4.6 10
by Heather Graham

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The best-selling author of One Rode West presents the first of a five-book historical saga set in nineteenth-century Florida, where Tara Brent's dangerous past and an Indian war threatens her new marriage.See more details below


The best-selling author of One Rode West presents the first of a five-book historical saga set in nineteenth-century Florida, where Tara Brent's dangerous past and an Indian war threatens her new marriage.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This entertaining kickoff volume to a five-part series by bestselling author Graham (And One Rode West) is a swift historical drama set in the untamed, exotic Florida of the 1830s. In a New Orleans poker match, ``Black Irish'' plantation owner Jarrett McKenzie wins the services of gorgeous, fiery Tara Brent for a night (against her wishes) and winds up marrying her and taking her deep into the Florida jungles. Naturally, Tara and Jarrett fall in love and learn each other's secret: that she is fleeing a murder charge, and that he has strong ties to the Seminole Indians, through the tribe's leader, Osceola, who is about to make war with President Jackson's American forces. Crisis follows crisis, often separating Jarrett and Tara, but he proves his courage time and again while she grows to care for his Seminole relatives, even risking her life for them. Meanwhile, tension rises as Tara is pursued by evil Clive Carter, the son of the man she is accused of killing, and as the conflict between the U.S. Army and the Indians builds to a crisis. Graham is an indifferent stylist, but she knows what her readers want-tempestuous protagonists, titillation and just enough history to ground the plot. She delivers these elements with panache, and closes the book with an enticing prologue to volume two, The Undefeated. Author tour. (Sept.)#
Library Journal
A prolific author of historical and contemporary romances (e.g., Spirit of the Season, Delacorte, 1993), Graham here begins a new multivolume family saga. Set in Florida during the 1830s, the story follows Tara Brent, who is running from a murder charge. She meets Jarrett McKenzie, who rescues her from her pursuers by marrying her and taking her to his plantation on the Florida frontier. At first frightened by the wilderness and the natives she sees as "savages," Tara learns to love Jarrett, his home, and the people he loves. The story is predictable, and the narrative flow is often interrupted by brief vignettes of Florida history. In addition, Graham's superficially drawn characters are stereotypes of the stubborn lovers unwilling to communicate. Although this novel is not one of the author's best, expect demand based on her popularity and reputation.-Barbara E. Kemp, SUNY at Albany
School Library Journal
YA-The turbulent life in the unsettled Florida of 1835 unfolds as Tara, running from a false accusation of murder, hastily marries Jarrett, an acquaintance who wins her in a poker game. He turns out to be wealthy plantation owner who befriends the Indians. She has trouble coping: war breaks out with the Indians, frightening her terribly. Her busy husband doesn't believe in explanations, and the newlyweds fight frequently, enjoying making up and falling helplessly in love. Their relationship is complex but characterization is realistic. Tension is relieved through subtle touches of humor especially with the pranks they play on one another. Her background remains a mystery, even to her husband, until almost the last chapter, an exciting climax that is nicely resolved. The attractive cover, the light plot, large amount of dialogue, and abundance of action make this piece of historical fiction an entertaining read.-Claudia Moore, W.T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA
Denise Perry Donavin
A trumped-up murder charge sends Tara Brent running from Boston to New Orleans and into the arms of a gambler in a waterfront saloon. Little does Tara know--as she escapes into the night, pursued once again by the henchmen of the real murderer--that her rescuer will take her as his wife to his plantation deep in the wilds of Florida. Graham manipulates this exciting scenario to introduce Tara and Graham's readers to the Florida of the 1830s, where a battle rages between Seminoles and white settlers. Tara's gradual acceptance of her savage surroundings and her aggravating spouse occurs only after she accepts the Indians as individuals and friends. Graham promises that this story is the first in a series that will introduce the history of a state currently known more for Mickey Mouse than for its multicultural past.

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Random House Publishing Group
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