March 25, 2011

Retro Friday (7) - Texas Destiny by Lorraine Heath

Retro Friday
Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted at Angieville and focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc. Everyone is welcome to join in at any time! 

This week I chose Texas Destiny by Lorraine Heath

Texas DestinyAt First Sight: The last place Houston Leigh wants to be is waiting for his brother Dallas' mail-order bride at the train station in Forth Worth, but since Dallas busted his leg, it fell to him to pick up the woman and embark on a three-week journey back to his brother's ranch. 

Amelia Carson left Georgia behind, hoping to leave all of her bad memories of the war there, and to start a new life with Dallas. They had been corresponding for a year by the time he proposed, and she was happy to have this new chance in life. She didn't expect to met Houston instead.

Houston who is taciturn and moody, who was so scarred by the war - both physically and emotionally - that he hasn't felt worthy of any kind of happiness in the last thirteen years.

Giving one step forward and two backward, they start their journey and get to know each other. The more Houston knows Amelia, the more he wants to please her and make her happy and give her the best, and to his mind the best is his older brother - a war hero and considerable land owner, not to mention handsome and stable - much as Houston starts to want Amelia for himself. 

Amelia set out to marry a man, but then she found herself giving her heart to another, even though he didn't seem willing to take it. 

Second Glance: Texas Destiny is the first of the Texas trilogy by Lorraine Heath about the Leigh brothers, and I adored it. 

I had been told this was a definite hanky read, and it was, I lost count of how many times I teared up, it was just so heart wrenching seeing Amelia and Houston struggle with their feelings and their fears and all the misunderstandings and problems that stood in their way.

About half of the book is taken by the trip Amelia and Houston make, where it's just the two of them and I really felt like I got to know them, more importantly, like they got to know each other; and I loved seeing that. Then they reach the ranch and the dynamics between the three of the brothers and Amelia were lovely to see, how much they needed her for different reasons - though Austin, the youngest brother, was mostly looking for a mother figure, since his Mom died when he was very young and he's only 16. 

Plus, I really got a sense of the period - about ten years after the end of the North/South war - and how difficult things were then.

Bottom Line: Both a love story and the story of a family trying to heal itself, Texas Destiny is a great launch of a series that I can't wait to read.

Favorite Quote: "Houston was beginning to wonder if Dallas had broken his leg on purpose just to get out of wearing this silly scrap of cloth. It wouldn't do to anger the woman before she became his wife.
      Well, Houston wasn't going to marry her so he could anger her all he wanted, and he wasn't going to wrap flowers around the crown of his brown broad-​brimmed hat.
      No, ma'am. No, sir."

starstarstarstar1/2Personal Favorite

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