Opening Line: “His was not a face that women carried with them into their dreams”
Oh how I loved this one. I actually sought out a used copy of Texas Destiny because it had received such rave reviews and WOW am I ever glad I did. I knew going in I was going to like this because I’ve got such a soft spot when it comes to the tortured heroes but I never expected to be as moved as I was by this beautiful story. Just know any review I attempt here really won’t do this justice.
I fell in love with both the hero and heroine and literally couldn’t stop reading mostly because Lorraine Heath never took the easy route with their story. Just when I thought I had it all figured out she went the opposite way or moved things past where I thought she was going to. She also gives us multifaceted characters who only over the course of the book manage to reveal their whole selves.
Our couples back stories are both heartbreaking, talk about wounded souls finding each other. Unfortunately for them our heroine has already promised herself to another and the hero doesn’t feel anywhere near worthy of fighting for her love, especially up against his successful, good looking, older brother.
But the heart wants what the heart wants, and sometimes it isn’t a fancy house and lots of frills but a quiet life in a one room cabin with small dreams, a few horses and a man that makes your toes curl regardless of what he looks like.
Amelia Carson has just arrived on the Fort Worth train, she’s a mail order bride trying to leave the horrors of war-ravaged Georgia behind and start a new life for herself in Texas. She’s been corresponding with Dallas Leigh for a year now, agreeing to marry him and in exchange for travel expenses signing a promissory note. (Its 1876 so the deed is as good as done.) Now all she can hope is that Dallas is everything she imagined he’d be from his letters.
However it’s not Dallas who meets Amelia’s train (due to a broken leg he’s been unable to travel.) The tall cowboy keeping to the shadows is his younger brother Houston and she’s going to be stuck with the scarred and bad tempered man for the entire three week wagon journey back to Dallas’s ranch. Houston doesn’t talk much and almost always keeps his face turned away, but Amelia’s an optimistic character and it doesn’t take long before she’s able to break down Houston’s defences.
Missing an eye and badly disfigured this weary, ex-Civil War soldier has survived the war but its left him scarred inside and out and he now prefers the company of horses to people. Amelia has brought something back to life in him though and he can’t help wishing things were somehow different. As it stands his memories are going to have to last a lifetime because she belongs to his brother and he’s going to deliver her to him and watch them get married because Amelia deserves so much more then he could ever hope to give her.
Of course the return trip doesn’t go quite as smoothly as planned and Houston and Amelia are forced to rely on each other to survive, growing ever closer and falling in love. And this is where things got interesting because I expected the brother to be a mean horrible man (makes for an easy story right) but no, he’s a nice guy, who would make an excellent husband, remaining true and providing Amelia with a good life. This makes her decision very difficult especially when the one she really wants keeps pushing her away.
Part 1 of the Texas Trilogy.