Experience the epic, sweeping story of Jake and Miranda Harkner from Bittner’s beloved Outlaw Hearts, called by New York Times bestseller Heather Graham “a wonderful, absorbing read, with characters to capture the heart and the imagination”.
Fate brought them together. His past may tear them apart.
Miranda Hayes’ life was changed the day she faced down infamous gunslinger Jake Harkner…and walked away with his heart. Their fates have been intertwined ever since. Hunted by the law, fleeing across a savage land, their desperate love flourished despite countless sorrows. Now, twenty-six years later, their family has finally found some measure of peace…balanced on the knife’s edge of danger.
Jake has spent his years as a U.S. Marshal atoning for sins, bringing law to the land he once terrorized. But no matter how hard he fights the demons of his brutal past, the old darkness still threatens to consume him. Only Miranda keeps the shadows at bay. But when outlaws looking for revenge strike a fatal blow, Jake risks losing the one woman who saw past his hard exterior and to the man inside.
He always knew there’d be the devil to pay. He just never realized he might not be the one to bear the ultimate price.
Veteran romance author Bittner revisits the characters of Outlaw Hearts as a much older couple in this captivating romance set in late-19th-century Guthrie, Okla. U.S. Marshal Jake Harkner loves the life he has built with his wife, Miranda; their grown children, Lloyd and Evie; and grandchildren Stephen and Little Jake. Jake initially dislikes journalist Jeff Trubridge, but when Jeff proves his worth during a shootout in Guthrie, Jake changes his mind about the polite and reserved young man and agrees to help him write his book. Yet danger seems to constantly follow Jake, and when outlaws kidnap Miranda, he will stop at nothing to get his loved ones back and punish the perpetrators. This somewhat lengthy novel is a refreshing view of enduring love that survives the dangers of the Old West. Jake is a man of his time who feels deeply possessive of Miranda, and though Bittner takes pains to describe her as a strong woman, she's also quite willing to yield to her man. There's plenty of drama, including gunfights and multiple brushes with mortality, amid great storytelling that readers will savor.
a new author to stalk follow in Roseanne Bittner:
I think I have a new author to stalk follow in Roseanne Bittner: the writing and characterization is wonderfully done with characters that dance above the norm for romance: mid 40’s and 50’s. While there was a solid romance sense in the feeling and progression of the story, for me calling this a family saga better explains the breadth and scope of this story. Placing the romance as a secondary, even tertiary element allowed for the history and connections of the characters to speak louder.
Picking up from the first in the series, we are now following the lives of Jake and Miranda, he now serving his “time” as a Federal Marshall in the Oklahoma Territory. A wild and untamed place, while Jake isn’t unwilling to make amends for his crimes of the past he truly wants to commute this sentence to find a peaceful life. This story follows the ‘waiting time’ for the answer on his pardon/commutation.
A lovely couple, Miranda is in her 40’s, Jake is slightly older in his 50’s. These two have survived everything the west can throw at them: disease, hunger, hard work, and even Jake’s punishment for his crimes. Now all they want is some peace and quiet, time to enjoy their family, retirement of a sort. But, of course, life isn’t always like that.
Bittner takes the reader on a journey that is emotional, easy to relate to and mixes those with the elements and incidents that are true to the life and environment of the time: not always pretty, neat or clean. As a stand-alone, the story and characters are engaging and engrossing, transporting readers to the center of the setting, rich in description and imagery. I do think that the full impact of the story and the connection between Jake and Miranda would have been more impactful with having read the first book: something I am intending to remedy soon.
I received an eArc copy of the title from the publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.