Long and Short Reviews welcomes Roseanne Bittner whose newest book in the Outlaw Hearts series Love’s Sweet Revenge was released yesterday. Leave a comment with your contact information for a chance to win the first book in the series, Outlaw Hearts.
Their Passion Shaped a Nation
Over the years, Jake and Miranda Harkner have endured all the dangers a wild and brutal West could throw at them. Now, settled on their ranch in the beautiful Colorado hill country, they’ve finally found peace. But for a man like Jake Harkner, danger is always lurking, and the world may not be ready for an infamous outlaw-turned-lawman-turned-legend to hang up his guns.
Threatened by cruel men in search of revenge, the Harkner clan must be stronger than ever before. Yet nothing can stop the coming storm. With the Old West dying around them and the rules of this new world ever-changing, Jake vows to end the threat to his family no matter what it takes…
Even if it means sacrificing himself so his beloved Miranda may live.
Enjoy an exclusive excerpt:
Author’s Note: Here Jake and Randy are alone when they end up in a confrontation with cattle rustlers. Randy is used to Jake’s protective and often ruthless nature when one of his own is threatened.
He halted his horse, and she felt his whole body stiffen. She leaned back again and saw the darker look of the old, defensive Jake Harkner, the wanted man always on the alert. He was looking past her.
“Rustlers. They’ve seen us. Hang on to Shortbread.” He turned Midnight toward the foothills. “We’re heading for those rocks to the west!” He urged the horses into a faster lope toward an outcropping of rocks that looked as though they’d tumbled there from nowhere. “Get down!” he told her when they reached cover. He hung on to her arm as she slid off his horse. Jake dismounted. “Tie the horses farther into the trees.” He yanked his rifle from its boot.
Randy pulled the horses into the trees, her heart pounding. In moments like this, she trusted her husband to know what to do. She obeyed every order.
Jake ducked behind a huge boulder. “Get the shotgun and my leather pack with the extra cartridges and buckshot,” he told her, cocking his repeating rifle.
Randy took the shotgun and ammunition from the pack horse and carried them over to him.
Jake set both rifle and shotgun against the rock while he checked his Colt .44s, the guns that had brought him so much notoriety…and often too much heartache. “You stay down, and I mean down,” he told her.
Randy knelt beside him and peeked through an opening between the boulder and another rock. In the distance a good six or seven men were herding a fair number of cattle south.
“How do you know it’s not Pepper and some of the other men?”
“None of my men would be riding in bunches like that this time of year. They’re spread out—a couple here, a couple there. And we aren’t rounding up yet, at least not in this area. They wouldn’t be out there with that many cattle.” He rested on one knee, picking up the Winchester and positioning it in the same opening to watch. “They’re still a little too far away, damn it!”
“Jake, please don’t take them on by yourself.”
“I don’t think I’ll have any choice. Take the shotgun and keep it handy. If anything happens to me, use it!” He handed her one of his six-guns. “And then shoot the rest of them with this if you have to.”
Shoot the rest of them? “Jake, why not just let them ride on?”
“Because it’s my cattle they’re stealing, and besides that, they’re already coming this way. Don’t touch the trigger on my .44 till you have to. They have a feather pull, and you’ll end up shooting me or yourself. Just set it aside for now, but be ready to use that shotgun.”
Randy carefully laid the six-gun on a flat rock, closing her eyes and praying she wouldn’t have to use it, worried that all the sweet and wonderful things she and Jake had shared the last few days could end in disaster here and now. Crouched on her knees, she peeked around the other side of the second boulder to see five men drawing closer, all very well armed. Two more were making their way around either side of the boulders where she and Jake were holed up. Her only consolation was that if any one man could take on seven or more against him, it was Jake Harkner.
About the Author: USA Today bestseller and award-winning novelist Rosanne Bittner is known as the “Queen of Western Historical Romance” for her thrilling love stories and historical authenticity. Her epic romances span the West—and are often based on Rosanne’s personal visits to each setting. She lives in Coloma, Michigan, with her husband and two sons.