An Avon True Romance: Amelia and the Outlaw

An Avon True Romance: Amelia and the Outlaw

by Lorraine Heath

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061756184
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/13/2009
Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 246,762
File size: 974 KB
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals, press releases, articles, and computer code, but something was always missing. When she read a romance novel, she not only became hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including RWA’s prestigious RITA®. Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists.

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An Avon True Romance: Amelia and the Outlaw

Chapter One

Fort Worth, Texas
May 1881

The first thing Jesse Lawton noticed when the train puffed into the station was the girl standing on the platform.

She was the prettiest thing he'd seen in five years.

Her blond hair was tucked up neatly beneath a frilly bonnet decorated with ribbons and bows. The tiny tips of her black leather shoes peeked out from beneath the hem of her spring-green dress.

He thought her eyes were blue, but he couldn't be certain—not from this distance, not peering through the dirty train window.

The girl jutted her bottom lip into a little pout that caused his insides to tighten. Her mouth reminded him of the plump strawberries he'd tasted at the beginning of a long-ago summer. He'd snitched them out of a garden that grew beside a house with gingham curtains fluttering in the windows and a white picker fence.

He'd convinced himself the pain in his gut was a result of being hungry—not the longing for all the comforts the folks inside the house took for granted. He'd forced himself to gobble down the juicy berries and not think about soft beds or clean clothes or a warm bath.

The girl rocked back and forth on her heels, twirling her little green reticule as if she were waiting on somebody.

He couldn't take his eyes off her—which was a blessing. Looking at her prevented him from having to acknowledge the stares of the passengers making their way off the train. He kept his hands tucked between his thighs, so the shackles on his wrists weren't quite as visible.

But people noticed them anyway. Hecould tell when they did, because he'd hear them gasp or whisper harshly to their traveling companion that a criminal had been sitting in their midst.

"Hey, mister, are you an outlaw?" a boy suddenly asked loudly.

Flinching inwardly, Jesse focused his attention more intently on the girl. She was tapping her foot now, her growing impatience apparent.

"Run along, son," the man sitting beside him said.

Jesse didn't know his name. His guard hadn't bothered with introductions when he'd slapped on the irons.

"Is he an outlaw?" the kid asked again, his excitement echoing around the small compartment. "Is he?"

"Used to be," the man said. "Ain't no more. Now he's a prisoner of the state."

Jesse felt as though he'd been a prisoner of the state for most of his life. His mother had left him on somebody's doorstep, wrapped in a tattered blanket with a note that simply said, Please love him.

No one had bothered to comply with her request. He'd been passed around from person to person, never feeling as though anyone truly wanted him. At least not until he'd joined up with the Nightriders gang. Under the leadership of Sometimes-One-Eyed Pete, for a time, at least, he'd thought he'd discovered where he belonged.

But the bungled bank robbery had found him sentenced to spend ten years at Huntsville Prison. He'd already survived five in that wretched hole. Now he had a chance to serve his remaining time beneath the blue Texas sky. He didn't intend to lose this opportunity—no matter what the cost.

The guard stood. "Let's go, boy."

Jesse unfolded his body, moved into the aisle, and headed for the door. The guard traded behind him with his rifle held at the ready in the crook of his arm. Jesse knew the man would just as soon shoot him as see him get off the train, so he kept his strides short, slow, nonthreatening.

He walked through the door and to the steps that led to the platform. Placing one hand on the railing forced him to put both there because of the way his hands were linked together. He climbed down carefully, awkwardly.

He didn't dare look for the pretty girl now. He prayed she'd moved on and wouldn't catch sight of him with the humiliating chains jangling between his wrists.

With the butt of his rifle, the guard shoved him forward. "Keep going. Judge Harper is standing right over there."

Even if the guard hadn't pointed him out, Jesse would have recognized judge Harper. He'd lost track of the number of days that had passed since he'd been escorted to the warden's office, where he'd met the judge for the first time.

Judge Harper had only recently replaced Judge Gray, better known as the Hanging judge—the man who had sentenced Jesse to ten years of hard time Jesse hadn't been able to work up a spark of pity when word had traveled through the prison that the Hanging Judge had met his maker.

Judge Harper had been reviewing Judge Gray's records. Apparently the previous judge had kept detailed accounts on every criminal who'd appeared in his courtroom and every sentence he'd handed dawn.

"I don't like doubting my predecessor," Judge Harper had said, "but I think he might have been a bit harsh when he sentenced you."

A bit harsh? Jesse thought that was an understatement. The man bad been downright mean, with a steely glare that had made Jesse fear the Hanging judge was going to live up to his reputation and sentence Jesse to dance in the wind from the nearest oak tree.

