Book Review

Guest Post: A Love Letter to Texas Destiny

Title: Texas Destiny
Author: Lorraine Heath
Genre: Historical: American

Most of the folks who work in romance publishing love romane – this is rather obvious. Few people are in publish for the pots of money – there aren't any.

But Avon associate publicist Jessie Edwards is a huge romance fan. HUGE. She was telling me about her favorite romance, and I asked her to write about it. Here is Jessie's love letter to Texas Destiny, her favorite romance in the whole world.

Book Texas DestinyThree years ago, on my first day at Avon as an assistant publicist, my boss took me around to all the editors to introduce me. I was nervous and shy, giving quiet “hellos” and generally not saying much. Until I walked into one editor’s office and sitting on her desk were copies of all three Texas books by Lorraine Heath (TEXAS DESTINY, TEXAS GLORY, TEXAS SPLENDOR) and I about lost my you-know-what.

Shyness gone, nervousness gone. I exclaimed and gushed and generally made a fool of myself about how much I loved those books, and everyone laughed (good-naturedly) at me. But I didn’t care because I had just had a major revelation. I was in a place where people just had my absolute favorite books sitting on their desks—AS PART OF THEIR JOBS. And I was going to be surrounded by those books and authors, as well. Mind. Blown.

Sarah did not ask me to write this post about how awesome it is working at Avon (which it is), but about my complete and utter love for the book TEXAS DESTINY (the major reason behind my Day 1 freak out—GLORY and SPLENDOR are lovely, but TEXAS DESTINY holds the most special place in my heart). I’ve waxed fangirl about this book to Sarah, to my colleagues, to Lorraine herself. It’s in my top 5 all-time favorite romances, and if you haven’t read it yet, I’m about to tell you why it should be the next item on your TBR pile.

TEXAS DESTINY starts off a trilogy about the three Leigh brothers as they carve their place in the Wild West after the Civil War. Oldest brother Dallas Leigh has sent his brother Houston east to escort his mail order bride for the three-week trip between Fort Worth and Dallas’s ranch in West Texas because he’s broken his leg and can’t go himself. Horrifically scarred in the War, Houston is the “safe” choice to bring another man’s bride across the country as no woman could ever want him.

But Amelia Carson isn’t just any woman. Carrying her own, internal, scars from the war, she’s eager to make a new life with Dallas in Texas, but the more time she spends with the surly, wounded Houston, the surer she is that he is the man she is meant to be with. When they finally reach Dallas’s ranch, she must convince him that he should step out of the shadows and fight for their love.

There’s so much angst and heartache and tenderness and joy in this book, I’m overwhelmed with emotions every time I read it (which is maybe once or twice a year for the past ten years). Houston, a gentle man whose only desire is to own a small plot of land, breed horses, and be left alone, has always been cast in the shadow of his ambitious older brother, and since getting his wounds in the war, he has become even more withdrawn. He has no idea why a woman as sweet and beautiful as Amelia would love him—what when even the saloon girls, who entertain Dallas for free, charge him double for their services. Surely this woman is better off with his powerful, self-assured brother.

Amelia, for her part, is a deceptively mild-mannered, unobtrusive heroine—nice, pretty in an unchallenging way, always looking for the best in a situation. She could have been boring, easily-dismissed, but in Lorraine’s hands, she is revealed to have an inner core of strength that makes her a fierce competitor in the war for Houston’s heart, in which the opponent is his own self-loathing. She is a salve to Houston’s damaged soul, and the perfect woman to bring him into the light after years of hiding. I admire her as a heroine more than pretty much any heroine in romance novel history.

The publicist in me won’t let me close this post without reminding you that Lorraine has just finished off a new trilogy about three damaged brothers. LORD OF WICKED INTENTIONS, which went on sale 4/30, is my favorite of the three. Youngest brother of the Lost Lords of Pembrook, Rafe Easton, is about as messed up as Houston Leigh. His brothers left him in a workhouse when he was only a child as they fled their home to escape from a murderous uncle.  Now an adult and reunited with his brothers, Rafe feels no connection to them, or to the rest of the high society to which he’s supposed to belong. When he attends a private gathering at which Miss Evelyn Chambers is being sold as mistress to the highest bidder by her half-brother, he knows he must have her. Will she be his Amelia, soothing his fraught soul and convincing him that he’s worthy of her love?

So if you’re in the mood for a brilliantly written romance filled with intense emotions both grand and quiet, tortured heroes and strong heroines, I strongly suggest you check out both TEXAS DESTINY (available only in e-book) and LORD OF WICKED INTENTIONS. I love them so much, and I hope you do too.

Texas Destiny ( A | BN | K | S | ARe | iB ), Texas Glory ( A | BN | K | S | ARe | iB ), and Texas Splendor ( A | BN | K | S | ARe | iB ) are on sale for $2.99, ending today. 

Comments are Closed

  1. 1
    Michelle says:

    I also love her Texas trilogy!  Very well-written, wonderful heroes, strong, interesting heroines and wonderful settings.

  2. 2
    Maria says:

    Lorraine Heath’s Texas trilogy is wonderful! My only disappointment with the series is that I would love to get the story of Dallas’ adopted son and biological daughter. At one time, the author’s website said that she had no imminent plans for their story because the publishers said there was no market for it, which is surprising because it seems to be such a popular and much-loved series.

