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Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Western Ladies, Book 3
Publisher: Pocket Books
Hero: Rafe McCay
Heroine: Doctor Annie Parker
Date of Publication: October 1992
Started On: July 5, 2010
Finished On: July 6, 2010
I am almost done with my re-read phase of novels by Linda Howard. Her novels are so interesting that I just can’t seem to be able to set aside the book once I start reading. This novel is no exception to that and I found myself thoroughly engrossed in the tale of how Rafe McCay and Dr. Annie Parker found ultimate happiness with one another.
Rafe has been on the run for his life for the past four years. Framed for a murder which he didn’t commit, Rafe is a man who has an army of bounty hunters on his trail with a handsome bounty of 10,000 dollars on his head. Though at first Rafe had tried to clear up his name, the murders of the two men who tried to help him has long convinced Rafe that his life would always be spent on the run.
One such bounty hunter, Trahera gets too close for comfort and Rafe is shot hindering his plans though he manages to slow Trahera down by shooting him in the leg. Ten days after Rafe gets shot, delirious with high fever and an infected wound, Rafe comes across the boom town Silver Mesa where blessedly he finds the home of Dr. T. A. Parker.
Annie whose father was a doctor is a woman who is determined that she would practice medicine even if it meant she had to live in towns like the one she was currently residing in. Born during a time when females were merely tolerated and much less when she dares to encroach on territories determined to be for the men, Annie is thrown for a loop when she finds Rafe residing in her home with the smell of infection wafting off of him.
From the moment Annie touches Rafe, though she tries to keep her thoughts professional and her touch brisk, Annie can’t help the jolt of sensation that slithers through her being by the merest touch. Rafe can’t believe it when the lady standing before him proclaims to be the doctor he was looking for and when though her touch soothes him and stirs a fire of longing in him at the same time, Rafe just attributes it towards the fever which is making him delirious.
When Annie proclaims that Rafe is not fit to do anything but rest for at least 3 days, Rafe kidnaps Annie at gun point and makes her leave with him and travels high up into the mountains where he would be able to recuperate without the fear of being caught. Though he knows Annie is frightened out of her wits to be forced to travel in the cold, Rafe admires the strength that keeps Annie from whining and complaining about her fate.
Thrust into the company of the man with the cold silver eyes who makes Annie burns for things she has no clue of, it is a battle that Annie loses when Rafe sets out to seduce the delectable doctor in his arms. Annie knows that she would never again love another man as she has come to love Rafe and surrenders her body and soul to the man who makes her senses sing from pleasure.
But danger is constantly lurking in the shadows and when finally Trahera stumbles upon their hideout by chance, Rafe knows its time to move on and return Annie to where he kidnapped her from. But Annie knows that she would never be able to return to the life as she knew it and Rafe knowing that her safety had also been compromised now decides to take Annie along with him.
Annie and Rafe’s journey through the unforgiving lands is one filled with taut sensuality and danger at every turn. The mystery of how Rafe is on the run for his life is a riveting one and with a hero and heroine you root for right from the start, this is an unbeatable book of romance and adventure.
I always love a good epilogue in any book I read and my favorite part of the book would have to be the epilogue which describes the happily ever after that Rafe and Annie finds with each other.