cover image The Outlaw’s Heart

The Outlaw’s Heart

Amy Sandas. Sourcebooks Casablanca, $7.99 mass market (384p) ISBN 978-1-4926-5203-8

Sandas concludes her Runaway Brides historical western trilogy (after The Cowboy’s Honor) with this emotionally satisfying tale set in 1883. After Evelyn Perkins’s cruel husband, Matthew, threatens to kill her for displeasing him, she begins planning to escape to the West, where her cousin and her best friend have already found love and happiness. After she flees, a case of mistaken identity gets her kidnapped from her westbound train by a band of outlaws that includes Gabriel Sloan. They plan to ransom her, but she refuses to go back to her husband, and Gabriel feels responsible for her. Gabriel was kidnapped from his Native American tribe by white missionaries and is now a loner who doesn’t feel at home anywhere, but Evelyn’s quiet strength breaks through his emotional barriers. Trust doesn’t come easily for either of them, and as they give in to their feelings, Matthew comes hunting them. Sandas raises the emotional stakes and continually ratchets up the sexual tension and sense of danger. A stellar cast of supporting characters (including two couples from earlier installments) adds dimension. Fans of historicals will devour this suspenseful romance, and series fans will be sorry to see the trilogy end. Agent: Nalini Akolekar, Spencerhill Assoc. (Nov.)