, April 21, 2012
(view all comments by Virginia Campbell)
"A Texan's Honor", by Shelley Gray, is a superbly written, thrilling historical western romantic suspense work. I was enthralled with the story line from the opening line all the way through the final sentence, which was just two words, but very meaningful words. After losing both her parents, and having to leave all she has ever known in Denver, CO, young Jamilyn Ellis boards a train to begin a new life with two maiden aunts in Kansas City, KS. There is also a possibility of an engagement with her aunts' neighbor, Randall, with whom Jamie has been corresponding. The train journey proves to be both fateful and eventful, as the train is captured by the Walton Gang, one of the most deadly band of outlaws the West had ever known. Jamie ends up the lone woman hostage, and she is in fear not only for her life, but of a fate worse than death at the hands of the vicious gang. One of the gang members stands out from the rest. Will McMillan, tall, cool and quiet-spoken, becomes Jamie's protector. Even though she senses that Will is no less lethal than his cohorts, she also sees that there are hidden depths to the man, and she realizes that he is her only hope of survival. Unknown to Jamie, Will is an undercover US Marshal, secretly working to bring down James Walton and his criminal empire. A Civil War veteran, Will has seen all the ugliness that life can offer, and he is struck by Jamie's innocence and vulnerability. Yet he also sees that beyond her youthful beauty and lack of worldliness, there is a kindred soul, something he never expected. As the situation on the train becomes more intense and hair-trigger nerves are itching for action, Will knows that the only way to save Jamie is to get her off the train. In a daring escape, they jump from the train and begin a perilous trek to safety. Will loses his heart to Jamie almost from the first moment, but he feels that he is unworthy of her, and he decides he must get her to a safe place and walk away. Jamie, who has low self-esteem due to her parents' indifferent attitude, wants to trust Will, and her heart tells her that she wants to be with him. All the while Jamie and Will are making their way to safety, they are being tracked by one of the Walton Gang, Scout Proffitt. Dressed always in black from head to toe, with eyes darker than midnight, Scout Proffitt strikes with the lethal speed of a rattlesnake. He and Will have a mutual respect, almost a friendship, and neither realizes that they are connected by Scout's older brother Clayton Proffitt, who was Will's captain in the war. As many times as Scout has dealt with the Devil, his soul is not completely lost, and he is conflicted by his lifestyle and his mission to kill Will and recapture Jamie. As he continues his hunt, Scout's life takes twists and turns he never saw coming, and his reunion with Will is not what either man expects. When Jamie is finally brought together with her aunts, her life also takes an unexpected turn. Will hearts be united and spirits granted the salvation they seek? Shelly Gray will take hold of you from the first page, and you will not want her to let you go! Westerns and trains are made for each other, and this book is as exciting and involving as any great Western film you ever seen. It's so vividly written that you are right there in the story line as it unfolds! "A Texan's Honor" is the second book in Shelley Gray's "The Heart of a Hero" series. I also highly recommend the first book, "A Texan's Promise", and I fervently hope that there will be more books to come in this wonderful series.
Review Copy Gratis Abingdon Press