Journey now to Fort Bliss in West Texas of 1874, where...
A Battle Is About to be Waged Between Two Hearts.
Fashion artist Priscilla Hutchens has a grudge against the army that has ruined her family and taken the people she holds most dear. When her twin niece and nephew are left orphaned at Fort Bliss, Texas, she swoops down on Fort Bliss to gain custody of them immediately.
There is just one thing standing in the way—Post surgeon Major Elliot Ryder, who is also the twins uncle, also claims the children and thinks he knows what is best for them.
Priscilla and Elliot will cross swords, but each will have to lay down arms if they are to find a lasting peace on which to form the family both are longing for. Who will win the battle? Or will a truce be called for the sake of love and family?
More from My Heart Belongs in Series...
My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmella's Quandary by Susan Page Davis (March 2017)
My Heart Belongs in Ruby City, Idaho: Rebecca's Plight by Susanne Dietze (May 2017)
My Heart Belongs on Mackinac Island: Maude's Mooring by Carrie Fancett Pagels (July 2017)
My Heart Belongs in the Shenandoah Valley: Lily's Dilemma by Andrea Boeshaar (September 2017)
About the Author
Erica Vetsch is a transplanted Kansan now residing in Minnesota. She loves books and history, and is blessed to be able to combine the two by writing historical romances. Whenever she’s not following flights of fancy in her fictional world, she’s the company bookkeeper for the family lumber business, mother of two, an avid museum patron, and wife to a man who is her total opposite and soul mate. Erica loves to hear from readers. You can sign up for her quarterly newsletter at www.ericavetsch.com
And you can email her at email@example.com or contact her on her author Facebook page.
Read an Excerpt
My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas
By Erica Vetsch
Barbour Publishing, Inc.Copyright © 2017 Erica Vetsch
All rights reserved.
Trans-Pecos Territory of West Texas, 1874
Only the army would think a place like this worth defending.
Priscilla Hutchens clamped her teeth together to keep them from rattling right out of her head. Grabbing the wagon bow, she sought to find an anchor as the converted military ambulance jounced up a slight rise. The howling wind, which a cheerful enlisted man had called a "freshening breeze," tore at the canvas cover overhead. That same enlisted man had rolled up the stained fabric along the sides of the ambulance, and as a result, Priscilla had an unfettered view of ... pretty much nothing.
She'd had no idea when embarking on this rescue mission that so much "empty" existed anywhere. Miles and miles of brush, sparse clumps of grass, cacti, and bare ground stretched away to the edge of the world. In the distance, a humpbacked ridge of mountains poked up from the desert — a dusty, purplish lump on the otherwise flat expanse. The small company of soldiers, horses, and wagons she traveled with could be the last inhabitants on earth.
How had her brother stood this everlasting openness? After the bustling, busy, and varied life of Cincinnati, how had he survived the tediousness of a frontier military post? And not only him but his wife and children?
Fort Bliss. One of a string of forts along the San Antonio-El Paso Trail, and until now, a place Priscilla had never thought to visit. Only the twins' need of her could've gotten her out of the city and to this forsaken desert. And the sooner she accomplished her purpose and returned to civilization, the better. Fort Bliss. There was nothing blissful about this awful place.
A particularly fierce gust yanked at her bonnet, and she let go of the wagon bow to grab it before it tumbled to the dirt. Opposite her on the other bench, Fern Perry gave her a sympathetic smile.
"That hat is going to take wing and fly away." She had to speak over the rattle of the wagons and harness and the tramping of dozens of boots. Boots that raised puffs of dust to swirl around them, land on their skin and hair, and work their way into their clothing. Priscilla had never felt so gritty and dirty in her life.
Fern braced herself against the lurch of the wagon. "When we get to the fort, the first thing you should buy is a sunbonnet. The sutler's store is bound to have some, or you could hire one of the laundresses to make one for you. The sun will ruin your skin otherwise. Your hat's so stylish, but it's rather impractical out here."
"I don't anticipate remaining at the fort long enough to need to change out my wardrobe." Priscilla anchored her hat once more, arranging the netting and hoping the silky black feathers adorning the left side of the royal-blue brim were sewn on tightly. The hat perfectly matched her traveling costume, and she couldn't imagine how ridiculous a slab-sided calico sunbonnet would look in its place. She'd rather battle the wind.
