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Monday, November 29, 2010

The Outlaw’s Daughter by Sandi Hampton



The Outlaw’s Daughter by Sandi Hampton
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (79 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 books
Reviewed by Poinsettia

She was one step away from a hanging, not because of anything she'd done, but because of who she was.

He was one step closer to capturing the most notorious outlaw in Texas.

When U.S. Marshal Trey Thornton saves Charlotte "Charlie" Daughtry from a lynch mob, he plans to use her as bait to capture her father and brothers. One thing stood in his way, he fell in love with the outlaw's daughter.

Charlie felt stirrings deep in her heart for the handsome lawman. She wished he could look beyond the Daughtry name and see her for who she truly was - someone who desperately yearned to be loved by him. But could she love a man who wanted to send her father and brothers to the gallows?

What happens when a U.S. Marshal falls in love with an outlaw’s daughter?

Charlie Daughtery was literally about to hang for no other reason than she was the daughter of the notorious outlaw, Bill Daughtery. At the last moment, she is rescued by U.S. Marshal, Trey Thornton. Trey had expected to find the mob lynching one of Bill Daughtery’s sons. He never expected to stumble upon a beautiful woman like Charlie. Even though he finds himself powerfully drawn to Charlie, Trey still plans to use Charlie to bring in Bill Daughtery and his sons. Charlie is grateful for Trey’s assistance, but she plans to escape from his “protective custody” as soon as possible. Even though her father and brothers are outlaws, she still cares about them and doesn’t want to see them captured.

As Trey and Charlie make their way to toward the trap laid for her family, they find themselves unable to resist their growing attraction, and the passion between them ignites. However, Trey still has a job to do, and Charlie is worried that he’ll never truly see beyond her last name. Will they find some common ground or will their differences tear them apart?

Charlie is a likable heroine. She is strong and more than a little stubborn. She’s never been able to depend on anyone but herself because once anyone learns her last name, they instantly hate her. Consequently, she is independent and has a strong sense of who she is, which are very admirable traits. As much as I liked Charlie’s strong side, I also loved that she had a softer more vulnerable side. Charlie is afraid to trust others, but she faces her fear and gives her heart to Trey. I enjoyed watching her open up.

Trey is the classic western lawman. He has all the makings of a great hero, rugged good looks and a strong sense of right and wrong. That alone would make Trey a good character. However, I was pleased to learn that Trey was deeper than that. Almost immediately, Trey begins to have feelings for Charlie, but he still has a sworn duty to bring her father to justice. Trey’s conflict between his love for Charlie and his job adds just the right about of suspense to keep the story interesting. I read the story in one sitting because I had to know how Trey would solve his dilemma.

I did have one issue with the story. The first time that Charlie and Trey make love, it seemed a bit rushed. They had just escaped a precarious situation and suddenly Charlie is begging Trey to “take me now.” The whole situation just felt a little forced. However, I will say that the next time Charlie and Trey come together was more natural.

Despite that small issue, I enjoyed reading The Outlaw’s Daughter. It is a good story filled with likable characters and a satisfying ending. I recommend it to anyone looking for a quick and entertaining read.

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