New York Times bestselling author Linda Howard sets a tale of power, suspense, and passion in the savage New Mexico Territory.
Only true love could redeem....
Victoria Waverly, noble daughter of the war-ruined South, is sold in marriage to a ruthless rancher. Honor and pride help her endure life as a wife in name only but nothing can quench her forbidden desire for hired gunman Jake Roper. His gaze is hard, but tenderness he can't hide promises to unveil to Victoria the mysteries of love.
Only true love can destroy....
Jake curses his burning need for Victoria, for he wants nothing to stand in the way of his drive to reclaim Sarratt's Kingdom -- the ranch that is his legacy and obsession. But ancient wrongs and blazing passions will bind together the aristocratic beauty and the powerful cowboy. In a bloody land war, they will fight for Jake's birthright...and seize at all costs the love that is their destiny.
As long as Howard's ( McKenzie's Mountain ) feisty and mostly likable protagonists are caught up in intrigue and sheer survival, her tale of revenge in 1860s New Mexico is fairly absorbing; but when action gives way to romance, the story trades momentum for ordinary lovers' spats. Victoria Waverly, daughter of a Georgia family devastated by the Civil War, replenishes the family coffers by marrying Frank McLain, a crude New Mexican cattle rancher. Unbeknownst to Victoria, McLain acquired his ranch by murdering its previous owners. However, the dead ranchers' two sons, Jake and Ben Sarratt, escaped and now, after 20 years, are ready to take revenge on their parents' murderer and reclaim their home. Jake is working incognito as one of McLain's gunslingers when his plan is complicated by the arrival of the innocent and beautiful bride: when they kill McLain, Victoria will inherit the property. Consequently, one more step is required before the Sarratt brothers can regain their family ranch: Jake, who desperately desires Victoria, must persuade her to marry him--or he must kill her.
Great read, couldn't put it down. Would have liked to see a bit more in the ending.