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She was his brother's wife... Arriving on the Fort Worth train, Miss Amelia Carson, mail-order bride, had never met Dallas Leigh, the Texan she promised to marry. The tall cowboy at the station wasn't Dallas. He was Houston, Dallas's brother, sent to escort her on the rugged three-week trek to the ranch where Dallas waited. Brought up in war-ravaged Georgia, Amelia thought She was his brother's wife... Arriving on the Fort Worth train, Miss Amelia Carson, mail-order bride, had never met Dallas Leigh, the Texan she promised to marry. The tall cowboy at the station wasn't Dallas. He was Houston, Dallas's brother, sent to escort her on the rugged three-week trek to the ranch where Dallas waited. Brought up in war-ravaged Georgia, Amelia thought Dallas's letters made Texas sound like heaven, a place for her dreams to grow with the right man beside her. And his only love... By all appearances, Houston Leigh would hardly be considered the "right man." The war he survived had scarred him inside and out, and he was little competition for his handsome brother. But from the moment Houston met Amelia, he knew she possessed the courage this wild land needed. She had eyes that could see past his wounded face to his soul. And he would fight any man—except his brother—for her heart. Now he and Amelia were riding down dangerous trails, sleeping under the stars, and God help them, they were falling in love.


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She was his brother's wife... Arriving on the Fort Worth train, Miss Amelia Carson, mail-order bride, had never met Dallas Leigh, the Texan she promised to marry. The tall cowboy at the station wasn't Dallas. He was Houston, Dallas's brother, sent to escort her on the rugged three-week trek to the ranch where Dallas waited. Brought up in war-ravaged Georgia, Amelia thought She was his brother's wife... Arriving on the Fort Worth train, Miss Amelia Carson, mail-order bride, had never met Dallas Leigh, the Texan she promised to marry. The tall cowboy at the station wasn't Dallas. He was Houston, Dallas's brother, sent to escort her on the rugged three-week trek to the ranch where Dallas waited. Brought up in war-ravaged Georgia, Amelia thought Dallas's letters made Texas sound like heaven, a place for her dreams to grow with the right man beside her. And his only love... By all appearances, Houston Leigh would hardly be considered the "right man." The war he survived had scarred him inside and out, and he was little competition for his handsome brother. But from the moment Houston met Amelia, he knew she possessed the courage this wild land needed. She had eyes that could see past his wounded face to his soul. And he would fight any man—except his brother—for her heart. Now he and Amelia were riding down dangerous trails, sleeping under the stars, and God help them, they were falling in love.

30 review for Texas Destiny

  1. 4 out of 5

    UniquelyMoi ~ BlithelyBookish

    Finally on Kindle!!! I know people, including myself, who paid a small fortune on eBay for used copies of these books, but I just discovered they're FINALLY available on kindle! These 3 books are seriously 3 of my favorite historical romances, and worth every penny! And yes, I'll be buying them again! Texas Destiny http://amzn.to/1HA0eD0 Texas Glory http://amzn.to/1Lmm1if Texas Splendor http://amzn.to/1FExUQA My review... Texas Destiny is the first book in Lorraine Heath’s Texas Trilogy, and my firs Finally on Kindle!!! I know people, including myself, who paid a small fortune on eBay for used copies of these books, but I just discovered they're FINALLY available on kindle! These 3 books are seriously 3 of my favorite historical romances, and worth every penny! And yes, I'll be buying them again! Texas Destiny http://amzn.to/1HA0eD0 Texas Glory http://amzn.to/1Lmm1if Texas Splendor http://amzn.to/1FExUQA My review... Texas Destiny is the first book in Lorraine Heath’s Texas Trilogy, and my first read by this author. From the reviews and recommendations by friends, I was expecting a really good book, but ended up totally blown away by how much I loved this story. Great hero, great heroine, believable storyline, humor, passion… this book has everything I need for a 5 star read. Dallas Leigh knew what he wanted and wasn't afraid to do whatever it took to realize his dreams. Already a successful rancher and land owner, the only thing he was lacking was a son to leave his legacy to, so when Dallas saw an ad for a woman looking to become a mail order bride, he began correspondence. After having exchanged letters for a year, Dallas decides that he wants Amelia to be the woman to share his dreams and give him the son he longs for. But just when it was time for him to make the three week journey into Fort Worth to meet his new bride, he fell from a horse he was trying to break and ended up being the one who got broken – his leg, that is. Clearly unable to make the trip to meet the woman who had traveled halfway across the country to marry him, Dallas’ has no other choice than to send his brother, Houston, to meet Amelia at the train station and wait patiently for their return. I love a story with a tortured hero, and Houston Leigh is certainly that. He has terrible scars on his face and body, a result of a near fatal injury during Civil War where at 14 years old, he served as his father’s drummer. He spent so much of his life hiding in the shadows and wishing he had died on the battlefield rather than living the life he’s had to endure. His torment doesn’t just come from his own scars, but from the pain of believing that his father died on that same battlefield because of Houston’s cowardice. He’s certain his brothers, Dallas and Austin, also blame him for their father’s death, and given that no woman can stand to look at him with his disfigured face, he’s resigned himself to a life of solitude. Amelia Carson is a strong, resourceful woman with a take charge attitude, so traveling across country to start a new life with a man she’s never met is more exciting than frightening. Besides, her life has been anything but easy, and she’s got more than her own share of childhood trauma to deal with and making this trip is nothing compared to the things she’d endured. She was looking forward to meeting her fiancé and spending the time it took to travel back to his ranch getting to know him, but much to her surprise, the man who met her at the station wasn’t Dallas. The three weeks it takes to get to the ranch made for some great reading. There was laughter, tears, danger and passion, and I enjoyed it all so much I didn’t want the journey to end, but of course it had to. Once they made it to Dallas’ ranch, the story could have become over the top dark and depressing, but it never did. I was sure there would be angst, and there was. Truth be told, it was an emotional roller coaster ride, but it never became so unbearable that I felt like I needed to put the book down to take a breather. In fact, the book was so good I couldn’t put it down at all! I’m thrilled to have found this trilogy and owe a huge debt of gratitude to my Goodreads friends who mentioned this book again and again. Houston Leigh now holds a spot on my Top Hero shelf, and it’s not easy to earn that place of honor.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Naksed

