Knight on the Texas Plains by Linda Broday – Review, Guest Post & Giveaway
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UNDER A STARRY TEXAS SKY
Duel McClain was no knight in shining armor — he was a drifter who prided himself on having no responsibilities. But a poker game thrust him into the role of father to an abandoned baby, and then a condemned woman stumbled up to his campfire. The fugitive beauty aimed to keep him at shotgun’s length, but obvious maternal instincts belied her fierce demeanor. And she and the baby were clearly made for each other. Worse, the innocent infant and the alleged murderess opened Duel’s heart, made him long for the love of a real family. And the only way to have that would be to slay the demons of the past.
Knight on the Texas Plains by Linda Broday is the first book in her new Texas Heroes series. When I decided to read this Western historical romance that takes place in 1880 Texas, I was not sure what to expect, since I do not read a lot of this genre. Upon completing the book, I am so glad I did. I loved Knight on the Texas Plains.
Duel McClain, our hero, is a loner who is privately grieving over the loss of his wife to childbirth years before. During a card game, Duel wins a little baby girl, and despite his original refusal to accept the child, he will change his mind. Duel doesn’t want the child to be tossed around by the nasty man who was keeping the child, and the little girl (Marley Rose)was quickly clinging to him: he then makes the decision to head home to his family ranch, where hasn’t been since he left home.
Jessie Foulty, our heroine, is on the run, and comes across Duel and Marley sitting by a campfire for the night. Jessie is scared, and badly bruised. Duel can see that she was beaten up, and tries to help her. Jessie trusts no man, but when she watches Duel with little Marley, she begins to relax and in her desperation, she will accept Duel’s offer to come his ranch with him and take care of Marley. Eventually Jessie, who feels she is unworthy will tell Duel the truth: she killed her husband, and even if she was defending herself, Jessie knows if they find her, they will have her killed. Duel, who slowly begins to care for Jessie, knows she suffered very badly, and when he sees the branding on her shoulder (like a cattle branding), he knows she is truly the innocent one.
What follows is a unique and wonderful story of two people broken, for different reasons, will find love for each other and a child, who has brought them together. I loved when they got to the family ranch, and Duel’s family was great. Marley was such a precious child, so cute and bubbly, and we too could not help but adore her. I enjoyed when an injured stray dog becomes Marley’s friend (Boobie), and will become another addition to the family. To protect Jessie, Duel convinces her to marry him, as they bring up Marley together. Most important was watching both Duel and Jessie find their way past the loss of his wife, and her discovering how Duel was sweet, gentle, and loving, not like other men who tortured her. This was a very emotional story line, which was also suspenseful, especially when Jessie is discovered and brought back to the town where she killed her husband. But when the family stands by her and the truth of what she endured during her marriage is revealed to all to see, there is hope.
I can’t say enough how much I enjoyed this heart wrenching story, and the wonderful characters Linda Broday has created. I strongly suggest you read Knight on the Texas Plains.
Reviewed by Barb
Copy provided by Publisher
What Were the Unique Challenges of a Romance on the American Frontier?
To survive on the frontier took a lot of hard work, but I think many things took a big toll on romance and marriage. Distance was a huge hurdle to overcome when they were courting. Even if the couple lived on ranches next to each other, they rarely got to do things together because the ranches back then were pretty large. Travel was so slow that it took hours to get anyplace and it wasn’t seemly for a young woman to stay over at her prospective groom’s house.
They lived for social occasions. The dances, church socials, harvests, other events were much anticipated. Life for those who lived too far to attend these functions was extremely solitary and boring. Humans are social creatures. We simply need that interaction—and to meet members of the opposite sex.
The lack of women presented the biggest problem to men. There just weren’t that many until after the Civil War when women in the East outnumbered the men and turned to the booming mail order bride business. They were willing to marry a man sight unseen so they could ease the loneliness and have a family.
Once a couple married, they faced many hardships—the weather, the crops, the prospect of losing their land and home. They worked from sunup to sundown and barely had any time to sit and just talk. The never-ending work took the romance from a lot of people.
I think wives had it harder though. They faced childbirth without a doctor or even a midwife. The mountain of work was unbelievable. Cooking, cleaning, washing clothes, milking cows, churning butter, and a million other things. They had no time for romance.
Also, loneliness stole a woman’s spirit. With her husband out working all day, she had no one to talk to and the incessant wind only made everything worse.
I hope readers will try KNIGHT ON THE TEXAS PLAINS. Duel McClain marries Jessie Foltry in order to hide her from the lawmen who are looking to arrest her for murder. Jessie’s been through a horrible ordeal and it take a while to see Duel as anything other than a protector. The bridge between them is a poor little babe Duel wins in a poker game. Together they become a patchwork family.
At a young age, Linda Broday discovered a love for storytelling, history, and anything pertaining to the Old West. Cowboys fascinate her. There’s something about Stetsons, boots, and tall rugged cowboys that get her fired up. A New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Linda has won many awards, including the prestigious National Readers’ Choice Award and the Texas Gold Award. She resides in the Texas Panhandle and is inspired every day.
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