Also in this series: Do Not Forsake Me, Love's Sweet Revenge, The Last Outlaw
Series: Outlaw Hearts #1
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on June 2nd 2015
Genres: American West, Favorites, Historical Romance, Saga Romance
Fall in love with the epic, sweeping romance of Bittner's beloved Outlaw Hearts, called by New York Times bestseller, Heather Graham "a wonderful, absorbing read, with characters to capture the heart and the imagination".
United by chance, bound by fate, consumed by passion.
Miranda Hayes has lost everything-her family, her husband, her home. Orphaned and then widowed, desperate to find a safe haven, she sets out to cross a savage land alone...until chance brings her face-to-face with notorious gunslinger Jake Harkner.
Hunted by the law and haunted by a brutal past, Jake has spent a lifetime fighting for everything he has. He's never known a moment's kindness...until fate brings him to the one woman willing to reach past his harsh exterior to the man inside. He would die for her. He would kill for her. He will do whatever it takes to keep her his.
Spanning the dazzling West with its blazing deserts and booming gold towns, Jake and Miranda must struggle to endure every hardship that threatens to tear them apart. But the love of an outlaw comes with a price...and even their passion may not burn bright enough to conquer the coming darkness.
Miranda Hayes, has recently lost everyone and everything she has ever loved. She lost her husband in the war, her brother left home, and her father has recently passed away. She knows that she will need to search for a new home and a new life. Right before she decides to leave, she goes into town to get some supplies, and while shopping, she meets a man who scares her but also interests her in a way she can’t explain. But then she ends up shooting Jake Harkner, when it is revealed of his true identity and that he is a criminal. He flees and she hopes to never see him again. But when she arrives home she finds Jake in her home, unconscious and bleeding out, and if she doesn’t do something he will die. The last thing she needs on her conscious is a death on her hands, even if it was an accident. Jake has been on the run ever since he was a teenager, and his plan is to keep moving west, where the law is practically non-existent and he can find some peace from the hunts on his tail and live out his life without worrying of an unfair trial or being hung. Even though he has done some shameful actions in the past, he is innocent of certain accusations that will get him either a life sentence in jail or a hanging. He knows that there is no redeeming, but when he meets Miranda, he starts to see hope in his future with her at his side. However Jake and Miranda have a future that will be full of strife and struggle, and their love will be tested in the cruelest ways, and only their devotion to each other will give them a chance at a future together.
Jake had a childhood of abuse and pain, daily beatings from his father, being witness to his mother and little brother murders. When he was fifteen years old, he makes a friend with a twelve-year-old girl, and kept her hidden from his father, but his father found out about her, and raped her, and Jake at his last straw killed his father and in the process killed his friend as well. After that fateful night, he was on his own, got caught up in the wrong crowd, and only tried to kill in self-defense. He is on the run from the law and the outlaw gang he used to run with but couldn’t stay with because their motives were evil, and even Jake couldn’t stay with men with no morals. Jake is a character that wins you over from beginning to end. He has made some bad choices, but you also see how he has never been accepted or loved, accept by his mother, whom he barely knew only remembers her goodness, but his life changed the moment he had to kill his father. We see a man that needs to be accepted and doesn’t believe he is worth any redeeming, which just about broke my heart. His character wins you over, because he is so imperfect but is need of a perfect love which is what our heroine and many others we see in the later part of the story give him. True acceptance of who he is and they love him unconditionally no matter what he has done in the past, because they see the goodness that has always been there.
Miranda lost her mother when she was young, but she had a loving father who raised her. She learned from him since he was a doctor, and she married young at sixteen, but then lost her husband in the war between states, and now her father has been killed. Their home has been ransacked and many things stolen, and there is nothing left for her. She is determined to head out west to find her only last living relative, her brother that left years previous. But when Miranda stumbles across Jake’s path, their lives become intertwined, and Miranda discovers a love she refuses to let go of. Miranda is a heroine you have to admire, she has spunk, stands up to Jake (which not many would do without risking death), she stands on her own and fights for him and what they have together. She is tenacious, full of courage and love and fiercely loyal. What was most loveable about Miranda was how fully accepting she is of Jake, and how she sees something more in him and doesn’t give up on him. And she goes through some tough situations, and she stands by him no matter what happens, and I admire that in a character.
Plot and Story Line
Outlaw Hearts is a saga romance that will enthrall you from the first page, a love story that is majestic in its telling of it. In the past I have had the opportunity to read her before, but it has been many years. Almost ten years since I have read anything of her. So I was thrilled at the chance to read this one, especially with it being republished, and high ratings….and boy does this story deserve them, each and every one. This is not a short story, so be warned but so worth every moment of reading you take into it. It took me about two days to read this, it’s about 600 pages, but it didn’t feel that long to be honest. This story spans from when they first meet in their 20’s and ends when they are in their 40’s. We see them fall in love, get married, make love for the first time, have children, get separated and their relationship tested, we even see grandkids, but we see a love story that grows and becomes stronger with challenge they have to overcome together. We see how their relationship develops, and how no matter what they got put up against, they still won and their bond became even more firm than ever. This is a page turner, and keeps you on the edge of your seat in anticipation of what these two will have to endure to stay together and keep each other safe. What I loved most was how this captivated me so much that I lost quite a few hours of sleep so I could read that one chapter. It is quite an emotional journey we are taken on as readers, and it will really tug at those heart-strings in ways that you won’t see coming, and FYI :Bring a box of tissues to your reading corner because you will need them) it leaves the story will some things settled and a few questions but what a wonderful ending, and what is better is you have a second book that just became published so you can find out what they have to deal with next. This is a western based romance, set in a historical context, and the author is fabulous in describing vivid detail and making the story come alive with each page there is raw emotion and a true interpretation of the time and culture that the reader is opened up to. I will say this for Rosanne Bittner, she is one of the best romance authors that have ever written. This is a unforgettable story and a book that I will be re reading again, a story that is by far one of the best romances ever to be read and I soaked it all in, every character…every detail…every setting, this is a must read for any romance lover, because I guarantee you will cry, you will laugh, you will jump up and down in excitement, your mind is going to enter into a world you have never known or dreamed, and you will adore every delicious moment!!
What a beautiful cover, I just love Sourcebooks and the covers they have, but out of all them this is one of my favorites. I love the pose, the authenticity of the clothing styles and that gorgeous backdrop!!
Outlaw Hearts is a captivating and heart wrenching love story which gives you adventure, passion, first rate writing, and each page will entertain you!! Not a story to miss out on, a must read!! A BEAUTIFULLY CRAFTED LOVE STORY!!