    Oh hell, where do I even begin with this hot mess? I hated it. Hated it, hated it, hated it. Did I mention I hated it? Now, let me take a deep breath, calm myself and tell you how I really feel. Yup. Still hated it. Let's begin with the absurdly flowery prose that made me barf at every turn. When the hero, Houston, meets mail order bride Amelia (a bride meant for his brother), he naturally is taken by her eyes. Amelia Carson...was a heart-in-her-eyes woman. Everything she thought, everything s Oh hell, where do I even begin with this hot mess? I hated it. Hated it, hated it, hated it. Did I mention I hated it? Now, let me take a deep breath, calm myself and tell you how I really feel. Yup. Still hated it. Let's begin with the absurdly flowery prose that made me barf at every turn. When the hero, Houston, meets mail order bride Amelia (a bride meant for his brother), he naturally is taken by her eyes. Amelia Carson...was a heart-in-her-eyes woman. Everything she thought, everything she felt reflected clearly in her eyes. In her green, green eyes. The warm depths reminded him of fields of clover he'd run through as a boy. Barefoot. The clover had resembled velvet caressing his rough soles. For a brief moment, he actually relished the thought of holding her gaze. His brown eyes could serve as the soil in which her green clover took root." Running barefoot with your crusty soled feet into the velvet grass stains of her eyes? Barf. That image tops all I have read in romance books so far about incomparable, unique, mesmerizing eyes, and I have come across many. Eyes that are icy blue like the fjords of Finland. Violet eyes that shine like gemstones illuminated by fire. Grey eyes like the clouds floating on an overcast sky about to rain. Eyes that are different colors. Eyes that reflect the feelings and moods of their owner. Eyes that shimmer in twilight, burn at dawn, darken with lust, dilate with fear. I even once read about grey and red eyes, apparently stained with corneal bleeding. The brown soil of his eyes planted with the velvety grass stains of her eyes were the uncontested winners in this competition though. Next, Amelia's laughter reminds Houston of spring rain, soothing and sweet, the kind of rain that a man simply removed his hat to enjoy as it washed over him. The thought of Houston, nineteenth century, hardened, scarred, Civil War veteran and hermit-like horse wrangler, standing beneath sweet rain while his crusty toes curl around Amelia's velvety, grass-like eyes gave me a few good chuckles. So I went on. Back to her clover eyes, which reflected her heart as openly as a book. Yeah, yeah, you already told us, Amelia is a heart-in-her-eyes kind of gal. Next! When they first kiss, he gentled the kiss because she wasn't a whore whose body he wanted to use to gratify his lust. Wow, what a romantic, eh? Not to mention he is kissing his brother's bride. Then, you guessed it, back to the clover eyes again: A woman with eyes the green of clover, hair the shade of an Autumn moon. And courage as boundless as the West Texas plains. And what else, an ass as wide as the East Texas plains? A chest as bountiful as two baskets of corn bread doused with thick molasses? Come on, don't just stop there... When Houston kisses her, Amelia feels a desire that exploded like fireworks on the Fourth of July. Oh, good grief. She wants him to kiss her again but there's that little matter of her being betrothed to Houston's brother, marriage contract signed and everything. So her brilliant come-on to Houston? Kiss me as though I had no contract binding me to another. Wow, she is almost as romantic as he is. Houston is trying to do the right thing but Amelia is going to beat that horse dead. As she wistfully watches him wrestle with his wild horses, she wished for an insane minute that she was a horse, that he could love her as he did his mustang. Maybe if she was a Mustang with clover green eyes, he would. Okay, enough of this, let's move on to the plot of this book. If you are still interested in this well of fantastically flowery prose, let me warn you, SPOILERS ahead. (view spoiler)[So basically, my biggest problem with this was the cheating. Houston and Amelia are having an emotional and physical affair all the while she is betrothed to his freaking brother! I don't dismiss books simply because there is cheating in them, but let's get real. In my romances, I want to feel romantic. Cheating is soooo not romantic so it is going to take a Herculean emotional connection for me to be on the protags'side. Here, aside from the ridiculous dialogue and inner monologue, the characters were flat, their connection murky, and their actions despicable all the way right through the marriage ceremony where she looks at him to say something to prevent her wedding but he decides to hold his peace. They are both cowardly, hypocritical and two-faced. The only character who had any redeeming quality in all this was the cuckolded brother. If this book was not enough of a hot mess, we have countless OTT plot developments, whereas the heroine is constantly getting herself from one mess to another, from jumping into a river to save Houston even though she doesn't know how to swim, to getting kidnapped on the night of her wedding by a band of outlaws. Puh-leeeeze. (hide spoiler)] This has gotten glowing reviews and is at the top of the list for best western historical romances alongside authors I truly admire like Penelope Williamson and Ellen O'Connell so go figure! This might have been a catastrophe for me but it may be a gem for someone else. Read at your own risk!!! Edited and re-posted on November 20, 2016, with some additional gifs.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Dina

    I love tortured heroes, and Houston was as tortured as one can be. Slighted (to put it mildly) by his father since childhood, he was forced to fight in the Civil War at the tender age of twelve, only to lose half his face, his eye, and hearing in one ear three years later. The way he saw it, his life was over by the time he was fifteen years old. Now, thirteen years later, he still wonders why he didn't put an end to it. Houston had all the markings to make me want to cuddle him and never let go I love tortured heroes, and Houston was as tortured as one can be. Slighted (to put it mildly) by his father since childhood, he was forced to fight in the Civil War at the tender age of twelve, only to lose half his face, his eye, and hearing in one ear three years later. The way he saw it, his life was over by the time he was fifteen years old. Now, thirteen years later, he still wonders why he didn't put an end to it. Houston had all the markings to make me want to cuddle him and never let go but, unfortunately, it didn't work that way. The problem was, I love tortured and strong heroes who, once they realize they're in love with the heroine, at least try to overcome his fears and fight for her. Houston pretty much hid in the corner and let Amelia go. As for Amelia, she was practically a saint but, like Houston, she wasn't one to fight for what she wanted. She accepted her marriage to Dallas, Houston's brother, with such calm that I grinded my teeth in frustration. And her asking Houston about what would happen on her wedding night with his brother?!? That was so insensitive! The worst thing was, he answered her question and even tried to reassure her! I still wonder how those two ended up together, since both were so intent on letting the other go. I guess it was their destiny. This was my first book by Lorraine Heath and I liked her writing style. But I'm sorry to say, I was disappointed with the story. A friend of mine gave me the whole Texas trilogy, along with high praises about the books, so I'm already bracing myself to let her know I'm not too thrilled about reading the next books in the series. I'll probably read them because I'm curious about Houston's brothers, but that won't be happening soon.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Melanie A. *mostly on hiatus*

    Audio: 5 STARS! Story: 5 STARS! "I've always believed that dreams were meant to be shared. Where's the joy in reaching for something if you have no one to see you capture it?" I feel like I've just won the lottery! An incredibly talented author with a sense of romance that matches my own?!!! One with a huge backlist for me to go through? Life doesn't get much better. Honestly, I was skeptical when I started, but I've been on the edge of a slump for over a month now and I was desperate Audio: 5 STARS! Story: 5 STARS! "I've always believed that dreams were meant to be shared. Where's the joy in reaching for something if you have no one to see you capture it?" I feel like I've just won the lottery! An incredibly talented author with a sense of romance that matches my own?!!! One with a huge backlist for me to go through? Life doesn't get much better. Honestly, I was skeptical when I started, but I've been on the edge of a slump for over a month now and I was desperate for something to snap me out of it. But a romance novel published in 1997? In 1997 you couldn't have paid me to read this book, LOL. I was busy with things like The Lord of the Rings. Buffy started in 1997. Harry Potter came out in 1997. I was busy . . . I was a fool. Anyway, Texas Destiny was the TOTAL BOMB! I loved Amelia and her sweet but strong nature, and I loved Houston and his tortured broodiness. The way the author built up their relationship was nothing short of genius . . . there was a perfect balance of angst, humor, heat and poetry to the writing. I couldn't have asked for more. Except I got more b/c the audio performance was incredible! On to book 2 - IMMEDIATELY! A huge thank you to Donati for convincing me to try this author out! <3

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mo

    why did I download this book??? LOVED IT but now I have to read the next in the series - costing me a friggin fortune these kindle downloads ..... FANTASTIC ... off to read Texas Glory now. why did I download this book??? LOVED IT but now I have to read the next in the series - costing me a friggin fortune these kindle downloads ..... FANTASTIC ... off to read Texas Glory now.

