Why this one: I can't seem to get enough of her at the moment
Steam Level: Very warm bordering on hot
My thoughts: I really had forgotten how much I enjoy Alexis Harrington’s books. I think I last read them back in the 90’s so reading them again is like visiting beloved friends I haven’t seen in years but have very fond memories of. Because it was so long ago that I read them and I’ve read so many since then, the only thing I really remember is the feeling of comfort they give, not so much the story itself.
Desperate Hearts is the story of Jace Rankin. He was the bounty hunter from Homeward Hearts who relentlessly pursued the hero from that book. Now Jace has a new target to seek revenge on. He finds and achieves it at the beginning of this story and is at a bit of loose ends a bit as the mission that has consumed him for a number of years is accomplished. He contemplates heading for warmer climates when he rescues a young lad from being bullied. Jace had been harassed all his life himself because of his small stature until he made a name for himself a real badass bounty hunter. It seems the boy, Kyle Springer, had been searching for Jace for his badassness in helping Kyle get revenge and get his home back, the home that had been stolen from him.
Jace reluctantly agrees, though he senses something is off about Kyle. Of course in true romance style, Kyle is really Kyla. Jace is angry at first at being duped, but then reluctantly agrees to help Kyla reclaim her life.
It’s a simple outline but for me it was so richly done. I loved Jace. I love the fact that he was shorter than your average bear. Once he got past his anger, he was so protective of Kyla. As she slowly begins to trust Jace, her story of abuse comes out and he is so patient with her. He’s truly the strong and silent type that makes for such a great Western hero. He has his own rotten childhood and its warped the way he sees himself, not worthy of love.
As well, I thought Kyla makes for an excellent Western heroine. She’d been brutalized and rather than give up and give in, she fights back. She knows she can’t do it herself so she looks for the person who is most capable. She is a bit slow to trust Jace, but with very good reason. As with Jace, her life has been very short on love.
I liked that the author included a scene with Chloe and Travis from Homeward Hearts. It looked like we may not get one for a while, but the author didn’t disappoint.
As much as I enjoyed the first book in this series, I think I liked this one a little bit more. When I finished it, I was going to move on to a different author and a different genre. But I’m just not done with Alexis Harrington books yet and since I have a few more, I’m revisiting a very dear comfort place.
One thing I feel I should point out though it bothered me not at all. The formatting isn’t that great in transferring this to an electronic book. Because of this there are some misspelled words, missing words etc. As this didn’t affect the strength of the story at all and I was ‘in the zone’ while reading I didn’t notice that much. But I know that for some readers this can be quite distracting and take them out of ‘the zone’.
Grade: 5 out of 5