Annie Parker came to Silver Mesa, Arizona, because it was the only place she'd found where folks thought a woman doctor was better than no doctor at all. Her lonely life became harder still on the winter night Rafe McCay broke into her office with a bullet in his side and a bounty hunter at his back. With a gun aimed at her heart, he led her deep into the Arizona mountains, and into a world of danger and passion, for Annie discovered in Rafe not only a wounded man, but a soul betrayed...and Rafe, healed by her skill and the magic in her hands, awakened in Annie a woman's tender longing and hungry desire. Pursued by dangerous secrets of the past, they are swept into a thrilling odyssey of the heart -- a bold, exhilarating journey that rekindles Rafe's lost hope and transforms Annie's healing gift into a deep, enduring love.
After four years on the run, outlaw Rafferty (Rafe) McCay's face wears ``the remote expression of a man who had seen and caused so much death that it no longer touched him.'' Annie Parker is the lone doctor in boomtown Silver Mesa, a woman with a ``worn, weary look'' but with ``softness in her brown eyes'' and healing magic in her hands. An unlikelier pair could not be found, yet fate and a gunshot wound throw them together in Howard's ( Angel Creek ) new novel, set in Arizona territory in the 1870s . When Rafe forces Annie to come along and tend his gunshot wound, what begins as a kidnapping flowers into passion and love, but Howard's set-up is so obvious that her protagonists' coupling--the only real touch of fire in this book--is never really in doubt. Minimal tension provided by several run-ins with bounty hunters leads to the maximal tension of myriad graphic sexual encounters. Slowed down by redundancy and verbosity, Howard's tale wends its way cross-country towards its rather inevitable happy conclusion, with one truly moving segment wherein Rafe and Annie risk their lives to treat a settlement of seriously ill Apaches.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Not Her Best Work
There's a difference between alpha male and rapist, but Ms. Howard crosses the line with a transparently 'innocent' woman and a man who literally rages and screams his way into her 'heart' and supposed loins. She's shaking with fear the first time he physically forces her to kiss him. Her capitulation is beyond belief even in an old west fantasy, and this is a disappointment of a novel from an author who normally writes along lines that are fantastic but not ridiculous. I own a dozen of her e-books and this is not her best work - it's not even finishable.
Touch of fire
Entertained me I fell in love with the characters. Not one of my fav's but a good read.