  6. 4 out of 5

    *TANYA*

    Wow, was so freaking endearing! I would have given it 5 amazing stars if it hadn’t been for one minor detail that I detested. Other than that this book was superb.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Buggy

    Opening Line: “His was not a face that women carried with them into their dreams” Oh how I loved this one. I actually sought out a used copy of Texas Destiny because it had received such rave reviews and WOW am I ever glad I did. I knew going in I was going to like this because I’ve got such a soft spot when it comes to the tortured heroes but I never expected to be as moved as I was by this beautiful story. Just know any review I attempt here really won’t do this justice. I fell in love with both Opening Line: “His was not a face that women carried with them into their dreams” Oh how I loved this one. I actually sought out a used copy of Texas Destiny because it had received such rave reviews and WOW am I ever glad I did. I knew going in I was going to like this because I’ve got such a soft spot when it comes to the tortured heroes but I never expected to be as moved as I was by this beautiful story. Just know any review I attempt here really won’t do this justice. I fell in love with both the hero and heroine and literally couldn’t stop reading mostly because Lorraine Heath never took the easy route with their story. Just when I thought I had it all figured out she went the opposite way or moved things past where I thought she was going to. She also gives us multifaceted characters who only over the course of the book manage to reveal their whole selves. Our couples back stories are both heartbreaking, talk about wounded souls finding each other. Unfortunately for them our heroine has already promised herself to another and the hero doesn’t feel anywhere near worthy of fighting for her love, especially up against his successful, good looking, older brother. But the heart wants what the heart wants, and sometimes it isn’t a fancy house and lots of frills but a quiet life in a one room cabin with small dreams, a few horses and a man that makes your toes curl regardless of what he looks like. Amelia Carson has just arrived on the Fort Worth train, she’s a mail order bride trying to leave the horrors of war-ravaged Georgia behind and start a new life for herself in Texas. She’s been corresponding with Dallas Leigh for a year now, agreeing to marry him and in exchange for travel expenses signing a promissory note. (Its 1876 so the deed is as good as done.) Now all she can hope is that Dallas is everything she imagined he’d be from his letters. However it’s not Dallas who meets Amelia’s train (due to a broken leg he’s been unable to travel.) The tall cowboy keeping to the shadows is his younger brother Houston and she’s going to be stuck with the scarred and bad tempered man for the entire three week wagon journey back to Dallas’s ranch. Houston doesn’t talk much and almost always keeps his face turned away, but Amelia’s an optimistic character and it doesn’t take long before she’s able to break down Houston’s defences. Missing an eye and badly disfigured this weary, ex-Civil War soldier has survived the war but its left him scarred inside and out and he now prefers the company of horses to people. Amelia has brought something back to life in him though and he can’t help wishing things were somehow different. As it stands his memories are going to have to last a lifetime because she belongs to his brother and he’s going to deliver her to him and watch them get married because Amelia deserves so much more then he could ever hope to give her. Of course the return trip doesn’t go quite as smoothly as planned and Houston and Amelia are forced to rely on each other to survive, growing ever closer and falling in love. And this is where things got interesting because I expected the brother to be a mean horrible man (makes for an easy story right) but no, he’s a nice guy, who would make an excellent husband, remaining true and providing Amelia with a good life. This makes her decision very difficult especially when the one she really wants keeps pushing her away. Part 1 of the Texas Trilogy. 271jb5+

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bark | Ladies Of Horror Fiction

    How do I begin to describe such a beautiful story as TEXAS DESTINY? I could talk about the post civil war Texas setting and describe the mail order bride plot but that doesn't even begin to touch on the emotional impact of Ms. Heath's newest work. This book touched me from beginning to end and is a book I'll always treasure. It's also the first of a trilogy. Woo-hoo! Houston Leigh's brother Dallas has broken his leg and is unable to make the trip to pick up his mail order bride-to-be Amelia Carso How do I begin to describe such a beautiful story as TEXAS DESTINY? I could talk about the post civil war Texas setting and describe the mail order bride plot but that doesn't even begin to touch on the emotional impact of Ms. Heath's newest work. This book touched me from beginning to end and is a book I'll always treasure. It's also the first of a trilogy. Woo-hoo! Houston Leigh's brother Dallas has broken his leg and is unable to make the trip to pick up his mail order bride-to-be Amelia Carson. Houston has hideous facial scarring on one side of his handsome face and has lived his adult life hiding in shadows and covering his face with his hat. He has shunned human contact and feels most content in the company of his horses. Because of his scars and less than charming personality Dallas feels it's safe to assume his new bride won't fall for his brother during the three week trek. Amelia is disappointed that she has to spend three weeks with her fiancé's grouchy brother but tries to make the best out of her situation by trying to engage him in conversation. She bugs him with irritating questions he doesn't want to answer and eventually she gets under his skin. Although it scares him he slowly opens up to her and they form a hesitant friendship which gets stronger as the days pass and they reveal bits of themselves to each other. Both of their lives have been shattered by the war and they've both dealt with it differently. He has given up on his dreams and withdrawn from the world while she is the eternal optimist finding something to be grateful for in every situation. She looks at her future with joy anxiously biding her time when she can turn her dreams into reality. She even manages to find a dream for Houston to believe in but they despair because she is promised to his brother . . . The hurting and lovable characters are what make this story so memorable. In the majority of romances I've read one character usually really comes alive while the other gets the short shrift. That's so not so in this case! I loved the heroine as much as the hero in TEXAS DESTINY. She's a woman who has seen the worst life has to offer but hasn't been beaten down by it. Her optimism and willingness to embrace life is refreshing and believable. And Houston . . . he's my favorite kind of hero. He's a wounded soul, with lots of integrity, he's serious, heroic, and best of all he's sensitive. He's been dealt a raw deal by life and really needs a hug. This story is extremely realistic for instance there is no witty banter during their first few days together but instead there are lots of awkward attempts at conversation and long silences. Houston's makes several desperate attempts to come up with words to charm Amelia but always ends fails. These little touches are what make the couple so endearing. I know many readers avoid the Civil War period but this book is less about the war and more about the healing of two people who as children had to bear witness to human nature's darkest side. But don't think it's all darkness and pain! The book is filled with so many tender moments my eyes were stinging and there is a quiet wit that made me smile. The longing, the soft caresses, the hot kisses, the despair and the impossible love these two share made my heart ache but somehow they always managed to maintain their senses of humor. The sense of place is done so well I felt like I was living the story. I stayed up late reading with a flashlight until 12am last night because I just didn't want to put this book down. This is very rare for me since I get up at 5am! I'm a zombie today but boy was it ever worth it

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lyn❤Loves❤Listening #AUDIOBOOKADDICT

    Audio - 5 stars Story - 3 stars One of the rare occasions were the heroine outshined the hero. His insecurities bordered on pathetic. Or maybe I'm just being cold hearted. I got tired of him pushing the heroine away because he didn't feel worthy. ugh! Audio - 5 stars Story - 3 stars One of the rare occasions were the heroine outshined the hero. His insecurities bordered on pathetic. Or maybe I'm just being cold hearted. I got tired of him pushing the heroine away because he didn't feel worthy. ugh!

