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Posted June 3, 2014
Laurette, Laurie, Allen is a New Orleans Southern Bell, who in secret rides horses astride and in pants, has fencing lessons and is a spoiled Daddy's girl. At 16, her father remarries a young buttoned up and bible thumper Spanish woman named Carlotta. Now Laurie's father is putting his foot down and she must stop all her unladylike ways. Laurie rebels, is sent to finishing school in Europe and then travels the world. Now her father is a diplomat in California and asks her to come home to him.
Cade Caldwell is a total bad boy who lives in New Orleans and loves swords, fencing and women. He has an affair with the Governor's niece, CeCe, and when he refuses to marry her, he is arrested and jailed until he agrees to wed her. Cade marries CeCe and flees New Orleans and joins the Texan Amry to fight against Mexico. Cade's grandfather, Don Benito, is a proud Spanish hacienda owner in Higuero, California and is very ashamed of Cade betrayal. After roaming Texas, Cade comes home to his Grandfather's hacienda and tries to make his Grandfather proud.
Both Laurie and Cade are in Higuero now, and their worlds will collide into a passionate and toe curling kisses at the Don Benito fiesta. They are interrupted by his Grandfather and Laurie flees the party with Don Benito's help. Higuero has a evil and cruel alcade (mayor/tax collector), Don Luis, who takes all the citizens money for unfair taxes and puts it in his bank account. No one challenges him or his soldiers until a masked hero with a black cape rides his black horse into town and begins to steal from the evil Don Luis and gives it back to the poor via the church. Soon this Robin Hood hero has a name, El Vengador (The Avenger) and now Don Luis wants to capture, whip and hopefully kill this El Vengador. Laurie can rides astride and can fence with the best of them. Cade rides like the wind and fencing is in his blood. Who is the masked hero?
This story had great characters and a terrific plot, but got off track with different locals and random new people. Cade kidnaps and uses Laurie sexually in angry. Violence and sex don't mix and even thou Laurie gave in sometimes it still bothered me. I have to give this book and score of 1 fingers up and 3 toes.
NetGalley ARC given for my honest review.