Monday, May 2, 2011
Texas Destiny by Lorraine Heath
Dallas Leigh knew what he wanted and wasn't afraid to do whatever it took to realize his dreams. Already a successful rancher and land owner, the only thing he was lacking was a son to leave his legacy to, so when Dallas saw an ad for a woman looking to become a mail order bride, he began correspondence. After having exchanged letters for a year, Dallas decides that he wants Amelia to be the woman to share his dreams and give him the son he longs for. Just when it was time for him to make the three week journey into Fort Worth to meet his new bride, he fell from a horse he was trying to break and ended up being the one who got broken – his leg, that is. Clearly unable to make the trip to meet the woman who had traveled halfway across the country to marry him, Dallas’ has no other choice than to send his brother, Houston, to meet Amelia at the train station and wait patiently for their return.
I love a story with a tortured hero, and Houston Leigh is certainly that. He has terrible scars on his face and body, a result of a near fatal injury during Civil War where at 14 years old, he was his father’s drummer. He spent so much of his life hiding in the shadows and wishing he had died on the battlefield rather than living the life he’s had to endure. His torment doesn’t just come from his own scars, but from the pain of believing that his father died on that same battlefield because of Houston’s cowardice. He’s certain his brothers, Dallas and Austin, also blame him for their father’s death, and given that no woman can stand to look at him with his disfigured face, he’s resigned himself to a life of solitude.
Amelia Carson is a strong, resourceful woman with a take charge attitude, so traveling across country to start a new life with a man she’s never met is more exciting than frightening. Besides, her life has been anything but easy, and she’s got more than her own share of childhood trauma to deal with and making this trip is nothing compared to the things she’d endured. She was looking forward to meeting her fiancé and spending the time it took to travel back to his ranch getting to know him, but much to her surprise, the man who met her at the station wasn’t Dallas.
The three weeks it takes to get to the ranch made for some great reading. There was laughter, tears, danger and passion, and I enjoyed it all so much I didn’t want the journey to end, but of course it had to. Once they made it to Dallas’ ranch, the story could have become over the top dark and depressing, but it never did. I was sure there would be angst, and there was. Truth be told, it was an emotional roller coaster ride, but it never became so unbearable that I felt like I needed to put the book down to take a breather. In fact, the book was so good I couldn’t put it down at all!
I’m thrilled to have found this trilogy and owe a huge debt of gratitude to my Goodreads friends who mentioned this book again and again. Houston Leigh now holds a spot on my Top Hero shelf, and it’s not easy to earn that place of honor.
Posted by Blithely Bookish at 8:29 AM