Sunday, January 19, 2014

Terms of Engagement by Lorrie Farrelly ~ review

  • Paperback: 306 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (December 17, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1469953420
  • ISBN-13: 978-1469953427

Wyoming Territory, 1885. On a train in the middle of nowhere, a young woman suddenly collapses. Fellow passenger Dr. Robert Devlin, a widower traveling with his five-year-old daughter, responds immediately to the medical emergency. What he finds when he examines his new patient both shocks and outrages him, and soon he is tangled up in her no-way-out, life-or-death plight.

Teresa Rutledge has taken her toddler son and run for their lives. Fleeing her wealthy, cruelly abusive husband, knowing there is nowhere they will be safe for long, she is at the end of her strength and at the end of her rope. Determined to protect Tess and her child, Rob takes them home to his sister, Annie, and her husband, former cavalry Captain Michael Cantrell. As Tess regains her health, she and Rob fall passionately in love. But she is trapped in a brutal marriage, and on a desperate flight from a powerful, violent man determined never to let her go.

This much-anticipated sequel to best-selling, Orange Rose Award finalist Terms of Surrender lets readers catch up with their favorite characters from the original story, while also being a wonderfully suspenseful, emotional, and exciting stand-alone novel in its own right.

My take on this book:
The year is 1885 and Teresa (Tess) Rutledge is the wife of a very powerful yet brutal man. She was resigned to the fact that he was abusive,and his latest round almost killed her, but when he harms her their child Scottie she knows she must escape, so with the help of a maid she does just that and hops a train west. While on the train she collapses, fortunately Dr. Robert Devlin had recently had a spiritual encounter  warning him that someone on this train would need his help so he and his young daughter Grace is on board. When he learns of Tess' injuries he decides to protect her no matter what and takes her home to his sister Annie Cantrell's ranch. Rob enlists the help of his family to help extricate Tess from her brutal marriage but her husband won't give up easily, and when Rob and Tess are faced with a life and death situation it will take divine intervention to save them!

Terms of Engagement by Lorrie Farrelly reads like an epic novel. A historical romance, that provides plenty of suspense,and drama along with a twist of a supernatural flare that makes for a page turning read!  The author easily pulls readers back to the days when  people traveled by train or stagecoach, and when the west was still far from tame. She certainly brings history to life within the pages of this story. I could easily imagine the ranch, the rutted roads traveled by stagecoach and the horses that were an integral part of  the ranch. The characters are solid, Rob has lost his wife, and while he teaches, his life is really is young daughter Gracie. Tess had become resigned to her husband's abuse, but is propelled to act when he hits their son. When she finds herself in the care of Rob she knows that she isn't free to care for him but can't help it, and the thing is Rob is drawn to her as well. So much more than just another historical love story there is a richness in detail, the author is a true wordsmith choosing her words to describe the situation without becoming graphic or over dwelling on the darkness of spousal abuse.She does the same with the sexual situations that she describes, you get the picture without it being graphic or smutty.  I loved the hope that Tess and Rob felt. The way that Rob's family embraced Tess really reminds the reader of the bonds that families share. While this book is the second in a series the author provides enough background information that it can easily be read as a stand alone work but I would highly suggest reading the first book Terms of Surrender as well, so that you can connect with the wonderful characters that make up the Cantrell family. I really enjoyed reconnecting with Annie and Michael. I really can't get enough of Michael's southern twang or the love that he and Annie share, not to mention that wonderful stallion Jet! Terms of Engagement is a very well written historical adventure that provides a satisfying ending that leaves me hoping for another book in the series so that I can reconnect with this family.

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