SOLDIER of FORTUNE
Nicholas Fortune is a war-weary mercenary who has wandered the world searching for a home. Born in a New Orleans bordello, Nick has never belonged anywhere. His only loyalty is to himself until, amid the flames of revolution, he takes another man's identity...and his wife.
BRIDE of FORTUNE
Mercedes Alvarado is a half-English, half Spanish heiress whose delicate golden beauty conceals a spine of steel. She survives the desertion of her husband, the scorn of his aristocratic family and the ravages of a civil war, holding together a vast estate until her soldier husband returns to claim it...and her.
The dark and dangerous man who rides home to that birthright touches her soul with fiery need. He becomes the husband of heart, but is he really Lucero Alvarado...or a stranger with her husband's face?
In a twist on The Prince and the Pauper and The Return of Martin Guerre, the American-born bastard of a wealthy Mexican landowner swaps places with his highborn, dissolute brother after they meet while fighting for the Emperor Maximilian during the Mexican Revolution of the 1860s. Professional soldier Nicholas Fortune prefers an estate and a beautiful wife, while Lucero Alvarado revels in killing, raping and looting. At first antagonistic when the man she believes to be her cruel husband returns, Mercedes Alvarado slowly comes to love Nicholas, then to suspect the truth. Award-winning author Henke (Broken Vows) fails to resolve how Nicholas can speak perfect Spanish and how his fellow landowners remain ignorant of the existence of an identical man still fighting for the emperor. The credibility gaps are offset, however, by passionate love scenes, engaging characters and a well-researched, fast-paced plot as Nicholas's loyalty shifts to the rebels.