by Lorraine HeathBook #2 in the Texas Trilogy
Historical Romance/Western Romance
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Cordelia McQueen was a virtual prisoner in her father's house. Until everything changed when she was shamelessly traded in a battle for land and water rights, and thrust into an unfamiliar world as the bride of Dallas Leigh.
Dallas had given his life to the land. Now he aimed to 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 ambition--a warm, radiant desire of the heart. Was this the woman who would walk beside him as, together, they carved out a rich future with all the promise of love?
Dallas Leigh's biggest dream was to have a son to share what he'd created. The problem was not being able to find a woman in his region of Texas. His last attempt to transport one from another state ended as a failure when she fell in love with his brother, Houston. When he discovered Cordelia “Dee” McQueen's existence, he secured a deal with her miserable brothers and father in exchange for her becoming his wife.
This story of a marriage of convenience was brutally honest and sincere. Heath does an admirable job of creating empathy for both people in this marriage as they struggle to understand one another and find a way to a relationship. There are hardships and successes along the way that seem to be in keeping with the era. I loved the story and rooted for Dee and Dallas. You cannot help but have empathy for Dee when you learn more about her family and how she was treated. You can just imagine as she was traded to Dallas for land and water rights. And, Dallas becomes more likable as he makes personal adjustments to accommodate a wife.
I loved the characters from the first book in the series and they play a large role in this story, too. We get an opportunity to find out how Houston and Amelia’s lives are progressing as Dallas and Dee try to make their marriage work.
This is a book you'll definitely want on your shelf. And, Heath really seems to capture the hardships and realities of living in the western frontier during that era. You’ll want to jump right into the final book in this trilogy.