Do Not Forsake Me by Rosanne Bittner #Review

Do Not Forsake Me by Rosanne Bittner #ReviewDo Not Forsake Me by Rosanne Bittner

Series: #2 Outlaw Hearts
Genres: Historical Romance, Western Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on July 2, 2015
Pages: 480
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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five-stars  

I fell in love with this couple and their family in Outlaw Hearts. I couldn’t have been more pleased when I realized there was a sequel. I was not ready to let them go and I’m glad the author wasn’t either. Jake and Miranda Harker and their family saga set in the last days of the Old West makes for some of the best Western Historical Romance that I have ever read.

This is a sequel, but it is written in such a way that newcomers can do fine if they accidentally pick them up out of order. Fair warning, the reader will want to go back to the beginning. Personally, I was glad to get them in order so that I had all that history with the family to build upon when things happened in this one- made the experience all the more poignant and sweet.

The story opens about a year and a half after the end of the first book. Jake is now settled into his job of US Marshall and his family is settled around him in Guthrie, OK. The land is seething with trouble- many outlaws hide out here, the Indians are restless with the treaties being broken, and more and more settlers are pouring in. Jake and his son Lloyd have their hands full as do the other marshals.

Jake and Lloyd go after some bank robbers and this sets in motion a feud situation since the outlaws come from two local families that skirt the law constantly. Jake and Lloyd had to use deadly action to stop them and now the remaining clans want revenge against Jake and Lloyd.

Back home, Jake worries about Randy because she is hiding something about her health, a young writer from Chicago wants to tell his story and it will dredge up the darkness of his past, Evie is his angel daughter living with her kind husband, Lloyd decides that it is time to move on after the loss of Beth and he has a lovely widow woman ready to give him and his young son a chance, but Katie isn’t sure about his dangerous job.

Evil men ride the outlaw trail and threaten Jake’s family. It will take Jake bringing out the man he once was to fight for his family and take down a ruthless bunch. Through it all, a love that began 26 years before is as strong as ever. Jake draws strength from his wife and Randy relies on him utterly. If only they can be strong enough when circumstances force them to be apart.

Alright, this sequel did its job and utterly enthralled me with how much it carried on the strengths of the first book and made an older couple and their family story hold me in its grip and not let me go even after I closed the last page. I was bittersweet over seeing it end because I hate saying good-bye to such well-loved characters.

The story sits comfortably in its wild, rough, boisterous western setting. The author paid attention to detail and got it right without the details overpowering the story. The pacing was well-done with gentle home scenes switching to harsh and dangerous action.

There is continued character development as Jake still fights the demons of his past and worries about the safety and wellbeing of his family. Miranda quietly faces her fears of what is causing her health troubles even as she desperately wants to be there for Jake who needs her as his anchor in the difficult time. Lloyd and his wife have to also settle with their pasts if they are to enjoy a happy future together. And a young man from the city finally comes into his own as he observes, interviews, and engages in Jake’s life.

The romance was as incredible as ever. Jake and Randy may be at middle age, but Jake is as lusty and in love with his wife as ever and Randy is right there with him. They are each other’s reason for existence and no matter what there is trust, loyalty, determination, and understanding to go along with their love.

In conclusion, it was absolutely amazing and I felt so part of the story feeling and experiencing everything. Western Historical Romance fans really need to pick this one up as soon as possible.

My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Romance Roundabout #251 HR

Cliché Klatch #153 ‘Watch Your Back’

Historical Romance #64

About Rosanne Bittner

Rosanne Bittner is an award-winning novelist who is highly acclaimed for her thrilling love stories and historical authenticity. Her epic romances span the West—from Canada to Mexico, Missouri to California—and are often based on personal visits to each setting. She lives in Michigan with her husband and two sons.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • LOL you’re right. I did finish this one and want to go back to book one and read it too. It really was a wonderful book and such fantastic characters.

    • I thought so! Haha! I was so taken with this pair and all that went with their story that I figured others would be, too.

  • I’m so glad you loved this one Sophia! The characters sound awesome but it’s always bittersweet when a beloved series has to come to an end. But hey, think on the bright side. Now you get to find an even better series if you don’t already have one now. 😉

    • Yes, there is always the next wonderful book to find, but these will be hard to top. 🙂

  • Sounds like a very interesting story. Seems like there’s a lot going on too which can make for a more interesting and engaging story.

    • This was so full of action and excitement, but the romance was true as ever for these two.

  • Sounds like a great series for me to get into. Thanks for sharing.

    • Happy to put you onto some good ones, Cindy!

  • This sounds action packed and I love how strong the romance sounds Sophia!

    • It is full of gritty western shoot em up action, but that surrounds the core autumn romance story (or stories since their son’s romance is a side story, too.)

  • oh I just loved this book as well!! This series has been some of the best I have ever read! And boy did I go through so many tissues reading these, and the romance is simply magnificent, and it was such fun to see them get challenged in different ways but towards the end there with his daughter…boy was that tough to read but also good to see how far Jake has come. Super excited to see what she does for us in the next book.

    • You and me both. I filled two tissues with the first book and teared up with the second one, too. Loved, loved these!

  • Lindy Gomez

    I’m glad that the sequel was just as good as the first book! I love that Jake and Randy as still so in love! Great Review Sophia 🙂

    Lindy@ A Bookish Escape

    • Thanks, Lindy! I was so geeked to read this one that I would have crashed hard if it wasn’t up to the wonderful level of the first book. No worries on that part.