by Lorraine Heath(Western Romance, Historical Romance)
Book #1 in the Texas Trilogy
Buy: Amazon - B&N
Arriving on the Fort Worth train, Miss Amelia Carson, mail-order bride, had never met Dallas Leigh, the Texan she promised to marry. The tall cowboy at the station wasn't Dallas. He was Houston, Dallas's brother, sent to escort her on the rugged three-week trek to the ranch where Dallas waited. Brought up in war-ravaged Georgia, Amelia thought Dallas's letters made Texas sound like heaven, a place for her dreams to grow with the right man beside her....
By all appearances, Houston Leigh would hardly be considered the "right man". The war he survived had scarred him inside and out, and he was little competition for his handsome brother. But from the moment Houston met Amelia, he knew she possessed the courage this wild land needed. She had eyes that could see past his wounded face to his soul. And he would fight any man - except his brother - for her heart...Now he and Amelia were riding down dangerous trails, sleeping under the stars, and God help them, they were falling in love...
This is a touching, heartwarming love story that is also a lesson in courage. Amelia Carson is a true hero in that she looked beyond the surface of Houston Leigh and saw his heart, even when he couldn't. I think she was incredibly brave and resilient to seek a new life for herself, especially during this era. She didn’t waste time feeling sorry for herself because of her circumstances but was determined to make the best of it and create the opportunity. Amelia was just lucky that it included Houston.
Speaking of Houston, he epitomizes the tortured hero. One side of his face is terribly scarred and it has shaped him in some good and some unfortunate ways. The good way? He’s a sensitive man who doesn’t seem to judge others and works hard to carve out a life for himself and his brothers.
What’s unfortunate is how he has secluded himself, believing he has less to offer because of the damage done to his face. The romance between Amelia and Houston seems destined for failure given she is promised to Dallas.
But, Amelia is a woman of courage and you just know she’s going to do the right thing when the time comes. However, one of the things I couldn’t stop thinking about during their long journey back to the family ranch was how Amelia was handling her…well, feminine needs! Let’s face it, this was a long trip and there weren’t a lot of supplies.
I found myself having to suspend belief and use my imagination during the trek:) By the way, yes, the brothers of this series are all named for cities in Texas (Houston, Dallas and Austin) but don’t let that cheese stop you from beginning this series. This is a wonderful story, especially if you’re a fan of the tortured hero.
I highly recommend this book and the series (I’ll provide reviews of the other two books sometime later).