Bittner revisits the Harkner family of Colorado ranchers in this refreshing and impressive fourth volume (after Love’s Sweet Revenge) of her 19th-century Outlaw Hearts saga. While visiting Boulder, Jake Harkner’s wife, Randy, is taken hostage by bank robbers. Jake is a former outlaw and lawman, so he takes down the robbers, but he’s shot in the crossfire. Randy fears for his life, desperate to save the husband she loves—and whom she needs to protect her, as she was assaulted by outlaws months earlier and is still traumatized by the ordeal. As Randy helps Jake recover from his wounds, she slowly regains her own strength. They return to their family ranch, where they enjoy the love and support of their children and extended family, and Jake gladly promises to retire. But when Jake receives a request to strap on his guns one last time to help an old friend save a young girl, he feels like he can’t refuse. Bittner’s skill with character development is on fine display. Jake and Randy, who began the series as a typical romantic couple, are now grandparents, yet their love continues to grow and mature as they endure trials and triumphs. Bittner has achieved what few authors can: making her fourth installment just as fresh and alluring as the first while keeping the same protagonists at the center of the story. Agent: Maura Kye-Casella, Don Congdon Associates. (Sept.)
Reviewed on: 07/17/2017 Release date: 09/05/2017 Genre: Fiction
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