  10. 4 out of 5

    KatLynne

    Wow - what can I say that hasn't already been written about this amazing story? I loved everything about it! After reading the synopsis I kept putting this one on the back burner. At that time I hadn't read many Western Historicals and figured this would probably be just an ok read for me. Recently I have been enjoying many wonderful books in this genre (thanks to my GR friends) and so when my friend Denise *smiling* "insisted" that I read this one and then backed by Katrina’s comments, I though Wow - what can I say that hasn't already been written about this amazing story? I loved everything about it! After reading the synopsis I kept putting this one on the back burner. At that time I hadn't read many Western Historicals and figured this would probably be just an ok read for me. Recently I have been enjoying many wonderful books in this genre (thanks to my GR friends) and so when my friend Denise *smiling* "insisted" that I read this one and then backed by Katrina’s comments, I thought I'd give it a go! Immediately upon starting I asked myself why did I hesitate! There is something unique about Houston Leigh and I loved him right from the start. He drew me into his heart and I don't think I've ever wanted a HEA as badly as I wanted this for him. And nineteen year old Amelia Carson, with her determination and courage was perfect for Houston. Having lost all in the war, she longs to share in someone’s dream. She needed to start a new life and agrees to become the mail-order-bride of Houston’s brother, Dallas. The day before she was to arrive, Dallas broke his leg and sends Houston to collect and take care of her on their three week journey to his home. And boy what a journey! Houston Leigh carries the scars from not only his time in the Civil War but from abusive acts received from his father. The left side of his face is severely damaged and it now has become second nature for him to shield and keep this side in shadows. But his greatest scarring is inside, deep down to his soul where his spirit is broken and a deep loneliness is his constant companion. He is a man without hope, despairing of a better future. But all this changes with a petite Georgian who is smart, witty, determined, courageous and curious! I loved Amelia and she is perfect for Houston. She sees more than his disfigurement and quickly has a desire for him to see that he didn’t have to hug walls or view life through shadows of his own making. He is ruggedly handsome, tall and powerfully built. I loved his sexy voice! I totally loved his protectiveness and his tenderness to Amelia. *sighing*..Can you tell how much I lurrrv him and he will always be one of my all time favorite heroes! I thoroughly enjoyed going on their journey watching as two people discover the magic of first love, holding my breath in anticipation of the outcome of the many obstacles they encountered along the way and the wonderful transformation throughout the book replacing despair with new hope and a sharing of dreams for the future! There were no steamy love scenes but plenty of burgeoning desire and I found this more than adequate for a beautifully done work capturing the essence of love and the transformation it brings. Each day they were together brought them closer but always lingering is the knowledge of the mail-order-contract. For me, this was an emotional read. I laughed, cried, and was completely enthralled! And I loved every minute of it! Houston and Amelia will always be one of my favorite couples. Thank you Denise for recommending this beautiful jewel to me! I can never do this book justice with my review and would like to share just a small smidgeon of Houston's feelings for Amelia...... (view spoiler)[Like most cowboys, Houston had never hit a man. Guns were a man's way, not fist. His brother's face felt like a wall of stone when Houston's fist made contact.....Houston lept off the porch and planted his foot squarely on his brother's chest. ... "I told you to stay off that g**damn horse, but you wouldn't listen! And I paid the price for your stubborness. For forty-three days I traveled through hell, wanting that woman like I've never wanted anything in my life. For forty-three days, I drew your g**damn brand in the dirt to remind myself that she belonged to you, that she deserved the best of men. Think what you want of me, but never for one g**damn minute think less of her because you forced her into my company." He jerked his foot back. "She went through hell to get to you; snake, storm, flood, hunger and cold, and she never once complained. She's a woman of courage, Dallas, and by god, if you don't worship the ground she walks on, I'll find her a husband who will. Now, get the hell of my land." (hide spoiler)]

  11. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    4 STARS “I’ve got a one-room cabin, a few horses, and a dream that’s so small it won’t even cover your palm. But it sure seems a lot bigger when you’re beside me.” The moonlight streaming through the window shimmered off the tears trailing along her cheeks. “I’ve always wanted a dream that I could hold in the palm of my hand.” A sweet western romance set in West Texas, post-Civil War era. A mail-order bride travels west to fulfill her dreams of finally having a home, a family, and the s 4 STARS “I’ve got a one-room cabin, a few horses, and a dream that’s so small it won’t even cover your palm. But it sure seems a lot bigger when you’re beside me.” The moonlight streaming through the window shimmered off the tears trailing along her cheeks. “I’ve always wanted a dream that I could hold in the palm of my hand.” A sweet western romance set in West Texas, post-Civil War era. A mail-order bride travels west to fulfill her dreams of finally having a home, a family, and the safety only a man like Dallas Leigh can offer. But something happens along the way that will alter her plans for happiness and steer her destiny in a whole new direction. This was my first book by this author. And I am looking forward to reading many more. Starting with the next in the series.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mei

    I wish to thank my friend Jill for recommanding me this book! *kisses* Lovely, lovely, lovely!!! A real romantic, heartbraking love story! The hero, Houston, is scarred all the way down to his soul... poor guy... At the beginning he's so closed that was painful to read about it. He resented his brother Dallas for sending him to retrieve his bride. He din't want to have to do it, but did it all the same. His scarred face should have frightened Amelia, but instead she's intrigued. Amelia is Houston's I wish to thank my friend Jill for recommanding me this book! *kisses* Lovely, lovely, lovely!!! A real romantic, heartbraking love story! The hero, Houston, is scarred all the way down to his soul... poor guy... At the beginning he's so closed that was painful to read about it. He resented his brother Dallas for sending him to retrieve his bride. He din't want to have to do it, but did it all the same. His scarred face should have frightened Amelia, but instead she's intrigued. Amelia is Houston's opposite! She's scarred inside too, but she learned to fight her fear with funny little expedient: she lookes for any reason to be grateful in any situation, even the hopeless ones. Where Houston is silent, she's outspoken; where he's trying to hide, she presses him to open up; where he wants to do the (view spoiler)[wrong (hide spoiler)] thing to protect her from himself, she's trying to get him to do it with everything in her. I loved Amelia's persistence. Once she realizes she's in love with Houston, she doesn't hesitate to tell him. It's him that's so concerned about having nothing to offer her, that he stubbornly pushed her away. (view spoiler)[Pushes her away so much that she end marrying Dallas! (hide spoiler)] At this point I wanted to slap him!! It takes an almost death situation to make him realize that he has to acknowledge that he needs and loves her! His wedding vow was simply beautiful! “I’m not a brave man; I’ll never be a hero, but I love you more than life itself, and I will until the day I die. With you by my side, I’m a better man than I’ve ever been alone. I’m scared to death that I’ll let you down, but I won’t run this time. I’ll stand firm and face the challenge and work hard to see that you never have any regrets. You told me once that you wanted to share a corner of my dream. Without you, Amelia, I have no dream. With you, I have everything I could ever dream of wanting.” Tears burned her eyes as he glanced back at the preacher. “I’m done.” There's heat in the story, even if there's no sex until the very end, but still you feel the need, the ache. It is very well done! I would say that even if Houston has his desires, it was Alemia who voiced hers! I loved that she wasn't shy in her wanting Houston! :D As I said: a beautiful love story! :D

  13. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Kay

    Wow! Can I give this book more than 5 stars? I am still speechless. Glad I have two more books to go in the series.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Zoe

