Book Review-The Last Outlaw by Rosanne Bittner

Book Review-The Last Outlaw by Rosanne Bittner

I received this book for free from Sourcebooks Casablanca in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review-The Last Outlaw by Rosanne BittnerThe Last Outlaw by Rosanne Bittner
Also in this series: Outlaw Hearts, Do Not Forsake Me, Love's Sweet Revenge, Blaze of Glory
Series: Outlaw Hearts #4
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on September 5th 2017
Genres: Historical Romance, American West
Pages: 480
Format: eARC
Source: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1492652067
AmazonLibrary Thing
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Times have changed, and the old Wild West is becoming a place of civilized law and order, where men like Jake Harkner no longer seem to fit in. As a nod to the changing times, Jake has sworn to hang up his guns once and for all. In fact, he and his wife Randy are enjoying this new era of peace on their ranch...until Jake's embroiled in a rescue mission that he simply can't refuse―possibly his most dangerous yet. He rides into Mexico to save a young girl from a dreadful fate, leaving his beloved family behind, fearing he will die the same way he's always lived―by the gun.

Outlaw Hearts Series:Outlaw Hearts (Book 1)Do Not Forsake Me (Book 2)Love's Sweet Revenge (Book 3)The Last Outlaw (Book 4)

The Outlaw Hearts saga continues from Outlaw Hearts, Do Not Forsake Me, Sweet Love’s Revenge to the final installment The Last Outlaw. Jake Harkner is in his sixties but still in his prime. His wife and lover, Miranda or “Randy”, is ten years younger. Jake and Randy are surrounded by their children, and grandchildren in the hills of Colorado. It has been less than a year since the ending of Sweet Love’s Revenge, and the trauma that was dealt their family, including the attack, kidnapping and violation that Randy suffered at the hands of their enemies. And still, Randy hasn’t recovered back to her normal vibrant self and Jake is getting really worried about her health. She is barely skin and bones, clinging to him at every moment. For the longest time Jake has had to rely on Randy for her strength, love and support. Now Jake has had to be Randy’s strength. Jake is still haunted by his past especially in the early events of his life.

Ever since he’d found and fallen in love with this woman, he’d always had her to lean on, to keep him from the abyss of blackness that beckoned. Tough and able as he seemed to others, she was his strength. And now that strength was gone. The tables had turned and he had to be strong for her. “Randy, when you figure out what more I can do, or what it is that will help you get better, you tell me. Don’t ever be afraid to tell me–anything–all right? You know I’ve seen it all and done it all and nothing surprises me. And I love you, I’ll do whatever it takes.”

As Jake and Randy learn to cope with recent events, and right when they think they have finally come to terms and enjoying the life they have fought so hard for. Jake will be asked to go on a mission, a mission to save an innocent girl’s life, but a mission that could mean Jake being separated from his family forever.

In the Last Outlaw I was completely drawn into this story and captivated by one of my all time favorite couples, and to be frank, if I had to choose one couple I adore the most it would be these two. Jake and Miranda have gone through so much together but what always gets to me about them is seeing how devoted they are to each other. In the Last Outlaw, however, the focus of the story is Jake and his past. We see what he is suffering, and that he has to face his past in this book. We see how much he values family, however, he has some self-worth issues—actually some major ones. However, we see that despite how he feels about his past and himself, the steadiness of his family’s devotion is what gives him strength when he needs it the most.

Miranda is struggling with a recent trauma and we see the effects of PTSD. For those who have read Love’s Sweet Revenge, know exactly what Randy suffered and in this book, we see the after effects of that trauma. In the first half of the story, we see how this trauma has changed her. Randy in the previous books, is spirited and compassionate and independent and very strong willed. But we see how this changes her from strong willed to depending on Jake completely, barely eating anything, and keeping her fears secret. She clings to him and can’t bear to be without him for any period of time. What I truly admired though, was seeing that even though Jake was helpless, not having any clue on how to help Randy, he never gives up on her. He is one hundred percent steady for her, patient and understanding but firm. This part of the story was quite heartbreaking at times. Mostly because of Randy, is such a strong character and one of my favorite heroines. To see her struggling so much just about breaks your heart. Especially when you know who she really is, and that she is trying to work through the trauma but it has changed her. But it does happen, and eventually, she returns to her normal self, but I did respect that Bittner chose this path for Miranda. Mostly because it shows the effects of trauma’s and how much it helps to have strong support from family and friends.

