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The Renegade's Heart Mass Market Paperback – Feb 2002


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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Flat characters made this story uninteresting 1 Sept. 2006
By Gemma - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
From the back cover:

The greatest need...

Melanie Ann Muessen had ridden through the sunburnt plains of New Mexico Territory to see its inhabitants, to photograph them in their natural surroundings. What she discovered was a village in crisis.

Years before, Rafael de Aguirre had protected the Tewa Pueblo, become the Renegage and defended its townsfold. But Rafe was gone, and trouble had come again. Tewa's residents had no one to turn to--surely not their old savior's brother. The half-Zuni Diego was handsome, but he was shiftless, worthless, and more likely to concentrate on seduction than salvation. The villagers were convinced there was no way he could don Rafe's mask. But Melanie recognized that in Diego's veins pumped the blood of a hero--and in his strenth lay a release from all bondage. This man could rescue his people, but first she would have to reclaim him from himself. And the only way to do that was to win his renegage heart.

And my review:

This was my first try of Stobie Piel's work, and I wasn't very impressed. It seemed like such a strong, promising premise, but the story felt flat in its execution.

I was looking forward to watching the ne'er-do-well hero redeem himself, but he was just so annoying. He was so cocky that it was no longer attractive. He came across as arrogant instead of self-confident. And I didn't understand why he was always trying to make people think the worst of him.

The heroine wasn't annoying, but she wasn't much of a rounded character, either. I didn't love her, and I didn't hate her. She was just...there. I found that I didn't get at all invested in her. Her struggles and emotions just didn't engage me. I never felt like I knew her, so I found it hard to really care about her.

I had thought that the "Zorro" theme would be interesting, but it was surprisingly dull. It was the one element that I thought would have saved this book, but unfortunately, it didn't. Maybe because the hero just never seemed very attractive to me. It's hard to put my finger on what made this book less than interesting, but it just didn't have that special "spark" that most romance readers are looking for.

I might try other books by this author, as her writing style is easy to read (no head-hopping!). But I would borrow them from the library instead of buy. If you still want to read THE RENEGADE'S HEART, I recommend that you try to find it in the library.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
powerful Americana romance 1 Mar. 2002
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In the 1890 New Mexico Territory, Diego de Aguirre knows he cannot live up to the heritage his heroic brother set so decides to take pleasure from the role of hedonistic scapegrace. When trouble returns to Tewa Pueblo, his sibling dubbed the Renegade is not in town to save the day. Diego knows his town needs a hero so he darns his brother's mask in order to save the community.
Daughter of a photographer, Melanie Ann Muessen arrives in town on a personal quest. She is attracted to Diego, but Melanie makes a play for the Renegade in hopes of a special photograph. As Diego tries to make his home safe, they fall in love. However, before their relationship can forge into something permanent identities and obsessions must be revealed.

Though well written, THE RENEGADE'S HEART reads like son (perhaps younger brother) of Zorro as the story line is very similar to its delightful predecessor (see RENEGADE). What makes this tale unique is the deepness of Diego that only Melanie can observe. Perhaps her need to model a man after her father is as great so that it enables her to see inside to the real man. Diego's need to emulate his brother is so intense he pulls a reaction formation and goes in the opposite direction. Bottom line is that the two lead protagonists take a plot similar to one Stobie Piel wrote last year and turn it into a powerful Americana romance that sub-genre fans will fully enjoy.

Harriet Klausner
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