Bound for Sin by Tess LeSue
Series: Frontiers of the Heart
Genre: Historical Romance
Publication Date: September 4th, 2018
ARC from the publisher
| Book Review |
Bound for Sin is the second book in Tess LeSue’s Frontiers of the Heart series, but this book can be read as a stand alone as very few characters from the previous book appear in this one. Having said that, if you enjoy a good book, I definitely recommend going back and picking up Bound for Eden. This story opens with Georgiana interviewing potential husbands, and the most important qualities to her are that he be rugged and able to lead her family across the rough terrain to California, as she has a very important mission to accomplish. When she spies Matt Slater out the window, not interested in becoming a husband, she can’t help but think how perfect he looks for the job. It’s clear this man knows how to survive in the wilderness, but when Georgiana gets a look at him all cleaned up, she finds his good looks and charm off putting. That is, after all, what she fell for in her first husband. And that didn’t work out so well for Georgiana. I loved Georgiana’s character. This is a woman who comes from extreme wealth, and while she has had learn to be judicious with her money, she doesn’t bat an eye parting with it to get to her son. It was really a lot of fun to watch Georgiana learn to juggle motherhood. She is without nannies for the first time in her life, and four kids would be a lot for anyone who got to break themselves in one (or two) kids at a time, but to take it on all at once is nearly impossible. And she’s not above a well-timed bribe or threat to get them to behave. The children were wonderful – even with four of them, they didn’t overwhelm the story. Their interactions with Georgiana and Matt were orchestrated to show us more about each character, and these kids were far from perfect. You can tell how the events of their lives have shaped them, and the way they clung to Matt was so precious. Honestly – it was Matt who stole my heart in this book. The thing I liked the most about him was his thoughtfulness – how everything he is going through now makes him reflect on his past, particularly his relationship with his oldest brother, who stepped in and raised his younger siblings when they lost their parents. He was so effortless in almost everything; the patience and care he showed for Georgiana’s kids was just the tip of the iceberg when it came to this man’s good heart. Part of his charm came from his naivete, and watching him fight his attraction to Georgiana and try to convince himself he didn’t want her was hilarious, particularly with Deathrider by his side informing him that he did, in fact, want Georgiana. Deathrider is a character from the previous book, and his character is very intriguing and mysterious – more so in the first book than this one, and he plays a pretty big role in this one. I’m also hoping he has a book of his own on the way, and I think I may know his heroine is going to be, and if I’m right, I AM SO ON BOARD FOR THAT! Seline, a local whore, was also in the previous book, and while her role isn’t quite as prominent in this book as Deathrider’s, we learn more about her in this one, and while I am interested in reading her story, I’m not sure how I feel about her hero. I’ll will definitely be reading her book; I’ll just be going in cautiously optimistic. (Though let’s be honest – I’m sure Tess LeSue will win me over.)
I really enjoyed the romance between Georgiana and Matt; it is definitely slow burn, so if you’re a fan of that, you’re in for a treat. As this is a book that takes place on a trail reminiscent of the Oregon Trail, there is a lot of daily life. But if you’re a fan of historical westerns or cowboy books, you know this is standard. And for me, it’s something I love! There are also some very raw scenes in this book that will break your heart and put it back together again, but true to reality, life on the trail is rough.
My only criticism of this book was the end. There was a twist I saw coming, and I feel like it stalled the story instead of adding something to it. I would have much preferred more drama surrounding the event that brought Georgiana to California in the first place, but despite threats, that whole scene was a bit anticlimactic.
As you can tell from my review, I really enjoyed this book. I fell in love with Georgiana and Matt’s love story, and if Western Historical Romances are something you enjoy, I think you will, too. Bound for Sin is a book I can see myself picking up over and over again.
| Rating |
Series Reading Order
| Excerpt |
This wedding was nothing like her first one. The first one had been held in Trinity Church in New York, managed to perfection by her mother, who hadn’t approved of the match, but who was far too proud to let anyone know. Vivian Bee had kept her haughty demeanor as the cream of New York gossiped behind their fans about the dashing little nobody her daughter had taken up with. The fortune-hunting dashing little nobody.