“Who do you belong to?”

“Jake Harkner.”

“Every damn inch of you, plus your heart and your soul. I have you back and I don’t want to lose you again.”

We get plenty of fun times with the Harkner family, and I loved seeing their family grow. We see such strong relationships that Jake and Randy have with their children and their grandchildren and the men and women they work with on their huge ranch. This is part of what makes this series so wonderful, is seeing that Jake and Randy are at the center of this great family. And the ways that they stick together during the hardest of times. The last part of the book especially, we see the importance of these family bonds since it gets them through one of the hardest challenges they will ever face.

The romance between Jake and Miranda is just as fabulous as many of the other books in the series, but we see something change between them. There is a depth between them here, as they face the torments of the past and learn to rely on each other. We also see how strong they are even when they apart from each other. As the last official installment of this brilliant love saga, it met with every expectation, it surpassed in emotion, drive, and elements. It’s a story that will make you cry, make your heart and soul bleed, but will also give back joy and humor. A story that felt real and alive—- A BRILLIANT ROMANCE FROM A PURE TALENT OF ROSANNE BITTNER!!


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About Rosanne Bittner

For those of you who have not yet read my books, my stories are generally set in the American West of the 1800's and feature vividly-described, historically accurate settings that span the US from Missouri to California, from Canada to Mexico. Many of my books portray the poignant history of our Native Americans, and though the characters are my own, I use real historical locations and events in all my novels. I must be doing something right, because more and more men are writing to tell me how much they enjoy my westerns, too. Louis L'Amour has always been one of my favorite writers, and I am very flattered that my male readers compare my books favorably with his!

As many of you already know, I was selected as the September 2013 Spotlight Author on fellow romance- writer Winnie Griggs' website, "Small Towns, Big Hearts, Amazing Grace." Winnie writes inspirational historicals for Love Inspired, and she conducted a very extensive interview with me about my life and my writing. If you missed it, you can still read the interview here!

Recently we lost an icon of TV westerns, James Arness, better known as Matt Dillon of the longest-running TV western ever, GUNSMOKE. I was very saddened to hear this, partly because Matt Dillon was my hero in my teens, and also because there are so few TV heroes left — actually, none that I can think of. TV sets no good examples of a strong line between "good" and "bad" any more. The old westerns did that. Cheesy sometimes, but kids understood that if you did something "bad" you had to pay for it. Respect, honor, manners — very little of any of that on TV any more. GUNSMOKE survived as long as it did because it had several characters with whom one could identify and empathize — like Doc Adams, Chester Good, Festus, and Matt Dillon's long-time "girlfriend" Kitty. The only western hero left as far as I can see is Clint Eastwood. When he is gone it will be a HUGE loss for quality movies as well as another icon of western movies and also TV (remember Rowdy Yates of RAWHIDE?). I always wanted to be able to meet James Arness in person, but now that will never happen. Still, he remains "alive" to me through continued re-runs of GUNSMOKE, which I watch every evening.

13 thoughts on “Book Review-The Last Outlaw by Rosanne Bittner

    1. I really did love this one Ann….I definitely recommend you pick this series up though. Jake and Miranda are probably #1 couple I love the most out of all the romances I have read.

  1. Beautiful review. Rosanne is one of my all time favorite authors, I’ve read every book she’s ever written with exception of 3, which I now have in my possession. This Outlaw Hearts series I’ve read each. Ok several times and have been patiently waiting for The Last Outlaw. I’m so excited it’s nearly here. Thanks for giving us a glimpse of what this phenomenal book has in store for us. Rosanne I’m super excited this book is nearly here. Love you Dearly, always and forever.

      1. I cross my fingers that she writes a 5th book, I know she’s thinking about it if Sourcebooks will let her. I know it would be a best selling book too. It’s hard to let Jake and Randy and all the Harkner’s go.

  2. I can’t wait to read this book from one of my favorite authors! Your very lucky to have gotten a preview!!

  3. I can’t wait to continue on my journey with Jake and Miranda. I am wondering how old they are going to be in this book. I was kind of surprised by how many years passed in the first novel.

    1. oh I can’t wait to see you continue with them either darling. Well from what I have seen, the first book is the hugest gap. I think mostly because its the first book and was written years ago and was written as a epic love story–meaning it would span many years.

      However this is the fourth book in the series, and Jake is in his sixties and Miranda is in her fifties. I love seeing them grow older together and their family grow. So fun to see.

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