- Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Harlequin Books (Jan 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1551667843
- ISBN-13: 978-1551667843
- Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 10.4 x 3 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,907,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Major Andrew Garrett was a Union soldier sent undercover to New Orleans during the Civil War. While in New Orleans, he met and married Julia Robichard. Within days of their marriage, Andrew departed New Orleans to report his findings and planned to return for his bride. Instead, his identity is discovered and he is eventually sent to a Confederate prison camp. Meanwhile, Julia's uncle has their marriage annulled and she is banished and sent away. When Julia reaches her new home with a broken heart - believing Andrew used her for his Union activities - she meets a man and marries quickly. Now years later, she is looking for her husband who has proven to be a gambler and has gone west seeking fortune. She and her eight-year-old daughter are penniless and have nowhere to turn. So they head west as well and end up at an Army fort in Montana Territory.
Major Garrett now is second in command at the Montana fort. He believes that is still married to Julia. Andrew has no knowledge of the annulment and believes Julia betrayed him as well. Their reunion is bitter but both soon discover that neither betrayed the other. They also realize their love for each other has not died. This is a precious story of a wonderful man who takes care of a seemingly helpless woman and her daughter under harsh living conditions. Although a portion of the story hinges on finding Julia's husband, a larger part of the story concerns the daughter and her initial rejection of Andrew. She wants her father and believes Andrew is somehow in the way. It is heart rending to read of her actions towards him and his attempts to gain her acceptance. But the most action in the book is the love relationship between Andrew and Julia. It is a mature relationship that recognizes responsibility. Although both leads are hardheads and a bit belligerent, they also have very tender moments. Both the hero and heroine are well-written and likable characters. Lovelace doesn't have to resort to the usual romance misunderstanding ploys. Her characters relate to each other truthfully.
The realism of frontier life is very well written. Even as a history buff, I learned many things about 19th century Army life and recalled some of the sadder facts of the Indian uprisings. Actual famous Native Americans and white men are included in the background of the story. While this book is well written, romantic, and historically interesting, it also contains some good sexual chemistry. The sensual scenes rate about a 4.0 out of 5.0 (see More About Me for rating guidelines).
This is my first Lovelace book and it certainly will not be my last. At this very moment, I am going to visit Amazon and conduct a search for more of her books.
Upon noticing Andrew, Julia faints. She thought he died when her uncle shot him for spying for the North. Andrew learns that Julia remarried and is heading to the Montana Territory to find Philip Bonneaux, her spouse and father of her child. However, Julia is stranded by the wagon train and relies on Andrew for help. In spite of his knowing she betrayed him to her uncle and he deceived her about his Northern interests, their love remains strong, but with no hopes for the future.
THE HORSE SOLDIER is a powerful western romance staring two interesting characters. The story line provides the audience a taste of Army life on the frontier from the varying perspectives of the soldiers and their wives. Merline Lovelace, known for her entertaining and insightful contemporary military romances gracefully goes historical with her expertise and flourishes by providing fans with an invigorating Americana novel.
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