"Are you really only planning to stay a few days? It's such an awful long way to come to turn around and go back so soon."
"I have no desire to prolong my visit." Priscilla pressed her lips together. "Retrieving my niece and nephew is my only concern. And I must return to my job. The catalog will be getting woefully behind as it is." Though her employers had given her a generous amount of time off, twelve weeks in fact, she had no intention of using all of it. Her work was too important to her. She'd spent the last four years creating the overall look and design of the catalog, and if she was gone too long, they'd have to turn things over to another artist who might not have her same style and vision for the publication.
"I guess I never thought of where the artwork in mail-order catalogs came from," Fern said. "Fancy being an artist for the Carterson Ladies' Emporium Catalog. I guess that explains your pretty clothes. I've never seen anything as stylish as that dress." Her eyes traveled over Priscilla's clothing from collar to shoes. "My mother and sisters and I pored over every new Carterson's that arrived in the mail. They'll never believe me when I write to tell them I met the artist who drew all those beautiful pictures." Her expression took on a wistful look. "I wish my family could've come for the wedding." She shook her head as if ridding herself of unpleasant thoughts. "Still, it's enough that I'm going to be with Harry. I've missed him so much."
Fern had rhapsodized about her fiancé often and at length each night as they made camp. To hear her description, Lieutenant Harry Dunn was a saint, a knight in shining armor, a Byronic hero, and a brilliant scholar all rolled into one.
Yet, while Priscilla understood the bias with which Fern described her beloved, the girl's obvious happiness set up a longing in Priscilla's heart that lingered well after the lanterns were extinguished and the night watch set. Her spinster existence didn't have much to recommend itself. But the twins would solve that problem for her. She didn't need a man to be happy.
Not that she hadn't had offers. Why, even on this trip she'd been accosted by soldiers proposing marriage.
As if she would ever marry a soldier.
"We should be nearing the fort. The sergeant said at breakfast we should arrive in the mid-afternoon." Fern half-stood, peering over the shoulder of the enlisted man driving the wagon. "We might even be able to see the trees along the river."
Seeing trees again would be nice. They'd encountered few since leaving Fort Davis, the last outpost at which they'd stayed. The ever-present knot in Priscilla's stomach tightened. Soon she would see the twins, her brother's beloved children. She would hold them in her arms, and together they would grieve and heal and become a family.
Teresa — known as Tessa — and Timothy. The niece and nephew she'd never met. How had they coped in the month since their parents died? Tears smarted her eyes. Tessa and Timothy were her only two relatives left.
And they've suffered the same fate as you, made fatherless by the army. Only they've lost their mother, too. Though the argument could be made that the army cost you your mother, too. She died inside when your father was killed, and she spent every day of the rest of her life mourning him until she finally slipped away.
The army had taken her parents and her sibling, but no more. The army would never take anything away from Priscilla again.
"I see something." Excitement leapt into Fern's voice.
Energy rippled through the soldiers around them. Footfalls became faster, reins were shaken up, and expressions lightened. Priscilla craned her neck, espying a dark smudge on the horizon. Shapes began to emerge, sorting themselves out into various structures.
They drew nearer, and the closer they got, the farther Priscilla's hopes dropped. Given the starkness of their surroundings, she shouldn't have expected much, but the huddle of adobe buildings did little to meet even the basest necessity for beauty. Someone had planted a ring of straggly trees, and there were squares of parched vegetable gardens, but everything looked dusty and sad. Cracked earthen paths led to and around the buildings, and over all hung the odor of ... stables.
In the distance beyond the fort were trees in a winding line. That must be the river, the Rio Grande.
How had Christopher stood it here? Even more, how had his wife? How did any woman?
Priscilla looked out on the post and felt nothing but loneliness, grief, and apprehension. The sooner she got the children away from here, the better.
They turned to cross a shallow gully, edging down between bare dirt walls. The horizon disappeared and then the wagon lurched, hooves scrambled, and the ambulance was dragged up the other side. Priscilla scrambled to keep her seat, banging her elbow on the side of the wagon and letting out a yelp.
