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love cherish me brandewyne

Historical Romance Review: Love, Cherish Me by Rebecca Brandewyne

historical romance review
Love, Cherish Me by Rebecca Brandewyne
Rating: five-stars
Published: 1983
Illustrator: Elaine Duillo
Book Series: Aguilar's Fate #1
Published by: Warner Books
Genres: Historical Romance, Bodice Ripper, Western Romance
Pages: 574
Format: Paperback
Buy on: AmazonAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader

Historical Romance Review: Love, Cherish Me by Rebecca Brandewyne


The Book

I first read Love, Cherish Me many years ago as a teenager, so it’s a long-time favorite.

You have to read this book as a lover of the genre because Rebecca Brandewyne is at her bodice-rippiest.

Rebecca Brandewyne, Author

What I loved about many of Rebecca Brandewyne’s past romances was their baroque style. For example, every so often, she’d pose on the back of the book wearing a dress similar to what the heroine wore on the front cover.

At the beginning of the novel, a poem detailed the love story. Then there was a great list of the cast of characters. The book was broken into several parts. Then to start, there was a prologue, often with the couple together. Finally, the epic novels ended with an epilogue.

And don’t forget the Elaine Duillo cover art. In the 1980s, that was practically de rigeur for a romance diva.

What can I say? I’ve always preferred intricate, elaborate heavy metal or progressive rock rather than streamlined, gritty punk. So it’s no surprise my taste in romances is no different.

The Plot

Part One

Love Cherish Me book is a great western saga. For that reason, you can expect it to be full of murder, sex, death, and trauma. Get your hankies out, because his one is a tearjerker!

The heroine is a Southern belle named Storm Aimee Lesconflair. The hero is a dark stranger people call “Lobo,” or Wolf. On her way out West to marry a stranger, her carriage is held up, and Storm is kidnapped. But her kidnappers make a fatal mistake.

Storm’s life is decided in a fatal card game played by Lobo and her abductors.

Before she knows it, she is violently pulled into the lone gambler/gunslinger’s life.

The tale is epic, set in the epic state of Texas. Storm finds herself in one harrowing situation after another. Villains almost rape her on multiple occasions, but Wolf is there to save her.

Wolf is a dark, sexy hombre of mysterious heritage. Not only does he speak fluent Spanish, but he knows the ways of the Comanche. He also dresses in nothing but black clothes, smokes cheroots, and calls Storm “baby.”

Part Two

For a while, Storm and Lobo have an idyllic life together before circumstances separate them.

Afterward, Storm is forced to make difficult choices to survive. She becomes the unwilling bride of a man she hates.

Then tragedy strikes. Storm is accused of and put on trial for murder.

And most tragically of all, she undergoes the worst pain a mother can feel.

Will she ever find her beloved again?

Final Analysis on Love Cherish, Me

Before finally being reunited with her soul mate, Storm must face the worst a woman can encounter.

Love Cherish, Me is a companion piece to And Gold Was Ours. The latter book was swashbucklingly fun but not as great as this.

The only Brandewyne book I like more than this is her Gothic romance reminiscent of Bronte’s Wuthering HeightsUpon a Moon-Dark Moor.

The conclusion to Love Cherish Me is bittersweet. The book ends with an epilogue of Storm, Lobo, and their family who skirt the fringes of acceptable society. Brandewyne created a masterpiece of a romance here.

Love, Cherish Me wrenches all sorts of emotions from the reader. As hard as it is to describe the complicated feelings it evoked, I am forever glad to have experienced them.