  3. 3
    Tabs says:

    Yeah, I downloaded the sample and hit the buy button after about 2 page turns.  Opens with the hero internally grumbling about his stupid brother, hos stupid brother’s stupid broken leg, and the stupid flowery band he is NOT going to wear on his hat, dammit.  Sold. :)  I have a weakness for grumbly men.

  4. 4
    KatieF says:

    I don’t know that I’ve ever read anything by Lorraine Heath, but I sense a glom coming on—Jessie’s descriptions of both Texas Destiny and Lord of Wicked Intentions are pretty enticing!

  5. 5
    Talia says:

    Sold! (Especially at that price!)I The description reminds me a little bit of Leftover Love, my very first romance.

  6. 6
    SB Sarah says:

    I’m not super into western historicals but holy crap did I buy the hell out of the trilogy after reading and formatting Jessie’s letter. Well written effusive praise work on me every time.

  7. 7
    Rebecca F says:

    Totally bought the heck out of the suggested books (Texas Destiny etc) as well as the Lost Lords of Pembrooke trilogy and the Rogues in Texas trilogy. Hoping these will get me out of my historical funk. I’ve been glomming contemporaries (very unusual for me, but nice since it opens more reading options. Thank you, Lisa Kleypas! Write faster!) and I even read the modern gothic, Beneath the Shadows, that was suggested about a week ago! I love this blog!

  8. 8

    Going for samples right now.

  9. 9
    SuperWendy says:

    Only one of two trilogies (Nora’s Born In would be the other!) that I’ve read back-to-back-to-back.  I even remember where I was when I read all the Texas books – 2001 in San Francisco for the ALA (American Library Association) conference.  Inhaled them all, loved them all, kept them all.  Although to be contrary I usually tell people that Splendor is my favorite.  I’m a total sucker for the youngest brother romance hero living in the shadow of his studly older brothers :)

  10. 10
    Krista says:

    I love this series!  LH used to write some amazing westerns.  My favorite was Parting Gifts.

  11. 11
    TamW says:

    The Amazon link for ‘Texas Destiny’ sends me to ‘John Tyler: The Accidental President’, which is probably v. interesting but not quite the stuff of angsty romance.

  12. 12

    I love historical westerns. Thanks for the recommendation.

  13. 13
    azteclady says:

    Agreeing with everything you said. This was also the first book I read by Ms Heath and the one that made me a fan forever.

  14. 14
    Bianca says:

    I’m so glad I read this today! I bought Texas Destiny and I’m loving it already! This is my first Lorraine Heath and I hope she has many more just as amazing.

  15. 15
    Gin says:

    Sigh. I adore this book. I remember when it was considered a “hard to find” book (way before ebooks). I had read reviews online and it sounded like the perfect book for me (spoiler alert: It was). But I couldn’t get my hands on a copy. I wandered into a bookstore out of town one day and had one of those AHHHHH moments in the romance aisle when they actually had a copy of TEXAS FREAKING DESTINY. Needless to say I bought that only copy and loved it.
    I bought an ebook copy as soon as Heath’s backlist was digitized. I think it’s time for a reread!
    I’m jealous of everyone who gets to experience this wonderful story for the first time.

  16. 16
    Jessie says:

    @Gin—I also found my copy at a used bookstore! It’s a hardcover, and it took me years to get the full set. Thank goodness for e-books.

  17. 17
    Dorothy says:

    I haven’t read Texas Destiny, but I will pick it up.  I absolutely love Lorraine Heath, I just finished Lord of Wicked Intentions and it was great!!

  18. 18
    Dawnell says:

    I bought them!  And as of right now, B&N still has the ebooks at $2.99 each!

  19. 19
    DarthClavie says:

    And I LOVE this series.
    I often lay awake at night pondering what became of Rawley Cooper and I imagine happy endings for him.

    I just discovered the books a year or two ago, but I must have re-read them three or four times already. I just love them so much.

    And I loved Amelia and Houston as protagonists,  and I loved seeing them in the other books – I meat each time them and their children show up in Splendor.

  20. 20

    The sale price is still good at Amazon!!!

  21. 21
    Karin says:

    I’ve never read Lorraine Heath’s books, and probably for the same reason that it took me so long to discover “Lord of Scoundrels”; the covers just scream “old skool”. But after reading this review I am definitely going to try them.

  22. 22
    HollyS says:

    I read “Texas Destiny” for the first time this week, and I must admit it was kind of ho-hum for me. I love Lorraine Heath, especially after reading (devouring is probably more apt) the entire lost Lords of Pembrook series. “Lord of Wicked Intentions” is quite possibly my favorite. I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t love “Texas Destiny” more, but I’m hoping “Texas Glory” is better. Yes, I bought that one too!! So far so good.

  23. 23

    YES!!  One of my desert-island-keeper books… I ADORE Texas Destiny.  I will forever hate myself for losing the ONE copy that I had ordered used from amazon about 8 years ago – and now I think it’s ebook only (which I have).

    Thunderstorms always always always remind me of this book.  And this is another romance that always makes me cry – always.  <3 **SIGH**

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