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Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: Warner Books
Hero: Ty Sanders
Heroine: Jenny Jones
Date of Publication: April 1, 1997
Started On: August 22, 2010
Finished On: August 23, 2010
Maggie Osborne certainly doesn’t write about your conventional heroines. Her books always center around those women who are uneducated and shoulder the responsibilities usually carried out by men for survival’s sake. The story moves on in such a manner that you can see the heroine transform herself into something better because all along, even though the heroine may cuss and drink like the best of men, she always has redeeming qualities that shine in the end.
The Promise of Jenny Jones centers around one such heroine. Jenny Jones is a woman who had had to fend for herself from the tender age of around 8 when her mother had kicked her out of her home. Jenny had never shied away from hard tough work, because it was either that or starve to death. Big boned and reaching a height of around 6 ft, Jenny defies the convention of dainty figured women. Her one encounter with a man had soured her of having any sort of relationship with a man, and in Jenny’s mind, no man in his right mind would look at her twice. But the one remarkable quality of Jenny was that when she gave someone her word, she never went back on it. Jenny figures that being truthful was the only thing she had left in this world.
So it is this quality that lands her in a Mexican jail, sentenced to meet her maker by a firing squad. The stench, filth and the lice that seemed to have taken permanent residence in her long red hair almost made her long for the death that would inevitably arrive come morning. Salvation comes in the form of the hauntingly beautiful Senora Margarita Sanders who was terminally ill. She arrives in Jenny’s prison cell and proposes that she take Jenny’s place in front of the firing squad. In return, Jenny had to promise that she would take Margarita’s young daughter Graciela to her father and Margarita’s husband Robert Sanders in Northern California. Margarita feared for her daughter’s life, that her cousins would attempt to kill Graciela and remove the only obstacle that stood in their way of the family fortune, because Margarita’s father, who had disowned her on her marriage to Robert Sanders was filthy rich.
Jenny who had never had the responsibility of looking after a child before is skeptical at best. But a promise given has to be kept and thus Jenny finds out just how tiresome and irksome a six year old can be. Graciela hates Jenny on sight and keeps on praying to God for her death because according to Graciela her mother was killed because of Jenny. And Graciela wants nothing more than to return to what is familiar, unaware of the danger that her cousins now posed.
Ty Sanders had been asked by his brother Robert, upon the death of their father to travel to Mexico and fetch Margarita and his child. Ty unknowingly encounters Jenny and Graciela and Graciela’s two gun toting cousins who are hellbent on removing Graciela from Jenny’s keep. The first encounter itself, though Jenny looks less than flattering with her manly clothes and shortly cropped hair, Ty feels the first stir of awareness and a deep respect for the woman who fiercely guarded her child.
But when Ty finds out later that the woman who had been occupying his thoughts all too frequently since, might have kidnapped Graciela, he swears that he would rescue his niece and return her to her father, regardless of whatever misgivings he might have about Mexicans.
Thus starts the encounters between these three. Graciela is hardly the docile child you would imagine a woman like Margarita would have reared. But she is spoiled, willful and wants her way or the high way. Graciela reluctantly starts to admire Jenny and Jenny too learns from the girl who slowly starts to creep her way into her heart. And Graciela’s uncle has the most unimaginable effect on Jenny, that she can’t believe that the blue-green eyed, lithe and handsome cowboy was really interested in bedding her, Jenny Jones that no man ever glanced at twice. But when Ty’s smoldering gaze rests on her, Jenny feels beautiful, sexy and all those things that she had never hoped she would feel.
The coming together of Jenny and Ty is explosive amongst the sultry heat of Mexico, amongst a journey that is fraught with danger for the threesome that try to make their way out of Mexico. In the end, Ty gets shot and has to be left behind so that Jenny can keep her promise to the woman who had been brave enough to die for the one person who mattered to her more than anything else.
The epilogue of the story is wonderful, describing the wedding of Graciela and how Ty and Jenny had weathered after marriage. Beautifully done story that kept the pages turning and kept me up into the wee hours of the night, just so I could immerse myself in the beautiful sensuality created by Ms. Osborne.
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