Leisure, Jun 2004, 5.99, 352 pp.
In the 1868 Piney Woods area of East Texas, J. W. Walford kills Uriah Roane in the Lone Tree Saloon, is arrested and convicted of murder, but got a break due to some siblings freeing their brother enabling him to escape too. Now J.W. is fleeing the law when he comes across a small ranch. He stops to buy a horse only to find an unconscious woman and her infant. He provides aid to the drugged woman who awakens and informs him that she is Louisa Burgess and introduces him to her baby Angelina. She also says that she is on the run from odious banker Titus Gillette who is using her late husband's gambling debts to try to blackmail the beautiful woman into doing his bidding.
J.W. takes Louisa and her child across the state on a four hundred mile trek as he seeks vengeance. However, as they journey together, J.W. and Louisa fall in love. As he reconsiders his priorities to keeping his two cherished human females safe, Titus has sent a killer after them.
This engaging western romance may sound like an overdone theme, but Beth Henderson freshens up her plot due to the baby making the trek that much more difficult. The story line is action-packed yet character driven as the lead couple has demons (real and imaginative) to overcome before they might pursue their inner feelings. Similar to Three Godfathers with a romantic twist, this is a fine redemption tale that readers will enjoy.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner