Tag Archives: Victoria Thompson

angel heart victoria thompson

Historical Romance Review: Angel Heart (aka Texas Angel) by Victoria Thompson

historical romance review
Angel Heart by Victoria Thompson
Rating: four-stars
Published: 1988
Illustrator: TBD
Imprint or Line: Zebra Lovegram
Book Series: A Hired Gunslinger #1; The Cowboy and the Lady #4
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Historical Romance, Western Romance
Pages: 522
Format: Paperback
Buy on: AmazonAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Blue Falcon

Historical Romance Review: Angel Heart (aka Texas Angel) by Victoria Thompson


The Book

This review is of the western historical romance Angel Heart by Victoria Thompson. It is also known as Texas Angel, book #1 in the A Hired Gunslinger” series. Originally this was released as a Zebra Lovegram.

This book is also connected to Texas Triumph book #2 in Ms. Thompson’s “The Cowboy and the Lady series.

The other books in the latter series were #1 Texas Treasure and #3 Texas Blonde, which have been previously reviewed at Sweet Savage Flame.

The Plot

Part 1 of Angel Heart

As Angel Heart, or Texas Angel, begins, the hero of the book, Christian “Kid” Collins–who was a supporting character in Texas Triumph–is engaged in a gun battle at the home of his sister and brother-in-law, Rose and Pete Hastings, with gunslicks hired by Harlan Snyder, a ruthless rancher.

Sadly, Rose, Pete, and their unborn child have been killed. Christian is seriously wounded when he tries to escape. He is found by Comanche Indians and taken to the Diamond R ranch, home to Angelica Ross and her younger brother, Robbie. The Comanche brought him here partially due to their respect for Angelica and Robbie’s late father, Cameron.

While nursing him back to health, Angelica and Christian discover they have a mutual foe in Snyder, and Angelica asks for Christian’s help to fight him. He agrees to do so.

However, they will also have to fight their attraction for each other. They don’t, and Angelica and Christian become lovers. After which, he proposes to her, but she refuses. Despite this, Christian agrees to stay on to help Angelica with Snyder as well as help the Diamond R fulfill an Army contract to provide beef to Indian reservations.

Part 2 of Angel Heart

To that end, Christian calls in some help from his friends from the Circle M ranch in Texas Triumph. These are not ordinary ranch hands. The men are some of the most notorious gunslingers in Texas.

In concluding a successful cattle roundup, Angelica and Christian’s relationship deepens. However, he is now reluctant to marry her. This is not due to Angelica’s earlier rejection; it has more to do with Christian’s shame over his family and his concerns about what his future will be. And whether or not he has one, given his history as a gunman.

He and Angelica also gain a new enemy, a prostitute named Sunny Day. The backstory: Sunny was being sexually and physically abused by Snyder when Christian intervened to stop it. He and Sunny slept together–as in, they slept in the same bed but did not have sex.

Afterward, Sunny interpreted these acts as Christian being in love with her and wanting to protect her from Snyder’s wrath. Christian, obviously, viewed things differently. Hurt and angry that her dream isn’t going to happen, Sunny hooks up with Snyder’s newest hired gun, Tom Rivers, who was brought in specifically to kill Christian.

Part 3 of Angel Heart

Rivers makes this attempt at a party, where he tries to goad Christian into a gunfight. Christian refuses, and Rivers tries to shoot him in the back. In a surprising turn of events, Rivers is shot and killed by Miles Blackmon, a friend of Christian’s.

After a legal inquiry, the shooting is ruled justifiable. This angers Snyder, who makes his final move, kidnapping Angelica and Robbie. Christian saves Angelica, killing Snyder in the process (Robbie was taken to another location and released)

In the end, Christian shares his fears with Angelica, who helps him get beyond them, and “Kid” Collins “dies.” That’s the story the townspeople of Marsden’s Corners, Texas, tell two gun-slicks who come to town to kill Christian. They both leave without violence.

Angelica and Christian have two children, with another third on the way–and celebrate their Happily Ever After.

angel heart texas angel thompson
Angel Heart later rereleased as Texas Angel

The Upside

Angel Heart is a rare book where the hero is more emotional than the heroine. Emotional heroes are something of a trademark of Ms. Thompson’s historical romances. Angelica and Christian are a well-matched couple: two people who believe that they are too flawed to be loved by anyone.

When they find each other, they discover that this is not the case.

