The Desires of Her Heart: Texas: Star of Destiny Book 1


A New Orleans lady and a half-breed frontiersman become unlikely allies as they travel the wilds of texas.

In 1821, when circumstances make it impossible for her to remain in New Orleans, Dorritt and her family head west to join Stephen Austin's settlement and recoup their fortune in Texas.

Quinn is a man of the frontier who has made a name for himself as a peerless scout. But as he and Dorritt's party begin a grueling trek across untamed ...

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The Desires of Her Heart

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A New Orleans lady and a half-breed frontiersman become unlikely allies as they travel the wilds of texas.

In 1821, when circumstances make it impossible for her to remain in New Orleans, Dorritt and her family head west to join Stephen Austin's settlement and recoup their fortune in Texas.

Quinn is a man of the frontier who has made a name for himself as a peerless scout. But as he and Dorritt's party begin a grueling trek across untamed Texas, the success of their journey is in grave doubt. Mexico has broken with the Spanish Crown, and armies from both countries—plus marauding Comanches—roam the pine forests and prairies. And one of the party is plotting destruction.

Now, with their lives joined in a virgin land fraught with peril, can Dorritt and Quinn put all their trust in God and receive the desires of their hearts?

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Editorial Reviews

Kathy Herman
“A tale of emancipating love—the kind that comes only by surrendering to the will of a higher Master. History, inspiration, and imagination at its best!”
Louise M. Gouge
“A galloping adventure of romance, historical drama, and intrigue.”
Lorena McCourtney
“With fast action and powerful emotions, Lyn Cote tells a story you’ll remember long after the last page.”
Sandra Byrd
“A pitch-perfect historical Western.”
Library Journal

After gambling away his family's estate, Kilbride decides to pack up and move the family to the new Texas territory, where land is free for the taking. But 25-year-old Dorritt knows her stepfather doesn't have the sense or character to lead them there; instead, she relys on their wagon train's rugged scout to guide them. Dorritt trusts Quinn until she discovers his prior business dealings with Kilbride. Dorritt, who wants to be free of her stepfather so she can live her own dreams, discovers, though, that her dreams may include a man after all. In her new series launch, the RITA Award-winning author (Blessed Assurance, "Women of Ivy Manor" series) demonstrates her skill at creating strong female protagonists in compelling stories that will captivate historical romance readers. Recommended for CF and historical romance collections.

—Tamara Butler
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061373411
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/10/2009
  • Series: Texas: Star of Destiny Series, #1
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 819,025
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

An award-winning author of both contemporary and historical inspirational romance, Lyn Cote is an active member of RWA and the American Christian Fiction Writers. A 2006 RITA Award finalist for Best Inspirational, as well as a finalist for the HOLT Medallion and the National Readers Choice Award, Lyn lives with her husband in Wisconsin.

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Read an Excerpt

The Desires of Her Heart
Texas: Star of Destiny Book 1

Chapter One

Belle Vista Plantation
New Orleans, late August 1821

"You wish to marry well? By that, Jewell, you mean marry a wealthy man?" Dorritt sat in her stepfather's lavish ivory and gilded parlor, the heavy afternoon heat weighing her down.

"There can be no other meaning, sister." Fanning herself, her younger half-sister took another promenade around the parlor.

Dorritt ignored her mother's shocked disapproval. She sensed that today was the climax of months of planning by her stepfather.

Dorritt's tambour frame and stand sat in front of her at hand level. Placing tiny artful stitches helped her conceal how her heart skipped and jumped. How would it all play out today? Dorritt looked up at her half-sister, her opposite in everything, from Jewell's olive skin and wavy blue-black hair to Dorritt's fair skin and straight golden hair. "I believe love is necessary to marry well."

Jewell made a sound of dismissal, her high-waisted white dress swayed with her wandering. "These odd humors, your peculiar comments all come from books. You read too much, Dorritt. Father always says so and mother agrees."

"Then it must be so." The heat of the afternoon was squeezing Dorritt like a sodden tourniquet. She put down her needle and pinched the bridge of her nose. Over the past months, she had stood back and read the signs of her stepfather's devious manipulation of facts and circumstances. Of course, Jewell had no idea that the culmination of these might come today. But Dorritt knew well what red ink in a ledger meant.