The buildings grew larger as they approached. Though she'd never been to Fort Bliss, she recalled the standard layout vaguely from her childhood, the open parade ground, the barracks, the officers' quarters, and so on, all arranged in the manner prescribed by the military manual and carried out on every western post. But the forts she'd lived at in Kansas as a child had stone and wood buildings, sloped roofs, white-painted trim, glass windows. Here the adobe, flat-roofed buildings seemed to poke up out of the earth like square mushrooms. Everything was the same desert sand color. Window holes gaped like blank eye sockets with warped, wooden shutters or cheesecloth in the openings.
A guard stopped them with an upraised hand as they reached the northeast corner of the fort, spoke to the officer in charge of their caravan, and motioned for them to enter the square of buildings. In the center of the open ground, a flagpole pierced the blue sky, the stars and stripes snapping in the stiff wind. One of the adobe buildings was under construction, men setting the baked-clay bricks into place, others smearing straw-laced mud on the walls. One long wooden structure she assumed was a barracks was undergoing roof repairs, a work crew hammering away in the hot sunshine. The ambulance lurched to a stop in front of this building. The men on the roof stopped working to stare at the newcomers.
Priscilla's gaze moved from building to building. Which one housed the children? The telegram informing her of her brother and sister-in-law's deaths hadn't said just who had charge of the twins, only that they were being seen to. Probably one of the officers' wives. She scanned the row of smaller, identical buildings, a shade nicer than the barracks. Officer quarters. The children must be there.
"Fern!" A lean, sandy-haired soldier broke from the knot of men on the end of the porch, vaulting a stack of crates, and skidding to a halt beside the ambulance. "Oh, Fern-girl, you're finally here." He reached up and plucked her from her seat, wrapping her in his embrace and knocking her bonnet askew.
"Harry, Harry, oh, Harry," she chanted his name as he covered her face with kisses. Her laughter drifted out, and several soldiers hooted and whistled, stamping their boots and clapping. The couple seemed to remember their audience, and he let her slide to the ground, though he kept his arm around her waist.
"Fellows, this is Fern. We're getting married tomorrow." Harry's voice rang with pride and deep emotion, and he never took his eyes from Fern's face.
Priscilla blinked back a tear and searched the crowd again. What would it be like to be met in such a manner? As if no one else on earth existed, and as if every moment apart had been sheer agony?
"Ma'am?" The burly private who had driven the ambulance looked up at her. "Can I help you down?" His expression asked if she was going to stay up there forever.
"Of course." Priscilla gathered her reticule and her box of art supplies. She had little faith in the ability of the United States Cavalry to transport her belongings safely and preferred to keep her precious inks and pastels and papers under her own watchful eye. Her trunk was somewhere among the other baggage in the wagon train, and she only hoped it had survived the journey undamaged.
Once her feet were on solid ground, she glanced at her dress. The navy poplin with an openwork silk stripe wore a covering of dust like a shroud. She slapped at her skirt, raising clouds. It had been the same with her burgundy silk yesterday, and her pink lawn the day before. She might as well purchase some burlap sacking and wear that, since it was the only thing that might hide the infernal dirt that coated everything. How did women out here stand it? She glanced up and stifled a gasp. A dozen soldiers now stood within arm's length, staring at her with blatant curiosity.
A squat, bristle-chinned, sun-dried soldier stepped off the porch and elbowed his way into the group. "Ooo-eee! Ma'am, you sure are a sight for these tired old eyes. I know Miss Fern belongs to Harry here — goodness knows he's talked of nothing else but that gal for months — but, if you don't mind my boldness, who do you belong to?"
She jerked upright. The man's hubris was beyond the pale. "I don't belong to anyone, sir."
"That's all right then." Elbows jabbed into sides, and the men shifted.
He clapped his hands once and rubbed them together before turning to the assembly. "She ain't married nor promised from what it sounds like."
Grins aplenty, and the soldiers crowded around once more. While it was flattering to have the attention of so many men at once, Priscilla grew distinctly uncomfortable.
"Hey, don't you fellows make a move until we can get down there. It ain't fair to have us treed up here when a pretty lady shows up."
Priscilla turned to look up at the roof of the barracks. A red-haired man with a barrel chest started over the parapet, grinning and trying to keep ahead of the others. He grabbed the top of the ladder, but there was a tussle, and with a holler, the man missed his footing and plummeted to the ground, landing with a thud that traveled up through the soles of Priscilla's shoes and raised a puff of Texas dirt that obscured him for a moment.
She sucked in a breath and forgot to release it. Was he dead?
