Bound for Sin
Frontiers of the Heart Series
Published 4th September 2018
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From the author of Bound for Eden comes a new historical Western romance that tests life and love on the Oregon Trail.
WANTED: A resourceful frontiersman, for the purpose of matrimony…
When Georgiana Bee Blunt advertises for a husband, she’s not looking for a handsome man, or a smart man, or a charming man. What she wants is a brute. A no-nonsense, capable backwoodsman who won’t trouble her with talk of love; she just wants someone to get her and her fatherless children safely to California. Matt Slater seems to fit the bill perfectly. The man looks like he could wrestle a bear and not even break a sweat. The only problem is he doesn’t want a wife. Well, not the only problem…
Truth be told, Georgiana has more problems than she knows what to do with. Left holding a gold claim by her not-so-dearly departed husband, Georgina finds her eldest son held ransom by the sinister Hec Boehm and his henchmen, and herself facing a journey of more than two thousand miles to rescue him. With four children in tow. And no nanny.
All Matt Slater wants is to be left alone. He’s spent most his life on his lonesome in the wilderness, and he’s comfortable that way. But then a widow with big blue eyes and the tenacity of a buffalo turns his entire life upside down, and before he knows it, he’s playing caretaker to a pack of kids…and trying not to succumb to their mother’s charms.
We begin this glorious tale in Independence, Missouri, much like in the first book Bound for Eden, however this time we have a different Slater brother and a very different heroine. Georgiana Bee Blunt is not only a strong and resilient woman but the mother of five spirited children, one of whom is being held for ransom by thugs in the gold hills of California. So, with the long and dangerous Oregon Trail before her, she not only needs a wagon train but a man to aid and protect her young family on their journey. Surely such a man would be easy to find on the edge of the wild west. Unfortunately for Georgiana, word has spread that her deceased husband has left her a piece of Californian gold land, and every would-be gold-digger answers her call. Enter Matt Slater, a gruff, grouchy bear of a man, and one of the best wagon train captains Independence has known – and he perfectly fits the necessary requirements for Georgiana’s advertisement. Except he doesn’t want to get married, and he hardly understands how to interact with people at the best of times, so how can he be expected to act the fiancé?
The premise was hilarious and set the characters up for an awkward meet cute, but most of the awkward scenes were eased by the easy nature and devilish actions of the Bee Blunt children. However, the premise also sets in motion a slow burn romance, which is my absolute favourite as you get to understand and watch the characters evolve and develop the relationship throughout the novel. Matt would have to be one of the most beautiful men I have ever read. His character gruff due to his solitary nature, but kind and considerate attention to the needs of others. Matt’s character has been crafted with care and precision by Tess, creating a modern hero to perfectly fit within his historical setting.
I had the pleasure of meeting Tess at the launch party for Bound for Sin, and she believed that Georgiana would be her least popular character. Personally, I had to disagree, as she experienced the most change and challenges throughout the novel, so her character and strength was always being tested, and every time she adapted and came out stronger. Even at one moment, where I cried for her and the horrible circumstances she experienced, she absorbed the pain and shock only to transform it into a new strength to carry her forward. Throughout all her changes, Matt was at her side, not shielding her from struggle but supporting her every step and aiding her when she was too weak to ask for it. That is why I love Matt Slater.
Of course, there is delicious sexual tension that Tess agonisingly teases throughout the novel, but it is absolutely worth every page. Tess’s writing is rich and delectable, tantalising every sense until you are blushing at each kiss, crying with every hurt and savouring every page. Her historical research is astounding. I completely appreciate her dedication to authenticity and grounding the characters in the mid-1800s, as it had additional layers to the complexity of characters and the romance. Definitely one of the best historical romances I have ever read.
Tess chose to set her romantic adventures in the wild west, as it was a place where fiction held power and often dictated the mode of life and crime. So be prepared for vast landscapes, epic adventures and fiery romances. Book three in the series, Bound for Temptation, is due to be released on 31st December 2018.