"I'm not willing to commute your sentence," judge Harper continued, "but I'm willing to let you serve out your time under less desolate conditions."

So here Jesse was, his mouth suddenly as dry as a west Texas wind, walking toward the man who held his freedom in his hands. Judge Harper had looked imposing and ominous when he'd met with Jesse at Huntsville.

He was even more so now, standing on the platform in black trousers, a black jacket, and a black hat with his dark eyes roaming over Jesse . . .

An Avon True Romance: Amelia and the Outlaw. Copyright © by Lorraine Heath. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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An Avon True Romance: Amelia and the Outlaw 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 37 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Originally I had checked this out as a library ebook to move to my nook, but I checked it out and started reading it on my computer. It never made it to my nook, because I enjoyed it so much!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was an awesome book!I cant wait until i read the rest of the avon true romances!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was soooo cute!! I love it!! It was one of my favorite books in the series! I love all the others too though. My other favorites were Belle and the Beau, Josephine and the Soldier, Gwyneth and the Thief.... actually, all of them. (except I can't find Catherine and the Pirate ANYWHERE!!! it makes me so mad!)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I finished it within a day because it was so good and I couldn't put it down. You would think Jesse was a mean guy, but he's the kind of guy a girl dreams of. He's sweet, kind, and nice. You would think Amelia was a perfect girl who lived by the rules, but on the inside she wanted adventure.
jacketscoversread on LibraryThing 3 months ago
I think that everyone loves a good romance novel but there comes a point where the smut and the out of control sex scenes become too much. Amelia and the Outlaw does a really good job of keeping sex out of the story but still making you want Jesse and Amelia to be together, which is why I¿d agree that its statement of being an romance novel ¿for teens¿ is true.The story also has a plot, a story line that¿s interesting to follow and has twist and turns in it. It¿s well-written and worth the {short} time it takes to read it.
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XD
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
a book to read if you like romance and suspence very good book
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Guest More than 1 year ago
This was one of those books you get for the heck of it, not expecting it to be all that great. Well, I was proven wrong. Just goes to show--you can't judge a book by its cover. Anyway, the book begins with the main boy character--Jesse Lawton, the outlaw, finally . . . 'getting' out of prison. After having his case reviewed by Judge Harper, Jesse is spending the last 5 years of his 10 year sentence (for robbing a back at age fourteen) at the judge's ranch. There, Jesse hopes to work of his remaining time in peace. But no such luck. Not with the Judge's pretty daughter, Amelia (16, and itching to be 17 in a week). No, Amelia seems like an all around good-girl, but don't be fooled by her devious smile and pretty blonde hair. This girl has got manipulation down. Anyway, Amelia is immediately taken by Jesse--with his soulful eyes and his (of course) handsome features. Amelia wants to get to know Jesse, but she is forbidden to be alone with him--since he's an 'outlaw' and all. But that doesn't stop Amelia. Just, there's another problem in her scheme to get to know Jesse--he doesn't want anything to do with her. Yes, he is interested in her, but he never wants to go back to prison. (honestly, who sends a 14-year-old to prison for 10 years???) Jesse will do anything to avoid prison, even ignore Amelia. But love apparently doesn't work that way, as Jesse finds Amelia carefully crushing the devensive walls around his heart that prison, and his childhood have created. Really, a very, very, very good book. I was amazed, and have read it several times have first reading it. I really recommend it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book *i finished it in one day* I guess i related to Amelia being bound by rules and always feeling trapped in her own house while all along knowing her family loved her. And it did help that Jesse was a cutie! i've only read Anna & the Duke, and Emily & the Scott other than this one but i'm planning on reading all the Avon Romance Books. I'm hooked on love stories now!!! read this book! but read Anna & the Duke first!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book so much that it ties Anna and the Duke as my very favorite. Jesse seemed so sweet and I felt really bad for him during the middle! I also really liked Amelia's character. Lorraine Heath didn't made her really strong and intelligent. Plus she never really acted in denile about her feelings for Jesse after the beginning.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read all the Avon true romance series, this being my last. It was a very good finish to such a great adventure. I loved both points of view of Amelia and Jesse and how different they were from any other I've read. Looking for a quick, smooth read, this is a perfect book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really loved this. it actually was the first one i read and its been my favorite so far... not saying all the other books aren't great (becuase they are!). Ive read 6 others so i still have 5 left i just cant find them anywhere...)-:
Guest More than 1 year ago
OMG THIS BOOK IS SOOOO CUTE AND SOOOO ROMANTIC THE AUTHOR JUST MADE THERE LOVE AND RELATIONSHIP SOOOO WELL WRITTEN AND I WANT EVERYONEEEE TO READ IT IS SOOO WOUNDERFUL, ive read a couple so far is this is by far the better one