Monday, August 27, 2007
Texas Glory - Lorraine Heath
I started this one after a few disappointments. It was a reread and when I picked it up I thought that 1) I need something interesting to catch my interest, 2) I needed to find out if this one was indeed a keeper. Well, it is!
She was wed to a stranger who would show her the way to freedom and love . . .
Ever since her mother's death, Cordelia McQueen has been a virtual prisoner in her father's house. But now everything had changed. Shamelessly traded in a battle for land and water rights, she was thrust into an unfamiliar world as the bride of Dallas Leigh.
Dallas had given his life to the land. Now he would build a town that would put West Texas on the map. But as he gazed into the eyes of the lovely stranger who belonged to him, he caught a glimpse of another empire--a warm, radiant empire of the heart. Was this a woman to walk beside him, as, together, they carved out a future rich with the radiant promise of love?
Dallas Leigh lives for his dream of building an empire, the only thing he misses is having a son to inherit it. A few years back he tried to find a mail order bride but he sent his brother Houston to pick her up and she fell in love with him instead. Although the town he is building is rising fast the women are still scarce.
Dallas has a problem with his neighbours, the MacQueens, the feel part of his lands should be theirs and since they aren't they keep raiding his lands and killing his cattle. When he finds out they have a sister he makes a proposal, Cordelia will marry him and give him a son and he will give them access to the lands and water they want.
I really enjoyed both Dallas and Dee, they are real people with feelings and expectations. Dallas is a hard man who feels a bit lost about how to court his wife especially when he realises she was never given a choice. Dee is terrified of having to leave her house where she was kept almost in seclusion to marry a stranger that frightens her. Although a son is still what he wants more Dallas decides to wait till Cordelia has known him better and stopped fear him to do something about it and Cordelia starts to conquer her fears - from riding a horse to leaving the house - to become a more secure woman capable of making decisions regarding the town and her marriage. And slowly they fall in love with each other...
There is a subplot about who is abusing a little boy both Dee and Dallas are fond of and about what her brothers plan to do when things don't go as they planned. Her big brother has one mean streak and keeps provoking Dallas in the hopes of starting a fight. There's a big set of secondary characters, starting with Houston and Amelia from the previous book, and they all help to make this a memorable read.