The Downside

There isn’t a huge amount of character development or depth here. The supporting characters are pretty one-dimensional. It’s never really explained–other than the fact that he’s a greedy evil bastard–why Snyder wanted to court Angelica or why he wanted to kill Christian so badly.


The love scenes between Angelica and Christian are very mild and not very exciting.


There is assault, battery, shootings, and a fire. The violence is not graphic.

Bottom Line on Angel Heart (aka Texas Angel)

There are some areas that could use improvement, but the romance novel, Angel Heart, later reissued as Texas Angel, is a solid western historical by Victoria Thompson.

Rating Report Card
Fun Factor
Overall: 3.9


Ever since Angelica’s father died, Harlan Snyder had been angling to get his hands on her ranch, the Diamond R. And now, just when she had an important government contract to fulfill, she couldn’t find a single cowhand to hire on–all because of Snyder’s threats. It was only a matter of time before she lost the ranch…. That is, until the legendary gunfighter Kid Collins turned up on her doorstep, badly wounded. Angelica assessed his firmly muscled physique and stared into his startling blue eyes. Beneath all that blood and dirt he was the handsomest man she had ever seen, and the one person who could help her beat Snyder at his own game–if the price were not too high…

Before Kid Collins knew what hit him, he had somehow agreed to act as a hired gunfighter–and for a lady. Or at least she looked like a lady, with her carefully pinned red hair and proud green eyes. But no lady would be trying to run a ranch on her own, let alone take on the likes of Harlan Snyder. She needed Kid Collins’ help, all right, but his help came with a price attached.

Angel Heart (aka Texas Angel) by Victoria Thompson
texas treasure

Historical Romance Review: Texas Treasure by Victoria Thompson


Dusty Rhoades had to be the most unsettling man Priscilla Bedford had ever met! All the tall Texas cowboy had to do was glance her way and the chestnut-haired beauty felt her composure crumble. One moment he’d infuriate her with his high-handed arrogance. And all the while he made her yearn to snuggle close to his lean, hard chest and stay in his arms forever!

The lovely new schoolteacher was the most confusing woman Dusty had ever encountered. With her creamy skin and polished eastern ways, he knew she was worlds above him. Yet when he looked into her eyes he saw the soft glow of desire, and when he held her slender body close, he heard a sweet sigh of surrender. Then he looked into her very soul and knew he would make her his own, exquisite…


Reviewed by Blue Falcon


The Book

This review is of Texas Treasure, book #1 in the “The Cowboy and the Lady” series by Victoria Thompson.

The Plot

Part One

The book begins in Rainbow, Texas, where Priscilla Bedford, the heroine, has come to be the schoolteacher for the town’s children. Picking her up from the stagecoach which brought her to Rainbow is Phillip Alexander “Dusty” Rhoades, the hero of the book. He is the foreman of the Steele Ranch.

From the moment they meet, Priscilla and Dusty have chemistry, even as he is playing a joke on her by not immediately acknowledging her; she gives as good as she gets.

As the book goes on, Priscilla and Dusty become more attracted to each other but also do a lot of “he/she loves me, he/she loves me not”, which also leads to them intentionally and unintentionally hurting each other.

Dusty and Priscilla become lovers, which creates its own set of issues. While Priscilla and Dusty play “are we/aren’t we a couple?”, other stories are taking place. One involves Jason Vance, a Virginia native who was on the same stagecoach as Priscilla. He has come to Texas seeking a cache of gold that legend says is buried in Rainbow. Another denizen of Rainbow is Rita Jordan, owner of the town saloon, and a woman with bad blood toward Dusty.

Part Two

Later, Priscilla secretly buys a ranch. The significance of this is that the ranch belonged to Dusty’s family in the past. At first, Dusty is very angry, but he comes around and he and Priscilla get married.

However, Rita and Vance become threats to their marriage: Vance for the gold buried on the ranch Priscilla now owns, and Rita due to being rejected by Dusty years ago. Vance and Rita hold Priscilla hostage to force Dusty to tell Vance where the gold is. Two violent confrontations ensue, one between Dusty and Vance, the other between Priscilla and Rita. Vance assaults Dusty and escapes. Rita is shot and killed when the two women fight over a gun.

Priscilla and Dusty have their Happily Ever After, and the gold has yet to be found…


Priscilla and Dusty are fairly interesting characters. It is highly unusual in my experience to see a book where the hero’s emotions are on display as they are in Texas Treasure.


This, however, is not always a good thing. This book is the definition of T.M.I. Ms. Thompson exposes her readers to every emotion Priscilla and Dusty feel.

Every. Single. Emotion.

