Above painting: Louis Jean Francois - Mars and Venus an Allegory of Peace
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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Historical Romance Review: This Heart for Hire by Elysa Hendricks

This historical romance review of THIS HEART FOR HIRE by Elyssa Hendricks was done by one of History Undressed's fabulous new reviewers: Emma Westport.

About the Book

A convent reared innocent and a gunslinger with no memory struggle to survive and find love while crossing the dangerous west Texas frontier.

Abandoned by his father and betrayed by his half-brother and fiancee on the eve of his wedding, JAKE GALLAGHER no longer believes in love. Though he longs to go home, his undercover work for the Texas Rangers keeps him in a lawless Texas border town. Even though it jeopardizes his mission he refuses to stand by and watch outlaws rape and murder a young woman. Getting shot and losing his memory wasn’t part of his plan.

While fleeing from her stepfather’s plans to steal their ranch, CHRISTINA GOODWIN witnesses her brother’s murder and is left in the hands of a merciless band of outlaws. Raised in a strict convent, Christina has little knowledge of men or the world, its dangers and temptations. Frightened and alone, she is forced to accept the help of the dark gunslinger who rescues her. Though drawn to Jake’s potent masculinity, she hesitates to trust him, fearing her stepfather has sent him to bring her back. Unsure of Jake’s motives for helping her, she struggles against him, determined to find a way to avenge her brother’s death and regain control of her ranch from her stepfather.

Available now in ebook!

My Review

Jake Gallagher is a part time lawman with his own problems, not the least of which is protecting a pretty, would be nun from the bandits who murdered her brother.  Christina Goodwin, raised in a convent, is now on the run, trying to escape a stepfather she hates, the stepfather who wants to marry her to gain control of the ranch she owns. 

What follows is a chase across 1870’s Texas and New Mexico that forces both Jake and Christina to confront their pasts.  The journey is difficult and painful, obstacles and adventures abound, and the harshness of their struggle is set against the vividly written beauty of the American West.   At times, some plot twists are too convenient and, at others, serious issues are raised but glossed over.  However, the story is fast paced, the writing skillful and all the subplots are resolved.
In This Heart for Hire, the characters make the story.  Their ‘happily ever after’ is hard earned.  And that, more than anything, makes the story very satisfying.  

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