    I FINALLY FINISHED THIS BOOK. This book is one hell of a slow burn. Lorraine Heath writes beautifully. I never felt otherwise about her writing, even when I was less impressed with the story. But in this case, I actually liked the book. Texas Destiny is the story of the second brother of the Leigh brothers, Houston. He was sent to bring Amelia, his brother Dallas's mail order bride, to Dallas's home. Houston and Amelia fell in love with each other on the way. But Amelia married Dallas anyway bec I FINALLY FINISHED THIS BOOK. This book is one hell of a slow burn. Lorraine Heath writes beautifully. I never felt otherwise about her writing, even when I was less impressed with the story. But in this case, I actually liked the book. Texas Destiny is the story of the second brother of the Leigh brothers, Houston. He was sent to bring Amelia, his brother Dallas's mail order bride, to Dallas's home. Houston and Amelia fell in love with each other on the way. But Amelia married Dallas anyway because well, as poignantly pointed out in the book by Lorraine Heath herself, "Dallas asked and Houston didn't". I had to push myself to inch forward in the first 50%. Because in this part there was little romance, even though the attraction was there. Heath did not spend too much time on the romance, She chose to define the characters. Things picked up when they were close to Dallas's home and ah the regrets and yearning, I think I shed one or two tears reading about Houston and Amelia's trepidation and how they tried to do the right thing. In short: great writing as one could expect from Lorraine Heath, a very touching story about romance and brotherhood. The story asks for patience and one may be impatient with how Houston would not do anything to further his relationship with Amelia. But I'd say it is worth the wait after you get to 50%. Not an easy book to love and gush about, but a really good book nonetheless.

  15. 4 out of 5

    ♥Sharon♥

    "You told me once that you wanted to share a corner of my dream. Without you, Amelia, I have no dream. With you, I have everything I could ever dream of wanting." Just finished this and oh how I enjoyed it! What a sweet story. I fell in love with Houston from the get go and never looked back. And neither did Amelia. Amelia had pledged herself to Houston's brother Dallas but on the faithful day that they met she gave a little piece of her heart to Houston. Little did she know she'd be "You told me once that you wanted to share a corner of my dream. Without you, Amelia, I have no dream. With you, I have everything I could ever dream of wanting." Just finished this and oh how I enjoyed it! What a sweet story. I fell in love with Houston from the get go and never looked back. And neither did Amelia. Amelia had pledged herself to Houston's brother Dallas but on the faithful day that they met she gave a little piece of her heart to Houston. Little did she know she'd be giving him the rest. ❩ I loved every minute of their journey back to the ranch. But my heart broke for Houston once they had returned. He never felt he was deserving of anything good and least of all the love of Amelia. He was determined to do right by her whether she agreed or not. I'll be honest and say there were a few moments when I wanted to reach into my kindle and sit this man down and tell him how awfully stupid he was being. And then finally..... A must read if you are a fan of Lorraine Heath! Off to read Texas Glory!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mirjana **DTR - Down to Read**

    ***5 Stars*** OMG THIS BOOK IS ALL THE HEART EYES!!! Full review to come, but know it's gonna be an explosion of happy reader. But first I want to say that I'm mad. So damn mad. At myself. I've had this paperback sitting on my shelf for some time now and it seriously saddens me that all this time, this story...these characters...were just sitting on my shelf ignored. I walked past this book everyday not knowing the amazing story I was missing out on. Me = SO MAD ***5 Stars*** OMG THIS BOOK IS ALL THE HEART EYES!!! Full review to come, but know it's gonna be an explosion of happy reader. But first I want to say that I'm mad. So damn mad. At myself. I've had this paperback sitting on my shelf for some time now and it seriously saddens me that all this time, this story...these characters...were just sitting on my shelf ignored. I walked past this book everyday not knowing the amazing story I was missing out on. Me = SO MAD

  17. 5 out of 5

    Yodamom

    There wasn't anything not to love here. Slow building romance, wounded souls, broken dreams rekindled, hope and the nicest characters. Then you add an excellent narrator and it's perfect. This is a classic sweet romantic tale, that would make an excellent movie. There wasn't anything not to love here. Slow building romance, wounded souls, broken dreams rekindled, hope and the nicest characters. Then you add an excellent narrator and it's perfect. This is a classic sweet romantic tale, that would make an excellent movie.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Al George

    Yea, this one was a slow burn At first I was totally in to this Beauty and the Best redux. We have the scarred hero, Houston - be still my beating, beta male loving, heart - and dearest Amelia. Amelia is a made to order, er, mail order bride soon to wed wounded Houston's brother Dallas. You see what Ms. Heath did there, right. And yes, the other brother's name is Austin. Let's get all of that out of the way right here and now and would someone tell me when we get to meet Waco? Or El Paso? Anyway, Yea, this one was a slow burn At first I was totally in to this Beauty and the Best redux. We have the scarred hero, Houston - be still my beating, beta male loving, heart - and dearest Amelia. Amelia is a made to order, er, mail order bride soon to wed wounded Houston's brother Dallas. You see what Ms. Heath did there, right. And yes, the other brother's name is Austin. Let's get all of that out of the way right here and now and would someone tell me when we get to meet Waco? Or El Paso? Anyway, Houston has been sent to Ft. Worthless, er, Worth, to fetch our fair Amelia. And they travel over hill and dale to get back to Dallas' ranch which funnily enough must be somewhere around Lubbock from what I gather. On the way they have trials and tribulations. I was in to this story. It was good. Really good. Then for some reason, it sagged a bit and then got good again. Like I said slow burn. Stick with it, when you read the book. You'll see. There's a pay off and I don't mean sexy times although there is some of that, finally. Don't hold your breath here....it's pretty gentle and tame. But it's a slow burn all the same. I said that already, right? Quick H/h Rundown Amelia - can be annoying. If you don't kiss me, I shall perish annoying. Get past that ok? She's tough. She's a feeler. She's awesome. I mean really awesome. Get over her naivete and get over her irritating points. She's worth it. Houston - yea, he's the real star of this book. Quiet. Not easily riled, as it were. Gentle but tough. Scarred inside and out. And one of the most tender heroes I have ever read. I find myself missing him already.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lisa (Remarkablylisa)

    First time trying western and this is why... I don't read them. This one had so many mentions of horses and wagons and I was so bored. First time trying western and this is why... I don't read them. This one had so many mentions of horses and wagons and I was so bored.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Julianna

