cover image Do Not Forsake Me

Do Not Forsake Me

Rosanne Bittner. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $7.99 mass market (512p) ISBN 978-1-4926-1284-1

Veteran romance author Bittner revisits the characters of Outlaw Hearts as a much older couple in this captivating romance set in late-19th-century Guthrie, Okla. U.S. Marshal Jake Harkner loves the life he has built with his wife, Miranda; their grown children, Lloyd and Evie; and grandchildren Stephen and Little Jake. Jake initially dislikes journalist Jeff Trubridge, but when Jeff proves his worth during a shootout in Guthrie, Jake changes his mind about the polite and reserved young man and agrees to help him write his book. Yet danger seems to constantly follow Jake, and when outlaws kidnap Miranda, he will stop at nothing to get his loved ones back and punish the perpetrators. This somewhat lengthy novel is a refreshing view of enduring love that survives the dangers of the Old West. Jake is a man of his time who feels deeply possessive of Miranda, and though Bittner takes pains to describe her as a strong woman, she’s also quite willing to yield to her man. There’s plenty of drama, including gunfights and multiple brushes with mortality, amid great storytelling that readers will savor. Agent: Maura Kye Casella, Don Congdon Associates. (July)