MILD SPOILERS 😉
3 1/2 stars
It’s the mid-1830’s and Scottish immigrant Reiver MacPherson has been granted lands by the new Texas government. The dilapidated property he acquired belonged to an old Spanish family, but the place is now abandoned. Or at least Reiver thinks it is, because to his surprise, there he finds an emaciated young wisp of a girl, Mercedes-Maria, whose family once owned the lands but has fled to Mexico, leaving her behind. So begins Deana James’ Texas Storm.
Mercedes is a bit of a wild child, and Reiver has no patience for her at first. She insists the land is hers; he claims it’s is. The two butt heads but eventually agree to work together. Slowly, a romance unfolds as the pair get to know one another—sexual attraction forms. With James’ trademark earthy sensuality describing the passages, their passion results in vivid lovemaking sessions.
Mercedes & Reiver get married more out of convenience than love. However, their love grows as they experience adventure after adventure.
They tame wild horses across the Llano Estacado (The Staked Plains) & amass a substantial sum of money, turning Reiver into a respected patron.
Later in the book, Mercedes is kidnapped by Comanches and must use her wits to survive, while Reiver rounds up people to save her. She meets and takes in an orphaned “half-breed” Comanche boy who’s an outcast from his tribe. This young boy will show up in another Deana James book, Texas Tempest, as the hero, MacPherson.
With her smarts and Reiver’s will, Mercedes is eventually rescued.
Life out West will always be filled with hardship, but together, Reiver and Mercedes-Maria can overcome the obstacle that comes their way.
Final Analysis of Texas Storm
If you’re a lover of hardcore westerns, Texas Storm will make a fine addition to your collection. Deana James is to westerns was Roberta Gellis is to medievals. I was immersed in the history and feel of the times. Reiver didn’t lack brave or heroic qualities as a leading man, but this was Mercedes-Maria’s story. As usual with James, she writes unforgettable, multi-faceted heroines, each woman different and strong in her own way.
Unfortunately, I lost this book somewhere around the halfway point, and for that reason, the story’s rhythm was disturbed as I read it. So for me, Texas Storm wasn’t an “Oh my gosh, I love this book” read, but a satisfactory western romance about two hard-driven people and dangers the early American frontier people faced.
All in all, though, it’s much better than many other Zebra romances I’ve read over the years.