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TEXAS TRILOGY BOOK 1

She was his brother’s wife…

Arriving on the Fort Worth train, Miss Amelia Carson, mail-order bride, had never met Dallas Leigh, the Texan she promised to marry. The tall cowboy at the station wasn’t Dallas. He was Houston, Dallas’s brother, sent to escort her on the rugged three-week trek to the ranch where Dallas waited. Brought up in war-ravaged Georgia, Amelia thought Dallas’s letters made Texas sound like heaven, a place for her dreams to grow with the right man beside her.

And his only love…

By all appearances, Houston Leigh would hardly be considered the “right man.” The war he survived had scarred him inside and out, and he was little competition for his handsome brother. But from the moment Houston met Amelia, he knew she possessed the courage this wild land needed. She had eyes that could see past his wounded face to his soul. And he would fight any man—except his brother—for her heart. Now he and Amelia were riding down dangerous trails, sleeping under the stars, and God help them, they were falling in love.

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Occasionally, a book comes along that has such an emotional impact, I find myself thinking about it long after I’ve finished reading it. This beautiful and poignant love story, is definitely one such book.

I absolutely loved Houston and Amelia! How could I not fall for such a vulnerable, tender, tortured hero or adore such a beautiful, sweet, compassionate heroine? They’re just meant to be together!

I loved watching their relationship slowly change as they drew closer to each other. It was easy to believe that they would fall in love when Amelia’s beauty, warmth, and courage captivate Houston:

That sparkle that lit up her eyes was enough to blind a man. And her smile. Her laughter. Dear God, but a man could start to believe in heaven and angels and an eternity of peace.

and Amelia comes to recognize the tender man hidden beneath Houston’s surly exterior.

“You don’t see the man you’ve become, you only see the boy you were.”

Ms Heath brings all the discomforts and dangers of the journey to vivid life. I felt that I was sharing all the hardships with Houston and Amelia.

Both have suffered the horrors of war but have chosen to deal with them in different ways. Houston has retreated into himself, any dreams he had for his future destroyed on the battlefield all those years ago. It’s hard to believe he was only fifteen years old when he suffered the terrible injuries that changed his life forever but this really brought it home to me:

…Houston had never had the opportunity to shave his whole face; he’d never flirted with girls, wooed women, or danced through the night. He’d never loved.

Amelia has tried to put all the terrible memories behind her by being cheerful and optimistic. I love how she always tries to find something to be grateful for in any situation. She’s courageous in taking a chance on marrying a man she has never met to fulfill her dreams of marriage and a family. She makes Houston realize that raising horses is his dream, a dream he has never before acknowledged.

My heart broke for him when Houston has to hand over the woman he loves to his brother. He knows he’s honour bound to accept Dallas’s prior claim on Amelia. He truly wants what’s best for her and knows that Dallas can give her everything he can’t. Although I knew there would be a happy ending for Houston and Amelia, Ms Heath still managed to keep me on tenterhooks at the very end.

The only other main characters are Houston’s brothers, Dallas and Austin. Dallas seems such a cold fish, completely obsessed with building a ranching empire and having a son to share it with. I imagined his wife coming second to his ambitions. Austin is the youngest brother and provides some amusing moments when he keeps using inappropriate language around Amelia and is constantly admonished by his older brothers.

I’m looking forward to reading Texas Glory (Dallas) and Texas Splendor (Austin).

TEXAS DESTINY is an unforgettable love story with a hero and heroine who will melt your heart.

RATING: ★★★★★

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