Time stood still as the dust settled and nobody moved. Then the man let out a low groan and squirmed, and her heart started beating again. The air trickled out of her lungs, and her muscles loosened. She'd thought he might've broken his neck. Men hustled down the ladder and sped toward him, and the soldiers who had been surrounding Priscilla left her to go to the injured man.
"I think he's busted his leg. Somebody go get the doc."
Priscilla edged away from the crowd, clutching her box and reticule in one arm and holding her hat on with the other. Shock and weariness leached the strength from her limbs. The poor man.
Something jolted her shoulder, and she spun, her art box and purse flying out of her arm. Her hat toppled into her eyes, and before she could right it, firm hands gripped her upper arms. "Beg pardon, ma'am."
Shoving her hat back onto her hair, she stared up into the most beautiful, silvery-gray eyes she'd ever seen. Eyes the color of a coming storm and fringed with dark lashes. Eyes that pierced hers and stole her breath away. Her heart hiccupped, and she felt as if she'd swallowed a goose egg. She took in the insignia on his hat and collar. A major. Medical Corps. For a moment everything froze, and then his hands fell away and he turned toward the injured man.
Priscilla found herself threading her way through the knot of men surrounding the fallen soldier.
"Glad you're here, Major." The patient grimaced. "Looks like I need a doc."
The major was slim and straight as a steeple. The yellow line down the outside of his light blue pants accentuated the length of his legs. His navy coat rode his wide shoulders like a second skin, and dark, slightly curling hair fell on his collar. He knelt beside the injured man. Fabric stretched taut over the major's thighs, and sunlight gleamed on immaculate black boots. Though his every movement spoke of power and manliness, his long, slender fingers were gentle as he examined his patient.
"What happened?" His low-pitched voice rumbled out, setting butterflies to flapping in Priscilla's middle.
I wonder if his mustache is as soft as it looks. That frivolous and disjointed thought scampered across her mind, and heat started building around her lace collar and chasing up her cheeks. Where on earth had that come from? She wasn't some silly schoolgirl. A grown woman had no business wondering such things, especially about a stranger. And a soldier at that.
"Well?" He scanned the crowd of men leaning in close.
"Matthews was trying to get down here quick to meet the pretty new lady. Guess he came down a mite quicker than he planned." The soldier who spoke up couldn't cover up a snicker, but the doctor quelled it with a steely glance.
"He's fractured his femur. You two" — he pointed to two privates — "go fetch a litter and tell Samson to prepare the surgery for setting a bone."
They sped away. The man on the ground groaned again, and the major thumbed up one of the man's eyelids. "He might have a concussion as well."
The major's eyes met hers, and Priscilla couldn't look away. She didn't miss the disdain and even accusation in his stare. Surely he didn't blame her for the man's injury? Her indignation brought her back to herself, and she realized her hands were empty. Looking back to where the doctor had collided with her, she saw her possessions on the ground.
Excerpted from My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas by Erica Vetsch. Copyright © 2017 Erica Vetsch. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1874, Priscilla Hutchens has just received word that her brother and sister-in-law, have been killed and that their two seven-year-old twins, Teresa (Tessa), and Timothy, have been left orphaned. She decides that the children will need to come and live with her in Cincinnati, Ohio, so she sets off on the long journey to Fort Bliss army barracks, Texas, where the children are currently are living. On arrival Priscilla causes a bit of a stir with the soldiers, with her good looks and expensive clothes. All except for one man, Major Elliot Ryder, the army doctor, who knows exactly what kind of influence a woman like her can cause. It soon becomes clear that Major Ryder is in fact the uncle of the children and has been looking after them, treating them like mini soldiers, something Priscilla detests as she is not a fan of the army. He is also not about to hand the children over to some stranger, given that neither him, nor the twins, have ever seen her before. Between the two of them they need to come to some agreement about the care of the children, but neither is willing to budge. Who will win this battle of wills? My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas, is a clean, sweet tale set amidst a real time in American history, and in a real place. Priscilla is one feisty woman! She may have the voice and the dress of a posh lady, but she certainly is no pushover. She has pure stamina and determination, and is used to getting what she wants. She doesn’t take too kindly to Major Ryder’s upbringing of the twins, nor does she like Fort Bliss. Major Ryder, is also a man with determination and used to what he says, goes. He isn’t about to let a woman come into the children’s life and take them away from him, the only family he now has left after the death of his sister. The two characters are both very likeable and I could understand where both of them were coming from. They both had the children’s best interests at heart, and I was hoping for some joint resolution. The book had a lovely pace to it. There were no fast-paced, gripping, heart-pounding scenes, but there was plenty enough going on to keep me hooked to the pages. Ms Vetsch has a knack for making you feel like you have travelled back in time, and are witnessing the events firsthand. If you are looking for a short, easy, historical read, then this book would be perfect.