With a handkerchief, hermother blotted her rosy, perspiring face, which still retained a faded beauty. "Please, Jewell, you must sit down and relax; compose yourself."

"Why hasn't André come yet?" Jewell attacked the lush Boston fern sitting on the stand by the French doors. She pulled off a frond and began stripping it. "He told me he would be asking my father's permission today."

There is many a slip between the cup and lip. "Perhaps he has been delayed." Dorritt set another tiny stitch with rigid concentration.

Would her stepfather manage to work his trickery once more, bend reality to his selfish and greedy will? And more important, could Dorritt use it in her favor? Her hands stuttered and she had to pull the needle back out.

The sound of an approaching horse drew Jewell to the French doors that led to the garden. "I can't see the rider. He has already dismounted under the porte cochere. That doesn't look like André's horse," she added fretfully, and tossed the mangled frond back into the pot.

They all turned their heads to listen to the swishing of the grand front doors being parted, the murmur of their butler, the hum of another man's voice, footsteps down the hallway to her stepfather's den. If it wasn't André, who could it be?

"It could be Philippe." Jewell beamed and gave a little skip. "Maybe I will receive two offers of marriage today."

One proposal would achieve your doting father's goal, dear sister. Dorritt took a deep breath and began an intricate French knot.

"Do you think it might really be Philippe Marchand?" Their mother sounded awestruck. "Why he is worth nearly half a million."

Jewell did a pirouette and swirled her hands in the air. "And I would be mistress of Marchand Plantation and eat blancmange every day."

Dorritt imagined herself decorating her sister's face with the white jellied dessert. She bent farther over her embroidery so neither her sister nor mother would see her unaccountable amusement. More of her odd humors.

"Come away from the window, Jewell," her mother said in a low voice. "You must not appear as though you're aware of any of this."

For once, her younger half-sister obeyed. Jewell went and sat in the Chippendale chair beside Dorritt, lifting the needle from Dorritt's hand and moving the tambour frame in front of herself.

Their mother uttered a soft scold for Jewell's theft. But Jewell ignored it as usual.

Dorritt stopped to blot her face with her hankie. She could only hope that André had come to propose. If not André, then Philippe. If Jewell were married, this might ring the first bell of freedom for her.

"Don't you dare take one stitch," Dorritt ordered in an undertone, holding her own nervousness in strict check.

"I embroider just as well as you do," Jewell lied with a mocking smile. Her bitter chocolate eyes flashing, she boldly stuck the needle into the design.

Dorritt stood up. You need your face slapped, Jewell. But not by me. "I have work to do." She strolled the length of the room, fanning herself with a woven palm fan. Glancing out the windows, she glimpsed the horse hitched in the shade of the porte cochere. She halted in midstep on her way to the hall. Surely it wasn't he who had come and gone into her stepfather's den. Surely not.

Just as she reached the door of the room, she heard footsteps coming toward the parlor. It was what she feared. The widower who was pursuing her, Job Wilkinson, strode beside her step-father. Job looked like a white crane, and her stepfather waddled like a balding, plump self-satisfied gander. Not a good sign. The urge to flee nearly overcame her. But she composed herself, arranging her face into a sweet false smile. "Good day, Mr. Wilkinson. Won't you come in and I will order tea to be served." She turned in time to see her sister's flushed, irritated face.

If only Dorritt could have enjoyed this experience of for once flouting her sister's conceit. But I thought I made myself clear . . . How like a man to ignore her stated wishes.

"No tea," her stepfather ordered. "Jewell and Mrs. Kilbride, come with me. We will leave these two young people alone."

Pouting, Jewell threw down the needle and rose. Their mother quickly led Jewell out. Her stepfather closed the pocket door to the parlor, and they were alone.

The Desires of Her Heart
Texas: Star of Destiny Book 1
. Copyright (c) by Lyn Cote . Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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  • Posted March 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Good romance, but not as good as a historical romance

    For the most part this was a good story. It kept my interest more than lost it. But there were some things that made it a bit challenging. Like sometimes the sentence structure didn't make sense. Also, the characters would say things and do things that didn't fit the era they were in. That kind of stuff tends to bug me. Like use of expressions that didn't exist in speech in that time period.

