In 1865, a cunning American entices several English aristocrats to come to America where he informs them that fortune awaits them. Among the group is Grayson, the bastard son of a Duke, who raised him in his home, but left the lad feeling worthless. When they arrive in Fortune, Texas, they learn that they are to work in the cotton fields owned by women, whose males, for the most part, died in the war. Widow Abigail Westland, mother of three (Lydia, Johnny, and Micah), thinks these nobles are worthless, which leaves Grayson irate and wanting to prove her wrong. She draws him as her worker.
Grayson immediately shows his value when he suggests to Johnny that, as the man of the house, he sit in his deceased father's chair at the dinner table. A proud Johnny does this and Abigail begins reassessing Grayson. In turn, Grayson is overwhelmed by Abigail's zeal to survive. When his companions (Kit and Harry) suggest they immediately leave, he says no. He also observed Johnny's pride and it has touched his heart; he wants to feel the same pride. Grayson and Abigail begin to fall in love. However, can a lasting relationship be forged between an upper class English snob and a single American mom whose pride is in the dirt?
A ROGUE IN TEXAS is a warm blending of Victorian England and Post Civil War Texas. The story line is tender and poignant as the horrors of the Civil War are brought home via the families left behind to toil the soil. Grayson and Abigail make a beautiful couple, but their pasts seem like major deterrents to any future. Lorraine Heath writes a heart- wrenching historical romance that will receive much reader acclaim.
Lorraine Heath - Rogues In Texas Series' Books are:
Rogue in Texas (Grayson's Story) Never Love a Cowboy (Harry's Story) Never Marry a Cowboy (Kit's Story)
Background for Rogue in Texas:
Grayson and his friends, Harry and Kit, are among several Englishmen (rogues, if you will) who agreed to travel to America in the hopes of making their fortunes. Actually, the book indicates they were sent there by their fathers due to the fact they weren't making anything of their lives in England. I suppose they could have refused but they didn't so now they are in the Texas cotton fields expected to help a group of mostly women bring in the cotton harvest. The reason it is mostly women is because so many men have died in the Civil War.
The cotton fields actually belong to John and Abbie Westland. Unfortunately, John was lost to the war and now Abbie, the young mother of three children, finds herself in charge of making sure the cotton fields thrive and that they make the most of the cotton harvest. Abbie was married to John at age 16 because her parents had 11 children and they needed to get some kids out of the house. John was quite a few years older than Abbie and he mostly cared about the land and either didn't care enough or didn't know how to show Abbie any love.
Grayson is the bastard son of a Duke and has never known what it feels like to be loved or wanted. His father did allow him to live in the ducal home and made sure Grayson had a good education but all of his life, he has been treated like he is "less than" other people. Although he was the eldest son of the duke, his younger half-brother will inherit the dukedom because he is the legitimate son. When the women "draw names" for their Englishmen, Abbie draws Grayson's name and makes him a place to stay in her stable. Abbie doesn't know what to make of a man who dresses in fancy clothes like Grayson and whose hands are as soft as silk. She certainly doesn't believe he will stay around and work through the cotton harvest.
So, now you see the background for this lovely romance. I enjoyed the build-up of the relationship between Grayson and Abbie and especially the fact that although Grayson had never known or been shown love, he was a very loving man and treated Abbie's children like they were gold. He has never known anyone who works like Abbie and finds himself fascinated by her in every way. It takes him a little while to realize that in America, most people could care less that he is a bastard. Grayson and Abbie's romance has a major hurdle but I like the fact the book isn't taken up with major misunderstandings. Rather, the pages are filled with building a relationship between the two instead of misunderstanding after misunderstanding - I hate that type of storyline.
There are so many fun things in this book including Grayson's sunburn (hotter in Texas than in England, apparently) and his blistered hands (from hoeing and picking cotton) and the fact he could hardly move after working in the fields. Also, he wanted Abbie and her children to have fun so was always trying to plan fun things to do with the family.
*Slight Spoiler* The funniest part is when Grayson challenges someone to a duel and belatedly finds out that in America, the "fast draw" duel from a gun holster hanging at your side is the kind of duel he will have to try and survive.
I have already downloaded Book #2 in this series and am pleased that Lorraine Heath writes "cowboy" books as well as she writes regency romances.
I DISCOVERED LORRAINE HEATH BY ACCIDENT IN 'TEXAS GLORY'. I HAVE LOVED ALL OF HER BOOKS. 'A ROGUE IN TEXAS' WAS NO DISAPPOINTMENT. I WASN'T READY FOR THE BOOK TO END. YOU WILL LOVE IT. KEEP EM COMING LORRIANE.