Book Review

DESPERATE HEARTS
by Alexis Harrington

Genre: Historical Romance, Western, America
Setting: American West, 1895

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Kyla Springer Bailey is looking to hire someone to return to Oregon and kill a man. She thinks she's found him in bounty hunter Jace Rankin. Jace fails to realize that the young man he's met is really a young woman, until Kyla is shot.

During her recovery, lovingly cared for by Jace, Kyla begins to trust him. He is such an intriguing man, so easy on the eyes, that it's hard to believe he has insecurities about his lack of height and his distrust of others.

Revenge is a powerful medicine and soon they are on the trail again. Forced to seek shelter during a mountain ice storm, Kyla beseeches Jace to make love to her. For a while they can pretend that nothing else exists beyond the four walls of a miner's shack.

Reality soon intrudes when they are ambushed by a gang tracking Kyla. Jace manages to shoot their way to freedom, but he believes that by loving Kyla, he has distracted himself and placed them both in danger.

As he plans a showdown with her tormenter, Jace distances himself from Kyla and leaves her behind. She follows and though Kyla kills her enemy before he can shoot Jace, their troubles are far form over.

DESPERATE HEARTS is a realistic, gritty portrayal of what life was really like in the Old West. Ms. Harrington has wisely tempered the harshness of the era with a tender romance. SENSUAL (Dec., 346 pp., $4.99)

Reviewed By: Frances L. Trainor

Publisher: Topaz

Published: December 1996

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Desperate Hearts

Submitted by Robin in PA on November 28, 2010 - 3:00pm.

Jace Rankin is a bounty hunter with a reputation for getting his man. When a boy who is being bullied by a group of miners asks him to kill a man who forced him off his ranch, Jace agrees that he will bring the guy to justice but not kill him. But first he must make a detour to find a friend.

Kyla Springer has been riding the trails for the last month searching for Jace Rankin. Disguised as a boy, Kyla needs Jace to get revenge on the man who killer her husband and took her ranch. When a confrontation along the way gets her shot, and Jake discovers that the boy is really a woman, she has to come clean about why she wants the scoundrel dead.

I thought this book had a slow beginning, but it turned out to be solid western romance with lots of action and adventure. Jace is a person who has went through his life never knowing love. Kyla is an independent woman who was raped by the book's villain. They are thrown together and must make the best of the situation. I was thoroughly entertained by this book. My rating: 4 Stars.