    Reviewed for THC Reviews I absolutely loved the first book I read by Lorraine Heath several months ago, so I'm not sure why it took me so long to try another one of her novels. Whatever the reason, I am so glad that I finally got around to it, because she has given me another gem of a read. Ms. Heath is an author who knows how to write deeply affecting stories with complex, multi-layered characters who are easy to love in spite of their flaws. She also has an incredible perception of human nature Reviewed for THC Reviews I absolutely loved the first book I read by Lorraine Heath several months ago, so I'm not sure why it took me so long to try another one of her novels. Whatever the reason, I am so glad that I finally got around to it, because she has given me another gem of a read. Ms. Heath is an author who knows how to write deeply affecting stories with complex, multi-layered characters who are easy to love in spite of their flaws. She also has an incredible perception of human nature and emotions which she conveys with a masterful hand through those characters. Texas Destiny is just such a tale in which the author takes two wounded and lonely, but very strong, individuals, and brings them together in a believable way to find healing, peace and happiness. Although their experiences differed, Houston and Amelia had both endured the horrors of the Civil War, and as such were able to understand and sympathize with one another in ways that others might not have. The added challenge of braving the harsh trail from Fort Worth to Houston's brother, Dallas' ranch added the necessity of their reliance on one another, which built a beautiful bond of trust and friendship between them and ultimately led to a deep and lasting love. Also, in both of her books that I've read, Ms. Heath has an interesting way of presenting the Civil War and its aftermath. In Texas Destiny, both Houston and Dallas were forced by their father to march off to war when they were still mere boys, no older than my own son. When the reader realizes that Houston faced the horrors of warfare and was gravely injured before he was even old enough to have his first shave or loose his virginity, it really put things into stark perspective, and even though it saddened me to think about it, I like that the author didn't shy away from this reality. I couldn't help but love Houston. When the reader first meets him at the train station in Fort Worth, it seems like he is going to be one of those intense alphas who is a man of few words, but it doesn't take long to realize that he has the sweet sensitive heart of a beta hero. Houston has suppressed that side of himself, because his father beat him every time he thought that Houston was doing the slightest thing that he considered “unmanly” and constantly berated him as being inferior to Dallas. Houston also believes himself a coward, because of something that happened during the war for which he cannot forgive himself. He is disfigured by extensive facial scarring and lost an eye and his hearing in one ear due to injuries he received in the war, so he hides under his hat and people usually tend to give him a wide berth. He has lived a life of relative solitude until Amelia comes along and takes an interest in him as a person, which brings out another side of his personality that his brothers thought was long gone. I thought it was sweet that Houston didn't think he knew the first thing about taking care of a woman, but he keeps doing such thoughtful little things for Amelia like making sure she had a new wardrobe before leaving town or warming water for her each night on the trail so she could take a sponge bath. He also gently nursed her back to health when she was bitten by a snake, and was incredibly protective of her. I thought it was cute how he kept thinking that he had hurt Amelia's feelings by something he had said and needed to find a way to apologize, even though most of the time she wasn't offended at all. In my opinion, all these things showed what a kind, caring person he was inside. Houston did frustrate me just a little when it seemed like he was willing to give up the best thing that ever happened to him, but I understood the depth of his pain and self-recrimination enough that it made sense. In doing so, events propelled him to finally come to terms with the past and take a bold step to make Amelia his. Amelia was one of those rare, near-perfect heroines for me. She is strong and determined, having lived through the deaths of her entire family during and following the Civil War. Amelia accepted the marriage proposal of a man she had never met, and courageously ventured forth to a wild, untamed land to become his wife, never expecting to fall in love with his brother along the way instead. No matter how difficult things got, she never complained. I loved how she was always looking for something to be grateful for, even in the midst of perilous circumstances. Amelia was a very intuitive heroine who saw through Houston's facade right from the start. She manages to chip away at the walls around him by simply being her sweet, caring self. I enjoyed the way she teased Houston, simply because she wanted the joy of seeing him smile or hearing him laugh, and eventually her efforts were rewarded. I think the thing I liked most of all about her was that right from the start, she was never the least bit put off by Houston's terrible scars. She was never afraid to touch him or look at him with love and compassion instead of the revulsion he normally got. Amelia also never begged or pleaded for Houston to admit his love for her even though she knew it existed. She simply accepted her lot, and patiently waited for him to make peace with himself even if that meant giving him up. The only two secondary characters who play a significant role in the story are Houston's two brothers, Dallas and Austin. I warmed up to Austin immediately. Although he is only sixteen, he seems to be shaping up to be a sensitive beta hero as well, with dreams that he fears are “unmanly.” He is still a boy who deeply misses his mother, but is on the cusp of manhood and learning about responsibility. I'll be interested to see him grow and change in the future books of the series. I had a little harder time liking Dallas, at least in the beginning, not because he is unkind, but because he has a very driven, Type-A personality which makes him seem to only care about building things and leaving his mark on the land. He wants a son more than anything else, and although I believed that he would respect Amelia as his wife and treat her well, I never came away with the feeling that he would ever truly love her. There just wasn't any chemistry between them like Amelia had with Houston. As things progressed and more of the pieces of the past started to fall into place, I came to like Dallas more, but still not quite as much as Houston and Austin. I look forward to reading his story anyway, and I'm hoping that Dallas' heroine will teach him that there is more to life than empire building. I did really enjoy the dynamics of the interactions between the three brothers. Austin has this refreshing honesty about him that makes him say things in Amelia's presence that has Houston dragging him away by his collar which made me laugh. Houston and Austin seem to have maintained that brotherly relationship, while Dallas is more of a father-figure to Austin and someone that he rather fears. Then, there's Houston and Dallas who don't have much of a relationship at all anymore. It was interesting to see the author turn the proverbial “big misunderstanding” on its ear in this book, by having it occur between these two brothers. Each thinks the other hates him for something he did during the war. Both have been too stubborn to ask the questions that needed to be asked to resolve their differences, because they were too afraid of the answer and so have remained silent on the subject for thirteen years. I was quite shocked by a plot twist that seemed like it would ruin any chance of a happily-ever-after for Houston and Amelia. It certainly was not what I expected at all. I came to a point where I thought I had figured out how the author would turn things around, but I was wrong. Actually though, my way would have been “the easy way,” but the way it was written rather ingeniously gave Dallas and Houston both the opportunity to make a huge sacrifice for each other which helped to facilitate a much-needed reconciliation. There were just so many things to enjoy about Texas Destiny. I loved how the author was able to turn innocent things like shaving, bathing and preparing for bed into a sweetly sensuous experience that was all about a slow build of sexual tension while Houston and Amelia become close friends. Even though there was only one fairly mild love scene that didn't happen until the very end of the book, I hardly noticed because their other interactions were so very satisfying. Amelia's payback request for Houston covertly watching her silhouette as she got ready for bed every night was both funny and sexy, and so was their game of truth or dare which continued throughout the story. I really liked Amelia's spunk and ingenuity in getting what she wanting while still maintaining her sweetness and innocence. The tension between Houston and Amelia wasn't quite as high once they reached Dallas' ranch, because they were no longer together 24/7. Still, the author created enough opportunities for them to spend time with each other to maintain their connection while the rest of the story developed. The ending tied up every loose end I could think of and was so beautiful and romantic, it made it worth the wait. The only thing that could have made it any better would have been an epilogue to show what Houston and Amelia's future would hold, but I'm hoping that they will be back as secondary characters in the rest of the series. Overall, Texas Destiny was a very emotionally fulfilling read that has left me anxious to get to the remaining books in the series as soon as possible, and with two keepers in a row, Lorraine Heath has earned a spot on my favorite authors list too. Texas Destiny is the first book in the Texas Trilogy (aka The Leigh Brothers series). Book #2, Texas Glory features Dallas as the hero, and book #3, Texas Splendor, has Austin as the hero.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Iliada

