This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Historical Romance, Western Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca
Released on October 29, 2019
A woman running from an abusive past lands herself with an outlaw gang and a handsome, quiet man who knows she carries secrets and patiently works his way into becoming her unlikely champion. My first foray into the author’s novels and this heart-filled western series of adventures was the ride of my life.
The Outlaw’s Heart is book three of the Runaway Brides series. I wasn’t paying attention when this one caught my eye and I grabbed it up that it was the third book. Luckily for me, I had no trouble reading this one out of order though I could tell particularly a little later in the book, that having the past history of some of the people who entered the story might have made for a tighter connection.
Evelyn Perkins was going to get killed if she didn’t escape her brutally abusive husband. He might have been the ketch of the Boston social season and everyone, including her, thought he was a charming man, but he’s a sadistic brute behind the suave exterior. Her escape is shortlived before she lands into more trouble when she gets mistaken by a band of outlaws for being another woman.
Now, she has to keep her past from catching up with her even as she has to learn to trust in a man who is big and powerful, but not a brute.
Gabriel has been forced to live the lonely life of being stuck between two worlds- the white world and his own native race. He has found a place with this band and they are the closest thing to family he has. Now, he must risk his job and place for a woman with secrets that his instinct tells him to protect. Can he save her from what is on their trail and do they stand a chance of building something together?
Right away, I was drawn in when Evelyn lay there bleeding and in pain from her husband’s whip. She works out that this is not her fault and he means to break her. She courageously becomes a survivor even when her ill luck lands her into another dire situation. She reasons that the outlaws are a smidge better bet than her husband who had murder in his eyes the last time she saw him. So, she keeps quiet to preserve her secrets.
Gabriel was equally engaging. He’s had his own hardships that he had to overcome and still lives with to a certain extent. He’s the strong silent type, but he’s a good man who will do what is right even if he knows it will cost him what is important to him.
Between the pair of them being less talkative and having their issues, this book can get introspective and, yes, slow. I admit to skimming a few times. But, that said, I was into the story. It was exciting western action and tender yet sensual romance. There are some coincidences at pivotal times, but I didn’t mind. The pair needed to catch a break.
The big ending was one I knew was coming. There had to be the confrontations for both of them. It was riveting and finished swiftly. I’m not sure there is more to come in the series, but there is definitely room for more with this sort of set up and maybe a chance to follow up with this pair.
All in all, my first outing with this series left me definitely wanting more of the author’s books and the earlier pair of books that I would like to catch up with in the series. Those who enjoy western historical romance should definitely give this one a go.
My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
New Release #151