    There is also the issue of characterization, and some of the people were pure evil. Usually even the bad guys have vulnerable spots and I didn't see that with two of the characters who always gave Dorritt a hard time. I did admire Dorritt but I question whether or not she would have been allowed to act the way she did toward the slaves without negative consequences. It made her heroic but lost some believability at the same time given how harshly her stepfather treated their slaves.

    But on the plus side the romance was pretty intense at times. The author knows how to write a yummy kiss and leads up to it very well. But toward the very end there was another issue that is hard to share without giving away any key plot points, but it did seem a bit unresolved. Several people were in perilous situations that went unresolved, so you don't know what happened to them. Did the guy die? Did the other guy ever get out of jail? Stuff like that.

    Overall I enjoyed this story more than not. Though I did mention more downsides, I have to say that this author does know how to write a good romance, which is why I finished the book. Maybe she should just stay away from historical romances and stick to contemporaries.

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  • Posted January 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    an interesting Americana romance

    In 1821 twenty-five years old spinster Dorritt Mott fears her stepfather Mr. Kilbride is up to his usual no good, but this time her clenched gut expects the worst. She proves right when she learns he gambled away her family¿s Belle Vista Plantation that he has lived off of while she ran it. Knowing he must flee from New Orleans, he informs his extended family they will leave for the Texas Territory where they can claim land and start over. Dorritt would like to go her own way, but knows her pampered mom and her spoiled sister Jewell whose fiancé dumped her need her.<BR/><BR/>Dorritt knows Mr. Kilbride is an amoral moron who will vanish at the first inkling of trouble; from what she knows of the trek from Louisiana to Texas it is very dangerous. She prefers to depend on wagon train half-breed scout Quinn and God than Kilbride. However, as her attraction for the half Cherokee grows, she learns once again a man cannot be trusted as he has business yes with Kilbride.<BR/><BR/>The opening Texas Star of Destiny tale is an interesting "Era of Good Feelings¿ Americana romance. Although Mr. Kilbride, his wife and Jewell are too stereotyped, Dorritt and Quinn are fully developed intriguing lead characters. Fans will relish this fine tale of a feisty female defying the expected role of a Louisiana aristocrat in life and in love.<BR/><BR/>Harriet Klausner

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  • Posted January 24, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    An adventure from Louisiana to the Texas Territory

    Once again, another wonderful historical romance from Avon Inspire. I love everything they are putting out without fail. This was my first opportunity to read Lyn Cote and I know she has many more titles available. I look forward to reading more of her novels in the future.<BR/><BR/><BR/><BR/>"The Desires of Her Heart" is a story in the category of Tracey Bateman, Tamera Alexander, Janette Oke, Lori Wick, and Tracie Peterson's hearts on paper. It is the first in the Texas: Star of Destiny series and I definitely look forward to the next few titles in the series.<BR/><BR/><BR/><BR/>I felt that the book did not end at a complete close, but that is my preference I suppose. It did have a perfect setup for the next novel, but I am impatient and want answers now. On a flaw point, just on a random note. There were many of the earlier chapters while traveling they were herding the cattle, but then about halfway on the journey it was strange that all of the sudden the cattle were never mentioned again... That stuck out to me and lost a little bit of the experience.<BR/><BR/><BR/><BR/>Overall, the story was a great adventure. I knew how I wanted to characters to end up, but was fully kept guessing up to the last pages. The protagonists are extremely lovable, and as a reader, I felt myself even drawn to some characters that I would not have imagined that I could feel anything for much less to appreciate. The "bad people" were really bad, and as per usually the "good" had much better behavior than what was in my heart.<BR/><BR/><BR/><BR/>The author is completely able to pull you in and really make you feel what is going on in the story and that is the kind of novel that I like and cannot put down. I read this book in a day and a half, because I was unable to put it down. I just had to know what would come next.<BR/><BR/><BR/><BR/>Quite the adventure from Louisiana to Texas, and to understand how much so, you really need to get yourself a copy to read. It's a keeper for me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 14, 2011

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