In a novel of high-riding adventure and long-simmering desire, New York Times bestselling author Joan Johnston brings to life a sweeping story of lost love, shattering secrets, and a passion waiting to be reclaimed.
More than twenty years ago, young Verity Talbot made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the man she loved: She married the brute who'd threatened to kill him. Verity, now the Countess of Rushland, also kept a shattering secret, allowing the son of Miles Broderick, Viscount Linden, to be raised as another man’s heir. Now a widow, Verity and her grown son, Rand, arrive in the Wyoming Territory to begin a new life—only to face a reckoning.
When Miles makes the stunning realization that he’s just saved the life of the only woman he has ever loved—who chose to marry another man—he is torn between anger at her betrayal and uncontrolled desire. Miles is shattered and rages against fate when he learns the truth about the son he never knew existed—until Rand is captured by a Sioux warrior. Suddenly, Miles realizes that the only future worth living is one with Verity—as they race to rescue their son and fulfill their dreams.
With her newest offering, veteran historical romance author Johnston (The Inheritance) tells two linked but separate love stories--one of Lady Verity Talbot, countess of Rushland, and the other of Lady Verity's illegitimate son, Rand. As a young woman, Verity was forced into marriage to the earl of Rushland to save the life of her lover, Miles. Twenty-two years later, the earl is dead and Verity has left England with Rand and his fiancee, Freddy, to take up residence on the Wyoming ranch the earl purchased before his death. Unbeknownst to Verity, the ranch actually belongs to Miles, who is planning a kind of revenge against Verity (forced marriage again) for rebuffing him all those years ago. Before the travelers reach their destination, they are nearly trampled in a buffalo stampede, then attacked by a band of Indians. Rand and Freddy are taken captive by Hawk, a Sioux warrior who intends to make Freddy his bride. If humdrum narrative isn't enough to turn readers off, the uninvolving plot surely will be. Worse are distracting analogies such as this one describing the sunrise: ``Dawn's pinkened fingertips steadily crawled their way over the windowsill.'' Reading this novel, one gets the feeling one is picking through a valise overstuffed with odds and ends.