationship growing between and the author did a great job with that, plus there is a ninja…Yes, you will have read the book to find out about that.
If I had a compliant, it would be the length of the book. It was a bit too long but the book just kept getting better and better so I didn’t mind it after awhile. I did have to take breaks and talk to Harlie about it. 🙂 I highly recommend Love’s Intensity for everyone that wants to read a feel good book about two different families coming to together and learning to live with each other and watch their children fall in love.
Cassandra Ulrich was born on the beautiful island of St. Croix, United States Virgin Islands, located east of Puerto Rico. Living in the tropics fueled her imagination and day dreams. For years, she wrote poetry and entered competitions. However, only many years later did she discover joy in writing stories longer than a few pages.
She published her first young adult novel, A Beautiful Girl, in April 2011. The inspirational novel has already touched many hearts ranging from teens to adults.
Her second novel, Love’s Intensity, is a teen paranormal romance, released on July 11, 2013.
Web site: http://cassandraulrich.com/
Goodreads Author Profile: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6925111.Cassandra_Ulrich
Pinterest Page: http://pinterest.com/pin/288793394825730035/