That wedding had been a gilded affair. In Georgiana’s memory it shone: the light falling through the stained glass windows, the vast majesty of the organ serenading her walk down the aisle, the smell of incense and lilies, her own ridiculously misguided happiness . . .
There was no grand church this time. No organ, no whispering crowds, no mother to smile at her as she swept by in her French silk gown. No misguided happiness. And no fortune hunter.
As Georgiana stood before the pastor in the dim and dusty trading post, in well-worn traveling clothes that were still damp from being hastily washed in the river, she realized that the biggest difference between her last wedding and this one was the groom. At her first wedding, Leonard had been puffed up like a prize rooster, decked out in superfine, his dark hair pomaded and perfumed. He had regarded the congregation with pride and (Georgiana had to admit now) no small measure of pomposity. In contrast, Matt was in his usual buckskins and boots, his face deeply tanned from traveling, his hair curling around his collar. He didn’t look puffed up or proud. He stood earnestly before the pastor, his gold-speckled eyes sober and a little sad.
Although perhaps the groom wasn’t the biggest difference between the weddings . . . Perhaps the biggest difference was in the bride.
Leonard had married a blushing young debutante, whose bank accounts had been plump with cash. Matt, in stark contrast, was marrying a penniless widow, who came with children and a world of trouble. She wasn’t young anymore. She wasn’t a virgin. She wasn’t wealthy. She came with a broken heart; her looks had been ravaged by grief. And yet, as she stood there, she realized Matt looked at her with more longing, more admiration and more care than Leonard ever had. Here he stood, pledging to protect and honor her for all the days of her life, when, as far as she could see, he had nothing to gain by doing so.
“Wait,” she said abruptly, interrupting his vows. She held the wild sunflowers Susannah had picked for her in unsteady hands. They had thick, prickly stems. She was trembling from head to toe all of a sudden. Beneath the sandy desert of her heart, she felt enough care for him to call a halt to this farce. “I can’t let you do this,” she said.
Behind her, she heard the twins groan.
“I told you,” Phin complained. “I told you she’d be difficult.”
“Hey”—Matt flicked him a scolding look—“watch your manners.”
“Is there a problem?” the pastor asked Georgiana. He peered over his spectacles at her.
Matt was watching her too. And so were the children. Along with the traders, who were leaning on their bench, chewing their tobacco. They’d let Matt use the trading post after closing hours for the ceremony, but they had no intention of missing the show themselves. Georgiana felt the weight of all their gazes.
“I can’t let you do this,” she told Matt. “I can’t let you throw your life away like this.”
“What on earth are you talking about?” He was frowning. The golden lights had gone from his eyes. “We talked about this. We agreed.”
“I’m not marrying material,” she said helplessly.
“Neither am I.”
“That’s settled, then,” Phin interrupted. “Keep on with it, Pastor.”
“No!” Georgiana felt a surge of panic. “I can’t. It’s not right. You deserve better than this. You deserve a proper wife. Someone strong and young, someone comely, someone who can bear you children, someone . . . who can love you.” She stared deeply into his warm brown eyes. “The way you deserve to be loved.”
“Which bit are you up to?” Flip asked the Pastor, peering over his arm at the open prayer book. “Can you skip ahead or is it all necessary?”
“Just say the ‘you may kiss the bride’ bit,” Susannah suggested. “She likes it when he kisses her.”
The priest looked taken aback.
“She’s right,” Phin agreed. “Just kiss her, Matt.”
“No,” Susannah protested, “the priest needs to tell him to do it first or it doesn’t count.”
“Georgiana,” Matt said quietly, ignoring them, “I told you when we first met that I ain’t the marrying kind. I got no interest in marrying for marrying’s sake.”
Her heart was pounding like she’d run a race. She was no good for him. She was a burden, a curse, an albatross around his neck. She didn’t want to be a weight for him to carry.
Matt stepped closer to her. His eyes were hypnotic. The golden lights sparkled again, like the flare of candlelight in the window on a wintry night, calling her in from the cold. “I ain’t looking for a wife,” he told her, his voice husky. “Not a young wife, not a childless wife, not any kind of wife.”
“Then why is he getting married?” Phin asked, outraged.
“Be quiet,” Susannah hissed. “I think he’s about to kiss her.”