Set in the 1850s, Fevered Hearts is an epic saga…In the shadows of the Old West, that untamed land, live bands of outlaws and outsiders. In a time when fevers could fell whole towns, these few survivors are marked. Marked…and forever changed.
Sam Kane is the oldest brother, the steadfast son and the confident marshal. He’s never met a problem too hot to handle until a gang behind a string of robberies across the territory set their sights on his town. Now with the bank’s gold inexplicably missing from a locked safe, the town hunting the elusive thieves and a passionate redhead with a fiery secret in his jail, Sam has his hands full.
Scarlett Morning Star lived in seclusion in the mountains of West Texas most of her life. She longs for adventure, but with seven very protective older brothers, adventure is hard to come by. When she tags along uninvited on their latest escapade, she is left behind during a bank robbery and finds herself in the custody of the very sexy town marshal.
The town wants to lynch her, the Marshal wants answers and her brothers want her back, can Scarlett keep it together or will her explosive secret burn them all?</strong
I don’t know what I was expecting when I picked up this book. I figured a historical western romance. Boy was I wrong and in a very good way!
Heather Long has incorporated the old west with her own unique flare. In this first book of the series we meet the players from the very beginning. By that I mean the original onset of the fever and how those survivors came to be. The interesting fact here is that each of these survivors has a gift or a curse depending on your point of view.
A gang has been robbing banks of gold, gold belonging to the US Army. Marshal Sam Kane is watching the bank from the shadows, his brother, the one they call Kid, is in Sam’s usual spot relaxing as Sam would. This gang would not get away with his town’s gold.
Nothing more than a couple of flashes inside the bank gives away that someone is in the bank. Now the fun begins, as Sam takes into custody a beautiful red-haired thief while the rest of the gang escapes with the gold.
Here is a favorite passage as Kane takes Scarlett to his family’s ranch for her protection. One that had me giggling.
“You should sleep,” Sam said, surprised at the gruff note in his voice. They’d been riding for nearly an hour and it would take at least four more to reach the ranch. The ranch was twenty miles as the crow flew from the town it helped to foster into existence. The Kanes controlled nearly three thousand acres and they’d be on Kane land within the hour, but the bunkhouses, corrals and main house were some distance beyond that.
It was a two hour flat out ride, but nestled in the deep bosom of night, he’d keep Corona’s pace to an easy loping walk avoiding pitfalls, stones and exhaustion. The night was a cool blanket, with a northern breeze ruffling along his neck, occasionally stirring a red lock up to tease his nose.
She smelled of sunshine, horses and something distinctly feminine, without the overwhelming lemon verbena favored by the town girls or the eucalyptus and horse lineament that ranch women often reminded him of. The feminine scent was sweet cakes and fresh baked bread rolled into one.
“This isn’t the most comfortable way to sleep.” The low hushed response prickled with irritation and just the barest hint of entitlement.
“It’s the best we can do for now, unless you think sleeping at the end of a noose is more to your liking.”
“Could you at least move your gun?” The complaint was more plaintive than vitriolic. “It keeps jabbing me in the back.”
He was glad for the darkness, for it shielded the heat that ruddied his face. That wasn’t his gun. He shifted in the saddle, easing her forward and then back so her bottom nestled on his opposite thigh. She let out a sigh of relief, her body softening and settling against him. The new position teased him with even more of her scent, but kept that sweet bottom from rubbing on his arousal.
He was male and she was definitely attractive, but she was a thief. He tried to tell his body that, but it didn’t care. It was more interested in the soft curves, sweet fresh scent and the little soft sighs she kept making.
“Better?” It went against his nature to ask, but he liked the sound of her voice.
“Yes. Thank you.”
“If you don’t want to sleep. You could answer some questions.” Where the hell had that come from? He’d just wanted her to go to sleep so he could stop tormenting himself and now he wanted to add to his own tension.
Corona nickered and he forced his legs to relax. He didn’t need to accidentally urge the mare into a faster speed. The loping walk kept rubbing his prisoner against him as it was.
She was silent for so long, he wondered if she had fallen asleep. They were leaving the main trailhead, Corona picking her way across the rocks to the downward track that wound through the hills. He knew the moment they crossed onto Kane land.
He always did.
The pressure on his chest lightened, his lungs expanded and even the air tasted sweeter. He took a deep lungful, but it wasn’t just Kane cedar and sage that teased him, but the rich scent of summer raspberries.
“It would depend on the question.” She wasn’t going to make this easy for him. Oddly, that pleased him more than cooperation. He liked the independent fire that blazed in her eyes, the warning snap in her gaze and the temper that sparked when Ryker and his boys burst into the Marshal’s Office. He’d watched her watching them.
It hadn’t been fear clenching her fists.
His little redhead was a fighter.
Marshal of Hel Dorado (Fevered Hearts #1) (pp. 27-30).Kindle Edition.
This couple have much to overcome. The main one being the robbery and the threat of hanging. But also her brothers and his have some interesting conflicts. A page turning read that so engrossed me I stayed up way past my bedtime and then started the next book in the series.
5 Contented Purrs for Heather!
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National bestselling author, Heather Long, likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas in the summertime.
From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories–her characters drive the books.
When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does.