All Rachel Dorset cares about is staying one step ahead of the men her husband has been sending after her since the day she fled him and his drunken abuse. Her fear is not for herself, but that Cabell will take her son, Peter. She's set down roots running a roadhouse in Tubuc, Arizona, in the middle of Apache Territory, hoping never to be found.
J.C. Tyler needs the four thousand dollars Cabell will pay for his son's return and when he finds the redheaded woman and nine-year-old boy he's sure it's money in his pocket. But Rachel is no Southern belle; she's a strong woman, capable of shooting an Apache, taking a bullet and even hitting ruffians over the head with a skillet.
Without a doubt, the longer J.C stays in Tubuc, the more Rachel and Peter get under his skin and the more confused he becomes about turning Peter over to Cabell for the money. An Indian attack, the news that Cabell obtained a divorce and the coming of a rival bounty hunter thrust J.C. from the frying pan into the fire.
Ringing with the cries of the Apache, the soft sound of the wind and the desert song, as well as the beauty of an Arizona sunset, BOUNTY BRIDE is a marvelous western romance. Emily Bradshaw evokes the era and the people with the skillful hand of a master. Her portrayal of Peter and his angst over his parents' divorce and Cabell's battle with the bottle and the help he receives from Rachel's friend Nell, as well as the simmering passion that lies beneath the surface whenever J.C. is near Rachel, add to the drama and power of BOUNTY BRIDE. SENSUAL (Dec., 378 pp., $5.50)