Great historical fiction! This story made me feel like I was really at Fort Bliss in 1874. Priscilla Hutchens takes leave from her job as artist for the Carterson Ladies' Emporium Catalog in Cincinnati, Ohio to go to Fort Bliss in Texas. The book description tells you what she finds when she gets there so I won't repeat it. I will tell you that Priscilla detests Army life. Army first, always. Her father died while out on patrol her mother became estranged from her son, Priscilla’s only sibling when he joined the army. Priscilla has no intention of staying more than a few days to retrieve the twins. But those days turn into weeks and her heart begins to change toward their uncle. She is stronger than Major Dr. Elliot Ryder ever thought she would be. The author does an amazing job of describing normal every day life in the Fort. There is some action with local and other Indian Tribes. There is also drama at the Fort but humorous moments are woven into the story very nicely too. It is the romance that slowly develops between Priscilla and Elliot and what was going to happen to the twins that kept my attention. I loved this book from the first line to the last.
Priscilla, a fashion artist, hates the military for taking her father and ruining her mother. So she's not exactly pleased when her brother joins the army. She hasn't seen him in years when she receives notification that he and his wife have passed away. She heads to Fort Bliss to get the niece and nephew that she's never met. But she meets resistance from their uncle, her late sister-in-law's brother. He's the local physician and loves the children dearly. He has no intention of letting them leave with a woman they've never met. Sparks fly as they both insist on being their guardian. I really enjoyed this story. The characters were well defined and likable. The two little children were precious. The author did a great job of creating drama without setting the reader's mind against the two main characters. The scenery jumped off the page and helped the story come alive. The faith, importance of family, and sweet romances that were entwined in the plot made the whole thing come together beautifully. This is an author that is quickly becoming a favorite with every book of hers that I read. I would recommend this book if you enjoy clean romance, historical fiction, or a fun plot. I received a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing. All thoughts expressed are my own.
I really enjoyed this book--it was a pleasant little escape. All the time I was reading it, I kept seeing it in my head as an old movie made in the '40s. :-) The author did a nice job of combining her obvious love for history and research with good storytelling and character development. She was able to weave in Christian faith without being heavy-handed--making it a natural part of the characters' lives. I liked her sharing the thoughts of both the woman and the man in the story; it was quite believable and sweet.
Barbour Publishing has started a new line of historical romance fiction called My Heart Belongs focusing on different locations in the USA. In January, it started with Fort Bliss, Texas: Priscilla’s Reveille by Erica Vetsch. Priscilla is the ‘fish out of water’ stylish city woman who is completely unprepared for life on the frontier. She has one plan: to get to Fort Bliss, gain custody of her family, and then immediately take them home to civilization. The children might be loved at Fort Bliss but, as far as Priscilla is concerned, a military environment is no place for a child. Her plan takes a slight detour, however, when she’s attracted to the Major in the Military Corps who happens to be the children’s uncle. My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas is a cute story that’s easy to read. While it’s mostly light, there are serious times such as interactions with local Indian populations and the spread of disease throughout the fort. The physical descriptions were so good I could visualize everything. During the course of the novel, Priscilla must continuously step out of her comfort zone and, as she does so, she gradually comes to realize that home really is where the heart is. Thank you to Barbour Publishing for my complimentary electronic copy of My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas, which I downloaded from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
This was a good book. I enjoyed. It wasn't always a page turner that I couldn't put down but I think it definitely earned a four stars. In my opinion there were a few too many word choices that had me looking to the dictionary but I suppose it's good to expand one's vocabulary.