5 Stars

Rating Report Card
Fun Factor
Overall: 4.8


Storm was her name and her destiny… Born on a night when lightning flashed and thunder rolled, the raven-haired beauty was sixteen before the promise of her name became the path of her life… Born to wealth, the belle of five counties wagered away to a middle-aged rancher by her wastrel uncle. On her way to Texas to marry Gabriel North, she was captured by outlaws — and wagered away again by her captor to a blue-eyed bounty hunter, a dark-skinned gunslinger called El Lobo, the wolf. A man who could kill in cold blood, then take her with fire and tenderness when she whispered to him.

heart so wild

Historical Romance Review: A Heart So Wild by Johanna Lindsey

historical romance review
A Heart So Wild by Johanna Lindsey
Rating: four-half-stars
Published: 1986
Illustrator: Robert McGinnis
Book Series: Stratton Family #1
Published by: Avon
Genres: Historical Romance, Western Romance
Pages: 368
Format: eBook, Paperback, Hardcover
Buy on: AmazonThriftBooks
Reviewed by: Introvert Reader

Historical Romance Review: A Heart So Wild by Johanna Lindsey


The Book

I just realized I had Johanna Lindsey‘s western romance A Heart So Wild on my Kindle. Since I hadn’t read it in 25 years, I figured why not give it a re-read?

And you know what? I loved this book more the second time around than the first.

The Plot

Why did I enjoy A Heart So Wild that much?

  • Heroine & hero “meet” when the heroine, Courtney, is getting sexually assaulted by an outlaw. What does the hero do? He sees a man messing with a woman and right away shoots the bad guy dead.
  • Enigmatic hero with a mysterious and tragic past.
  • The heroine needs a gunslinger to guide her through hostile Indian territory to find her missing father.
  • The hero, Chandos, fights, beats, and kills men who try to kidnap or try to rape the heroine.
  • A snakebite where the heroine sucks the blood out of the hero’s wound for an hour (!), and then he gets sick, revealing more in his fever dreams than he would if he was fine.
  • Quick love scenes that express passion, aren’t too purple in prose, and don’t go on for endless pages.

This western trek romance takes us through the deserts and wilderness as Courtney and Chandos travel to find her long-lost father. A Heart So Wild is more of a character-driven than a plot-driven romance, which is fine by me.

I’m so glad I gave this one a reread, as it made me remember why for such a long time, Johanna Lindsey was my favorite author: she’s easy to read. Sometimes reading is a chore, and it shouldn’t be if it’s a hobby I supposedly love.

The Characters

Courtney is a pleasant enough type. She grows on you as the story develops. And Chandos is just… Well, he’s the kind of hero that made Lindsey sell tens of millions of books.

He’s a hard nut to crack, but once Chandos falls, he falls hard and forever. Still, he retains that stubborn arrogance that was a trademark of the heroes in the first half of Lindey’s career.

“You’re my woman, cateyes. You’ve been my woman since I first laid eyes on you.”

That didn’t satisfy her. “Say it!”

He grinned and jerked her down onto his lap, where she sat stiffly, waiting, until at last he said, “I love you. Is that what you want to hear? I love you so much I’ve got no direction without you.”

“Oh, Chandos.” She melted against him, wrapping her arms around his neck. “I love—”

“Uh-uh.” He stopped her. “You better think real carefully before you say anything, cateyes, because if you give me your love, I’m not going to let you take it back. I can’t keep worrying about whether or not I can make you happy. I’ll try my best but there isn’t going to be any changing your mind later. Do you understand what I’m saying? If you’re going to be my woman, there’s no way in hell I’ll ever let you go.”

Final Analysis of A Heart So Wild

Chandos is a wonderful Lindsey hero. Courtney is a likable, strong-willed heroine. Together they make for a sizzling combination.

Johanna Lindsey would revisit Courtney and Chandos in All I Need Is You, which tells the tale of their bounty-hunter daughter. That book was okay.

A Heart So Wild is one of Lindsey’s best, of which there are many!

Rating Report Card
Fun Factor
Overall: 4.6


Courtney Harte is certain her missing father is a alive, lost somewhere deep in Indian territory. But she needs a guide to lead her safely through this dangerous, unfamiliar country, someone as wild and unpredictable as the land itself. And that man is the gunslinger they call Chandos.

Courtney fears this enigmatic loner whose dark secrets torture his soul, yet whose eyes, bluer than the frontier sky, enflame the innocent, determined lady with wanton desires. But on the treacherous path they have chosen they have no one to trust but each other–as shared perils to their lives and hearts unleash turbulent, unbridled, passions that only love can tame.

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