- Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Avon Books (Jun 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0380818493
- ISBN-13: 978-0380818495
- Product Dimensions: 17.2 x 10.6 x 2.8 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,466,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Years later, Rafe wins a San Antonio newspaper in a card game. Accompanied by his nine-year-old son, Rafe travels to San Antonio to decide what to do with the paper. To his shock, he finds Maddie running his newspaper. Maddie thought Rafe died during the Civil War and is stunned that her now deceased husband gambled away the paper. Rafe feels Maddie betrayed their love by not waiting for him, but agrees to give her three years to turn a profit. As they both care for his son, their old love rekindles, but will he understand that she did wait until she thought he was dead and she had no other option?
THE RENEGADES: RAFE is a warm Reconstruction Era romance that uses strong lead protagonists to tell an engaging tale. The secondary cast provides the audience insight into Rafe and Maddie. Though the exciting plot depends a bit too much on coincidence, sub-genre fans will fully enjoy Genell Dellinís gripping novel that hooks her readers from the start to the finish and encourages them to seek previous Renegade books (see the stories of COLE and NICK).
Rafe remembers Madeleine from New Orleans twelve years before when he asked her to run away with him and marry him, but she refused, reluctant to leave her father and his newspaper business. Promising that she would wait for him, Maddie let Rafe leave. Upon seeing reports of his death, Maddie was devestated and finally married Sutton Calhoun after she was left alone and penniless when her father died.
While Madeleine is happy to see Rafe, he is angry with her for not waiting for him all those years ago, especially when he finally made his way back to New Orleans only to find her married to another man. Unfortunately for Rafe, he is forced to lean on Maddie as he needs someone to look after his son Juanito, a boy that Maddie seems to bond to almost instantly.
Madeleine is such a likeable heroine, having lived the life of a southern belle only to lose so much in the Civil War and later, after her husband gambled away most of her inheritance. She survived to become stronger, strong enough to take a chance on Rafe when he walks back into her life again, though she knows that she could have her heart broken if he chooses to leave and take Juanito with him.
The unsettled nature of the relationship between Rafe and Maddie keeps the reader hooked. Rafe is so unwilling to let himself be loved, having hardened his heart long ago because of Madeleine's apparent betrayal. Unlike so many romance novels, where attraction is paramount, Rafe and Maddie establish a new friendship through their love for his son which leads them to fall in love all over again. Readers will want to explore the two previous installments in this series: THE RENEGADES: COLE and THE RENEGADES: NICK.
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