Great story, really liked Priscilla and Elliott, and the twins. Very enjoyable 234 pages, HEA. ***vrnb***
I love historical fiction, and My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas: Pricilla’s Reveille is a good example of why. I am able to open the pages of a book and visit a time in the past. I loved the vivid scenery, and felt the fears and difficult realities of living in the early 1800s. 1847 Fort Bliss, Texas is a unique setting, and the author did a fabulous job of pulling the reader in. I easily sunk into the era and experienced the rising tension with the surrounding tribes, as well as the growing attraction between Priscilla and Elliot. Their stories are believable and I was able to relate in many ways to Priscilla’s thoughts of the military and it’s soldiers. Although I don’t see things the same way she did, I can understand, due to her personal experiences, why she had those thoughts and fears. This is a full, rich story, though a relatively quick read. It offers themes of acceptance, forgiveness, and resilience. My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas: Pricilla’s Reveille is an inspiring, hard-to-put-down book. I’d love to have this story continue. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing (and NetGalley) and was under no obligation to post a review.
Priscilla Hutchens travels to Ft Bliss, Texas, to rescue her niece, Tessa, and nephew, Timothy, after the untimely death of their parents. She is determined they not be subjected to the type of life she was as an army child being dragged from pillar to post. They are already too much like her, in that the Army has made them orphans. Major Elliott Ryder is their uncle, and he definitely has something to say about Priscilla's attitude and where the twins will live. I especially enjoyed getting to know Priscilla. She is a very spunky, spirited and feisty young woman who is not afraid to speak her mind, but neither is she afraid to get her hands dirty and help when needed. The twins are fun to meet, too. Tessa is a lot like her Aunt Priscilla in spunkiness and spirit, and she is never still, running full tilt night and day. Timothy, on the other hand, is more circumspect and reserved. Erica Vetsch has written a captivating story of late 1800s military life. I found myself fascinated by the remarkable detail to the story. Just a few of the topics Miss Vetsch described in interesting and realistic imagery include the primitive conditions, herbal and natural medicinal techniques, military protocol and Army regulations. I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Sweet, clean read... My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas Priscilla's Reveille By Erica Vetsch When Priscilla Hutchens receives word that her brother and his wife have died, she hurries to the rugged and dangerous army post they called home. She's determined to save the young niece and nephew she's never met from the horrors of army life. To Priscilla's dismay, she can't just whisk the children away to her home in Cincinnati. Culture and refinement are put on hold by the arrogant post surgeon Major Elliot Ryder who shockingly lays claim to the very children she wishes to rescue. He's the uncle she never knew the children had thanks to the estrangement that had divided her family with her brother's enlistment. Elliot sees no reason for Priscilla to take Tessa and Timothy from the life they've known and he is determined to keep his promise to his sister regarding her children. Unfortunately, Priscilla is as determined as he is when it comes to the children, but he has a history with the children, unlike Priscilla. Can these two come to an understanding that allows Tessa and Timothy to have what their hearts most desire ~ a family? Or will someone win this battle of wills making sure everyone loses in the end? This is a sweet book that will leave the reader feeling satisfied when the last page is turned. If you are looking for a gentle, clean read you've found it hidden among the stark openness of Fort Bliss, Texas. Fans of historical romance fiction will enjoy this book that is set in 1874. And there is no need to worry you won't be blushing as you read. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions expressed here are my own.
Although I was not familiar with this author, the book's description, along with the fact that it is set in Texas, enticed me to read this enjoyable novel. While much is predictable, as many romances are, Erica Vetsch manages to add a few twists along the way. The interactions between Priscilla and Elliot are amusing as they clash and spar and try so hard to ignore the obvious solution to the question of who should raise their mutual niece and nephew. Vetsch creates a wonderful cast of secondary characters (although some are wonderfully irritating!) that add to the story and provide food for thought for Priscilla as well as the reader. I will be watching for more from this author. Take a journey to Fort Bliss, Texas today! Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book free from Barbour Books. I was not required to write a review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
What a fun story full of historical information! Author Erica Vetsch does a great job setting the stage for Priscilla’s trip to Fort Bliss. A family-themed, charming story that will have you wondering just who to cheer for. I highly recommend it!
A sweet story with engaging characters. This historical romance reminded me of the hardships of military life, no matter what era we live in. We need to honor and support our military!
I have never read Ms. Vetsch before, but I found this to be a pleasant read. A good plot line, interesting characters, and scene description so real I felt as if I were there - like getting a history lesson along the way. Gave this four stars because I don't care for western backgrounds as much, but I do intend to read more from Erica Vetsch. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publications and was under no obligation to post a review.