    This is a sweet, touching, poignant and sometimes sad story. I loved this book for its uniqueness and I'm going to remember this story for a long time. The Story Amelia is a mail-order bride travelling from Georgia to Texas to get married to Dallas Leigh. She has never met him, but she dreams of a better future for herself since she has nothing left after the war. Dallas is supposed to escort her from the town of Fort Worth to his home, a 3-week journey, but he falls off his horse and sends his br This is a sweet, touching, poignant and sometimes sad story. I loved this book for its uniqueness and I'm going to remember this story for a long time. The Story Amelia is a mail-order bride travelling from Georgia to Texas to get married to Dallas Leigh. She has never met him, but she dreams of a better future for herself since she has nothing left after the war. Dallas is supposed to escort her from the town of Fort Worth to his home, a 3-week journey, but he falls off his horse and sends his brother, Houston, to fetch her instead. Houston is a quiet man and a little awkward in socializing, but Amelia and Houston get to know each other during the journey and they can't help falling in love. My thoughts Amelia is a lovely woman. Courageous and kind, there is a sweetness in her that you can't help but fall in love with. Her complete acceptance and love for everything that Houston is, the good and the bad sides, the heartbreak she endured because of this damaged man, endeared me even more to her. Houston stole my heart from the beginning. Though I think he could be described as a weak hero, surprisingly this didn't make me love him any less. He is disfigured, the whole left side of his face destroyed by an explosion on the battlefield when he was just fifteen, but the greatest damage has been done to his heart and soul. He led a meaningless life wallowing in misery and maybe I would have liked to see him hold his own and fight for what his heart wants sooner, but I still loved him. I could really understand this man. What he'd been through... I wouldn't wish it on anyone. He worked his way into my heart and I will always remember him as one of the most unique and insecure but still lovely beta heroes. I didn't cry reading this book, I never do (I think the only time I've ever cried was when Dumbledore died -no comments- and while reading The Bronze Horseman) and when I say I cried reading a book I mean it in a figurative way. But if I was the crying sort, I would have cried reading this book. As things stand, I felt sad, melancholic and then happy. I'm looking forward to reading the next books in the series, though I doubt that they can live up to the perfection Texas Destiny was. I didn't always like Dallas, but I realized I was prejudiced against him and I came to appreciate him by the end of the book. Austin, on the other hand, is the cutest boy! I'm really eager to see how he will be as a man. I hope he doesn't change much because I adore him just the way he is right now. This is one of the sweetest stories I've ever read. Highly recommended to everyone that likes love stories, not just romances. Do yourself a favor and read it.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Smart Women Read Romance

    Guys this book is amazing! I absolutely fell in love with Houston and Amelia in this in-love-with-the-wrong-brother romance. Amelia has travelled from Georgia to Texas seeking a new life post-civil war. She has an arrangement with Dallas Leigh, an ambitious man wanting to start a family, who she has been corresponding with for months. When Houston, the physically and emotionally scarred brother of her betrothed, arrives to escort her in his stead, they form an unbreakable bond. I absolutely love Guys this book is amazing! I absolutely fell in love with Houston and Amelia in this in-love-with-the-wrong-brother romance. Amelia has travelled from Georgia to Texas seeking a new life post-civil war. She has an arrangement with Dallas Leigh, an ambitious man wanting to start a family, who she has been corresponding with for months. When Houston, the physically and emotionally scarred brother of her betrothed, arrives to escort her in his stead, they form an unbreakable bond. I absolutely love the way that these characters opened up to one another on the road. Houston and Amelia have both experienced their share of nightmarish situations, but together they are able to heal and grow. Of course, there is the issue of Dallas and Houston feeling unworthy next to his handsome, successful brother! I need the next one!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mo

    I dropped a star on the second reading and listen. Not sure why. It was still a great read but not really a 5 star! I dropped a star on the second reading and listen. Not sure why. It was still a great read but not really a 5 star!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Regan Walker

    A Post Civil War Romance with Great Heart…a Keeper! Set in Texas in 1876, this is the story of two wounded souls. Broken by the horrors she has seen in the Civil War, and hoping for a new life, Amelia Carson agrees to become the mail order bride of budding Texas rancher, Dallas Leigh. Since he was injured by an untamed stallion, he sends his brother, Houston, to fetch Amelia from the train station in Ft. Worth. Houston has been gravely scarred from his time in the war and only reluctantly agrees A Post Civil War Romance with Great Heart…a Keeper! Set in Texas in 1876, this is the story of two wounded souls. Broken by the horrors she has seen in the Civil War, and hoping for a new life, Amelia Carson agrees to become the mail order bride of budding Texas rancher, Dallas Leigh. Since he was injured by an untamed stallion, he sends his brother, Houston, to fetch Amelia from the train station in Ft. Worth. Houston has been gravely scarred from his time in the war and only reluctantly agrees to bring Dallas’ bride to the ranch. In the month-long journey, they face the trials of the road: snakes, storms and flooding rivers—and they fall in love. Houston fights his attraction for Amelia, knowing he must deliver her untouched. But they have grown close and, when they arrive at the ranch, Dallas notices. This is a wonderful, well-told story that kept me turning pages. The descriptions of the dangers Houston and Amelia face are so well done, they’ll have you on the edge of your seat. The characters are well developed and the stage is set for the next two stories of Dallas and the younger brother, Austin. Highly recommended.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kari Kaz

    This is the absolute top standard for a good ol' classic western romance. Wonderful characters and setting. I'm looking forward to the next two books in the trilogy. 5 heartbreaking romantic stars for Houston and Amelia! This is the absolute top standard for a good ol' classic western romance. Wonderful characters and setting. I'm looking forward to the next two books in the trilogy. 5 heartbreaking romantic stars for Houston and Amelia!

  26. 4 out of 5

    ☘ Lily ☘

    It was so angsty.... The whole pussyfooting around each other that they did... God. I wanted to smack their heads together. It was slow. It was frustrating. And I don't like it. (view spoiler)[the fact that she was married to the brother first and the hero still did nothing to stop the wedding is fucking annoying (hide spoiler)] It was so angsty.... The whole pussyfooting around each other that they did... God. I wanted to smack their heads together. It was slow. It was frustrating. And I don't like it. (view spoiler)[the fact that she was married to the brother first and the hero still did nothing to stop the wedding is fucking annoying (hide spoiler)]

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jacqueline's Reads

    4-4.25 Slow Burn Yeee Haw Stars It’s been awhile since I’ve read a historical romance with a southern theme. I was looking for a book where the Hero has some sort of disfigurement and although Texas Destiny probably doesn’t have the best plot, it was written well and I read it almost in one go. Lorraine Heath just knows how to suck you in. Amelia is a mail-order-bride. She’s due in Texas and ready to marry Dallas, but Dallas doesn’t meet her in the train station, his brother Houston does. Here’s th 4-4.25 Slow Burn Yeee Haw Stars It’s been awhile since I’ve read a historical romance with a southern theme. I was looking for a book where the Hero has some sort of disfigurement and although Texas Destiny probably doesn’t have the best plot, it was written well and I read it almost in one go. Lorraine Heath just knows how to suck you in. Amelia is a mail-order-bride. She’s due in Texas and ready to marry Dallas, but Dallas doesn’t meet her in the train station, his brother Houston does. Here’s the kicker, it’s a 3-week wagon ride to Dallas’ home. Yeah, I never liked that kind of storyline. She’s engaged to Dallas and sure they have only written letters to each other for year, but Dallas is a nice guy. The first half of the book is with Houston and Amelia on their journey and it was a wild journey they went on. With obstacles after obstacles, it was really addictive to read. Houston has a disfigurement on his face because of the war. I really did like the slow burn read, but I didn’t like that she was still in the end engaged to someone else. The second half of the book is when she finally arrives at Dallas’ home. I really did like Dallas. He’s like the father figure and he is grand in all ways. There’s a lot of tension between Houston, Amelia and sometimes with Dallas. It was sometimes hard to read about their past issues with war and how they each went through it, but it explains everyone’s burdens. Because everyone has them in this book. Overall, if you are looking for a REALLY slow burn read, this one will do the job.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Gretchen (About That Story)