The book is way too long at 494 pages for the print version I own (average approximately 30 pages per chapter, with many longer than that, around 50-60 pages), which is difficult for time-challenged readers like myself. The Vance/Rita storyline is basically there to make the book longer, and neither they nor Priscilla and Dusty are the type of characters whose actions will be remembered after reading the book.


The love scenes–between Priscilla and Dusty and between Rita and Vance–are okay at best.


After Priscilla disciplines one of her male students, he tries to rape her; she is saved by Dusty. Vance shoots and later kills the former owner of Priscilla’s ranch. We learn that Rita is a serial murderess, who had a very traumatic childhood. I described the end of the book violence above.

Bottom Line on Texas Treasure

Victoria Thomspson’s Texas Treasure is not a bad book, but it is also not a dynamic one, with too many issues to keep it from being a very good book.

3 Stars

texas blonde

Historical Romance Review: Texas Blonde by Victoria Thompson


When dashing Josh Logan rescued her from death by exposure petite Felicity Morrow realized she’d never survive rugged frontier life without a man by her side. And when she gazed at the Texas rancher’s lean hard frame and strong rippling muscles, the determined beauty decided he was the one for her. To reach her goal, feisty Felicity pretended to be meek and mild: the only kind of gal Josh proclaimed he’d wed. But after she’d won his hand, the blue-eyed temptress swore she’d quit playing his game–and still win his heart!

After a long day in the saddle the last thing hot-blooded Josh Logan wanted was a clinging wife. All he needed was a hot bath, a warm a meal, and a loving little lady who knew her place. Then golden-haired, Felicity came into his life and the virile cowboy knew he’d have to marry her if he ever wanted to taste her pouting lips and stroke her satiny skin. The reward of her charms was reason enough to give her his name – but the proud man vowed he’d never give up his independence…not even for his sultry, sensuous…


Reviewed by Blue Falcon


The Book & Characters

This review is of Texas Blonde, book #3 in the “The Cowboy and the Lady” series by Victoria Thompson. (Zebra/Kensington, October 1987). This review is of the ebook version of the book.

Heroine: Felicity Storm, 18. Blonde hair, blue eyes. Photographer.

Hero: Josh Logan, 28. Silver/white hair (it’s a hereditary thing), gray eyes. Owner, Rocking L ranch.

The Plot

Texas Blonde begins with the hero, Josh Logan, a rancher, rescuing Felicity Storm, the book’s heroine, from several calamities –flash floods, homelessness, hunger. As they spend more time together, they become attracted to each other, become lovers, and decide to marry. We also learn about their respective histories. However, Josh is determined not to fall in love with Felicity.

Even so, Felicity and Josh do fall in love and get married. However, many threats, both internal and external, challenge their happiness.

In the end, the external threats are vanquished, the internal threats are discussed and addressed, and Felicity and Joshua have their Happily Ever After.


Ms. Thompson has once again written a very emotional book with likable, well-developed characters.

Felicity begins the book as a young woman with a transient lifestyle. She’s looking for security, stability, and someone to love. She finds all of these in Josh. I liked the fact that Ms. Thompson gave Felicity a skill–photography–and allowed her to use it. Felicity began the book as a little girl; she ended it as a woman. It was great to see her growth.

Joshua is a slightly unusual hero, in that he has white hair (it’s a hereditary thing among Logan males). At first, all he cares about is his land. He tries really hard not to fall in love with Felicity but realizes that things aren’t important if you don’t have anyone to share them with. Josh comes to realize that Felicity completes him and opens himself to loving and being loved.

The storylines take a lot of twists and turns that are very well-written and unexpected.


Not much, but Ms. Thompson uses the overused “Lack of Communication” trope in Texas Blonde. Some of the issues Felicity and Josh have could have been settled earlier had they actually TALKED with each other. However, as I’ve written before, if couples actually talked with each other, romance novels wouldn’t probably exist. So maybe it’s not a bad thing after all.


Multiple love scenes between Felicity and Josh. Ms. Thompson’s love scenes are not particularly graphic nor erotic.


Assault, attempted rape, battery, shooting, and killing all take place here. The violence is not graphic.

Bottom Line on Texas Blonde

Readers who like slow-burn romances with a great payoff at the end will find much to like in Texas Blonde. It’s the best book in the “The Lady and the Cowboy” series.

Location: Prospect, Texas. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. 1867-1868.

Tropes: Historical romance. Photographer heroine. Rancher hero. Zebra historical romance.

4.87 stars