Priscilla Hutchens, a fashion artist, has a grudge against the army that ruined her family and took the people she loves dearly. When her twin niece and nephew are left orphaned at Fort Bliss, Texas, she goes there to gain custody of them immediately. Post surgeon Major Elliot Ryder, who is also the twins uncle, claims the children and thinks he knows what is best for them. Priscilla and Elliot cross swords. Will they each will lay down arms to find a lasting peace on to form the family both want? Who will win the battle? Will they call a truce for the sake of love and family? I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
This story paints a beautiful literary picture of the hardships of military life. This author knows how to describe in detail the life at a fort and the struggles with the Indians at the time. You will feel immersed into the story that way. I don’t know that I would be cut out for it! Priscilla, the heroine, certainly changes throughout this tale and it is so well-written that I couldn’t stop turning the pages. I adored Major Elliot and the twins! This author writes a heart-stirring hero that would make any woman take a second glance. The interaction between these two is fantastic and very enjoyable to read. A bookshelf keeper for me and I most certainly will keep reading this author’s books. I was given this book by Barbour. All opinions are my own.
Historically correct this book is, it also is lively, noteworthy, memorable, jam-packed full of romantic tension, and a kaleidoscope of feelings, people, and living environment. Priscilla's brother and sister-in-law dies leaving behind twins - whom she feels responsible for -so she goes to get them, little did she know that her sister-in-law asked her brother to take them - and he plans to keep that promise - so now you have a stalemate. A stalemate that could end up in a romance - or maybe not - who knows - GOD does - and those of you who read the book - because I am not going to tell you who the twins go with either.......The twists in this book is amazing you feel like you are the hula-hoop. I received a copy of this book from Netgalley for me to read and give an honest review.
enjoy reading Christian fiction but historical books are not always my choice - i enjoy contemporary books. I was pleasantly surprised - I found myself caught up in the book and couldn't wait to see shat happens with Priscilla, Elliot and their opposing fight for custody of the twins. Priscilla has her reasons for disliking the twins ( her deceased brother's children) being raised in Army and the wild west. Elliot loves the Army and loves the twins (his deceased sister's children. The history of the wild west and the movement of the settlers and the Indians makes for an interesting read and kept me guessing until the end. I will definitely read additional books in this series. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
I have been privileged to read Erica Vetsch's other novels and I really enjoyed reading My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss Texas. Ms. Vetsch has a style of writing that is descriptive and heartfelt. She weaves history into her novels effortlessly and I enjoyed learning about Fort Bliss, Texas in 1874. Her main character Priscilla Huschens is a " modern" woman of the times and struggles with her feeling of anger towards anyone in the military. I cheered on Priscilla as her heart transformed and her character developed throughout the story. Major Elliot Ryder was well developed hero I could cheer for. I recommend this book! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
If you love historical fiction, you will really enjoy Erica Vetsch’s My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas: Priscilla's Reveille. She takes readers on a journey back in time to experience life in 1874. The setting is Fort Bliss, Texas, a military outpost, where life is hard. Priscilla Hutchens has traveled to Fort Bliss from Cincinnati, Ohio, to rescue her brother’s twins, Tessa and Timothy, who were orphaned when their parents die from a fever. She is surprised to find that Major Elliot Ryder, the outpost surgeon, also has a claim on the twins. Priscilla and Elliot are two fiercely independent, stubborn people who clash over who has the right to raise the twins. They want what is best for the twins but are determined to get their own way and unwilling to give in. Priscilla does not think that Fort Bliss is the best place to raise the twins and Elliott does not think the twins should be raised in the city. As romance slowly develops between Priscilla and Elliot, the reader discovers the hardships people faced living in an outpost under the threat of Indian attacks and wonders what will happen with the twins. If you are looking for a great historical fiction, My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas: Priscilla’s Reveille, is the book for you. This story made me feel like I was in Texas at Fort Bliss in 1874. The descriptions of life on a military outpost and the historical details added interest to the story of two very stubborn people. I enjoyed reading this book and would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys historical fiction. Erica Vetsch’s love of history shines through her historical details and descriptions of military life in an outpost shortly after the Civil War. I had been searching for a new author and am so happy to have found Erica Vetsch. I will definitely be reading more of her books! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
