ARC Review | Bound for Eden by Tess LeSue

Bound for Eden by Tess LeSue | Frontiers of the Heart #1
Historical Romance, Western
Publication Date | May 1st, 2018
ARC from the publisher



Book Blurb:

Alexandra Barratt has found the perfect man—it’s a shame he thinks she’s a boy…

Fleeing from the murderous Grady brothers, Alexandra disguises herself as a boy and joins a frontier party heading West, with her brother and sister in tow. The wagon train is captained by the irresistible Luke Slater, who’s never met a woman he couldn’t charm.

At first, Alex can’t believe the way every woman in town falls at Luke’s feet, including her suddenly flirtatious sister. But when she sees him naked in the bathtub, she finds herself swooning over him too. If only she could wash the muck of her face and show him who she really is. Unfortunately she has more pressing concerns…

The Gradys aren’t about to let Alex, nor the small fortune she stole from them, slip through their fingers. Only by maintaining her ruse does she have a chance of protecting her family. But fate, it seems, is conspiring against her.

| Book Review |

When Bound for Eden landed on my doorstep, it wasn’t even on my radar. Oddly enough, the next read I had planned was an Ellen O’Connell re-read, which also would have been a western book, so I felt like this came along at just the right time. I loved this from the moment it started. Alexandra was so protective of her brother and sister and wanted to keep them safe, and she was a scrappy thing who was going to do anything to keep them safe. This book doesn’t ease the reader in – we are thrown right into how treacherous the wild west can be, and it rarely lets up as the story goes on. Recent events have forced this family of foster children on the run, and they are running for their lives. In an attempt to throw the trackers off their trail, Alexandra dresses as a man, takes on the role as head of the family, and sets them off for the west. But before their journey even begins, Alexandra meets Luke Slater, and sees enough of him to kick her womanly fantasies into overdrive. It was interesting seeing Alexandra out of her element, as men have always been drawn to her, but when she finally meets one she is drawn to, she has to remain in her male disguise. Of course it’s not a one time meeting, and once Alex’s family joins Luke’s caravan west, Alex’s sister is also quickly smitten. I have to say, this made for a lot of prickly scenes between the sisters, and boy were they fun to read.They also have a brother who is ‘simple,’ and I love how accepting Luke (and everyone) was of Adam and how it didn’t seem to be a big deal to anyone. But for Luke, there was a genuine fondness there and I loved their easy relationship. Alexandra may be dressed as a man, but she and Luke get to know each other regardless, going so far as Luke taking Alex under his wing to teach ‘him’ how to be a man.

I really liked the pacing of this one; like I mentioned before, it hardly let up throughout the book. And I thought the villains in this book were fun, too. They were a bit over the top, but for some reason, I feel like that works well in western stories.

I did have a few concerns about this one – there was a lot of head hopping here and a little more continuity with whose head we were in would have been nice. I also wish the sister would have had something dramatic and bad happen to her. There were times she was mean to Alexandra, and I would have loved to get hers in the end. Also, there was a separation at the end when it was revealed that Alexandra was a woman, and it was so sudden it was jarring. I wish we had seen more of what Luke thought when it came out.

Overall, though, I really enjoyed Bound for Eden. I am a huge fan of westerns, and this one delivered on so many fronts. It reminded me of the old Oregon Trail game that was one of the first computer games every, and I loved the similarities. If you like western historical romance, you aren’t going to want to miss this one.

| Rating |

Series | Frontiers of the Heart


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