    This story was simply amazing. I felt instantly connected to the characters and loved their heartfelt and beautiful journey. From the moment I started, I was completely enamored and the world around me melted away. It was an exceptional story! I immediately fell in love with Houston and felt for him. I adored Amelia and this mix of innocence and strength she had. She was challenging in this quiet way I adored. I loved them meeting and learning about them as they travel together. Houston was wonde This story was simply amazing. I felt instantly connected to the characters and loved their heartfelt and beautiful journey. From the moment I started, I was completely enamored and the world around me melted away. It was an exceptional story! I immediately fell in love with Houston and felt for him. I adored Amelia and this mix of innocence and strength she had. She was challenging in this quiet way I adored. I loved them meeting and learning about them as they travel together. Houston was wonderful, so quiet and gruff, falling for this sweet woman, thinking he doesn't deserve her and they’re in a situation where she's to marry someone else. I loved Amelia's fighting her feelings against what was right in front of her and what she was obligated to do. It killed me because I wanted them to be together but it made for this touching love story as feelings grew and emerged. There's a bit of drama and a whole lot of heart and love. Houston and Amelia were in a complicated situation but it felt so real considering the time period. I loved meeting his brothers, Dallas and Austin. I found Dallas intriguing and loved how in charge he seemed. A part of me didn’t want to like him because of the situation but I couldn’t help myself, he was such a good guy. I loved the issues that Houston and Dallas were working through and their bonding moments. I can’t begin to explain how brilliant I thought this was. The dialogue. The build. The descriptions. The moments that made my heart flip. The excellent character development. The incredible build. This was filled with incredibly sweet moments, heart-wrenching ones, and playful ones too. It was a well-rounded, really entertaining read. Texas Destiny was a beautiful, well-written story of love and healing and finding your true dream. I highly recommend it!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Carol Cork *Young at Heart Oldie*

    Occasionally, I read a book which has such an emotional impact that I find myself thinking about it long after I've finished reading it. A beautiful and haunting love story, Lorraine Heath's TEXAS DESTINY, the first book in her ‘Texas Trilogy' series, is one such book. A broken leg prevents Dallas Leigh from meeting his mail-order bride in Fort Worth. Instead he entrusts his younger brother with the task, but it's not one Houston relishes. Scarred both in body and soul during the Civil War, he l Occasionally, I read a book which has such an emotional impact that I find myself thinking about it long after I've finished reading it. A beautiful and haunting love story, Lorraine Heath's TEXAS DESTINY, the first book in her ‘Texas Trilogy' series, is one such book. A broken leg prevents Dallas Leigh from meeting his mail-order bride in Fort Worth. Instead he entrusts his younger brother with the task, but it's not one Houston relishes. Scarred both in body and soul during the Civil War, he leads a solitary existence, happier in the company of his horses than people. The Civil War took everything from Amelia Carson, her family, her home and her girlish dreams. She hopes to leave all the bad memories behind and start a new life as Dallas Leigh's wife and is looking forward to meeting him. However, she is disappointed to find that his churlish, uncommunicative brother, Houston, will be accompanying her on her journey to her new home. During the long, arduous, and often dangerous journey, Amelia and Houston gradually come to trust each other and a bond of friendship develops. But as they draw ever closer, they find themselves falling in love. But it's a love that has no future because Houston knows Amelia is meant for his brother. . . I was so captivated by this moving and poignant love story and absolutely loved Houston and Amelia. How could I not fall for such a vulnerable and tortured hero or adore a beautiful and compassionate heroine? They're just meant to be together! As the journey progresses, I loved watching their relationship slowly change as they drew closer to each other. It was easy to believe that they would fall in love when Amelia's beauty, warmth, and courage captivate Houston and Amelia comes to recognize that under Houston's surly exterior is a tender and sensitive man: That sparkle that lit up her eyes was enough to blind a man. And her smile. Her laughter. Dear God, but a man could start to believe in heaven and angels and an eternity of peace. "You don't see the man you've become, you only see the boy you were." Ms Heath brings all the discomfort and dangers of the journey to life so I really felt as though I was actually taking that journey with Houston and Amelia. Both have suffered from the horrors of war but have chosen to deal with them in different ways. Houston has retreated into himself, any dreams he had for his future destroyed on the battle field all those years ago. It is hard to believe that he was only fifteen years old when he suffered the terrible injuries that changed his life but this really brought it home to me: ...Houston had never had the opportunity to shave his whole face; he'd never flirted with girls, wooed women, or danced through the night. He'd never loved. Amelia has tried to put all the terrible memories behind her by being cheerful and optimistic. I love how she always tries to find something to be grateful for in any situation. She is courageous in taking a chance on marrying a man she has never met to fulfill her dreams of marriage and a family. Amelia makes Houston realize that raising horses is his dream, a dream he has never before acknowledged. I felt Houston's devastation when he has to hand over the woman he loves to his brother but he is honor bound to accept Dallas's prior claim on Amelia. He truly wants what's best for her and knows that Dallas can give her everything he can't. Although I knew there would be a happy ending for Houston and Amelia, Ms Heath did keep me on tenterhooks at the very end until Houston finally claims the woman he loves. The only other main characters are Houston's brothers, Dallas and Austin. Dallas seems such a cold person completely obsessed with building a ranching empire and having a son to share it with. I imagined his wife coming second to his ambitions. Austin is the youngest brother and provides some amusing moments when he keeps using inappropriate language around Amelia and is constantly admonished by his older brothers. I now look forward to reading ‘Texas Glory' (Dallas) and ‘Texas Splendor' (Austin). TEXAS DESTINY is an unforgettable love story with a hero and heroine who will melt your heart. http://www.theromancereviews.com/view... This review was originally written for The Romance Reviews

  30. 5 out of 5

    Dawn

    Great read. Not quite 5 stars, although pretty close. This is a lovely romance about a man (Houston) who was disfigured from war (civil war) and tormented through his childhood by his overly demanding father. He has resolved himself to living alone until his sinfully handsome brother (Dallas) has him fetch his mail order bride from the train station because he injured himself before her arrival. The journey back to Dallas's immense ranch takes over a month and the trip with Amelia proves to be mor Great read. Not quite 5 stars, although pretty close. This is a lovely romance about a man (Houston) who was disfigured from war (civil war) and tormented through his childhood by his overly demanding father. He has resolved himself to living alone until his sinfully handsome brother (Dallas) has him fetch his mail order bride from the train station because he injured himself before her arrival. The journey back to Dallas's immense ranch takes over a month and the trip with Amelia proves to be more difficult than Houston could ever anticipate. Oh how I love Houston. My heart truly breaks for him and the poor child memories that plague him. Amelia is a likeable heroine, although not as developed as Houston. I would have liked to have known a bit more about her past. We only get a few snippets here and there, just enough to know she too has a tormented past, but it can hardly compare to Houston's. I was slightly aggravated at the whole "resisting each other" thing, but not too much to stop reading. I felt the story was lacking something I truly can't quite put my finger on. I think it's because I just finished a book that was a tough act to follow. The pace was pretty steady but it did slow a bit here and there, but not for too long. I didn't find myself skimming anyway. Lorraine Heath seems to write with a little less heat then most books I read, but it is not disappointing. This is not a clean read but certainly not hardcore. Just the right amount of loving that would give it a PG-17 rating if it were a film. I plan to read the other books in the series, and other books of hers in the future.

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