What an enjoyable book! My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas was a delightful story to read. Set in a frontier town in 1874, the story revolves around Priscilla Hutchens who arrives to Fort Bliss to retrieve her newly orphaned niece and nephew, and Major Elliot Ryder, the uncle who currently cares for the twins. The tension between these two adults sets this story up from the very beginning. However, much more is in store for Priscilla and Elliot than figuring out custody of the twins. Through a series of events, both Priscilla and Elliot discover that first impressions can often be misleading. I enjoyed seeing Priscilla evolve into a servant hearted and hardy woman, and Elliot noticing these admirable traits in her. You'll enjoy this story if you have a penchant for historical fiction. *I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. However, I enjoyed the book very much so I decided to post a review. Priscilla heads to a military post in Fort Bliss, Texas to gain custody of her brother’s twins after both parents die unexpectedly. Upon reaching Texas Priscilla finds out the twins are staying with their uncle, Major Ryder their mother’s brother, who is a doctor/surgeon in the army. Priscilla’s plan is to take the twins back east to live with her, but Major Ryder plans to keep the twins with him in Fort Bliss, Texas as was the wishes of the twins’ parents. Since Priscilla was raised by her parents in a military setting and her father being killed while being in the military she hates anything having to do with the military. Her memories of military life were unpleasant and Priscilla insists on taking the twins back east to be raised. Major Ryder, however, is attached to the twins and insists on raising them according to their parent’s wishes, in the west on the military post. Then something happens to change his mind. Priscilla has also had a change of heart and an unexpected turn of events change the lives of Priscilla, Major Ryder, and the twins. I thought this book was interesting and I enjoyed reading it.
This was a wonderful western romance. Priscilla and Elliot were made for each other. It just takes them a little time to figure this out. Between the army and their niece and nephew they have more on their mind then a romance. I love how the characters try to work with each other even though they both want two different things. Priscilla wants to take the twins back to the east coast since she hates the army and Elliot wants to raise the children where they are. Well written and enjoyable. I received this book from Barbour books for a fair and honest opinion that I gave freely.
Army life meets civilian life in this 1874 Historical Romance novel set in West Texas. Author, Erica Vetsch, tells a wonderful tale of grit, compromise, and love in "My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas." Priscilla travels from the east to Fort Bliss, Texas, when she finds out her brother and his wife have died leaving behind their 7-year-old twins, Tessa and Timothy. She arrives in Texas, thinking that she will gain custody of the children and take them home with her, not realizing that they are now in the custody of their mother’s brother, Army doctor, Major Ryder. As the story unfolds, the reader is taken on a wonderful adventure that includes wonderful descriptions of life in Texas in the 1870s, interactions of military personnel and civilians in the fort, and of course handling relationships and communications with the Native American tribes. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
This book introduces us the reader to Priscilla, a proper lady acquainted with the good things in life, who has avowed that she will never be an army wife after she lost her dad to the army. Let me just say here that I find the name Priscilla well fitting for her character. When Priscilla finds out her niece and nephew, whom she has never met, are orphaned and stationed at the arm barracks in Fort Bliss Texas, she departs straightaway to go bring them back with her. However upon arriving in Fort Bliss in the middle of nowhere, she is confronted with Major Elliott Ryder who is the kids uncle from their mothers side. And Elliott stubbornly refuses to let her take the kids, he insists that it was their parents wishes that they grow up at the barracks. So Priscilla decides to spend some time at the fort getting to know the kids and convincing Elliott that she is taking the kids. While there she feels her heart being pulled toward Elliott but she fights it because after all he is married to the army and she wants no parts of that. What I find intriguing is how the author allows Priscilla to learn that bitterness or contentment are not a matter of circumstances but are a matter of the heart, a matter of trust. For at the Fort she meets 2 different army wives one embittered and one content and she is forced to do some self reflection. Will Priscilla lay aside her bitterness and follow her heart and make a life with the Major at the fort or will she retain her bitterness and fight Elliott for custody? Get a copy of the book and prepare to be drawn into Priscilla and Elliott's life and see for yourself what she chooses. I highly recommend this book. Also for the reader this book is a lesson in trust, reminding us that there is much that we cannot control so will we let God be God and trust that he has everything in his control. My favorite quote is 'faith grows most when tested'. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.