Do Not Forsake Me: Outlaw Hearts #2 by Rosanne Bittner

Do Not Forsake Me: Outlaw Hearts #2 by Rosanne Bittner

In my continued obsession with all things historic romance, I’m jumping in to a new to me series and author with Rosanne Bittner and her new release  book two in the Outlaw Hearts American Western Historical Romance series.

Do Not Forsake Me

I think I have a new author to stalk follow in Roseanne Bittner: the writing and characterization is wonderfully done with characters that dance above the norm for romance: mid 40’s and 50’s.  While there was a solid romance sense in the feeling and progression of the story, for me calling this a family saga better explains the breadth and scope of this story. Placing the romance as a secondary, even tertiary element allowed for the history and connections of the characters to speak louder.

Picking up from the first in the series, we are now following the lives of Jake and Miranda, he now serving his “time” as a Federal Marshall in the Oklahoma Territory.  A wild and untamed place, while Jake isn’t unwilling to make amends for his crimes of the past he truly wants to commute this sentence to find a peaceful life.  This story follows the ‘waiting time’ for the answer on his pardon/commutation.

A lovely couple, Miranda is in her 40’s, Jake is slightly older in his 50’s. These two have survived everything the west can throw at them: disease, hunger, hard work, and even Jake’s punishment for his crimes.  Now all they want is some peace and quiet, time to enjoy their family, retirement of a sort.  But, of course, life isn’t always like that.

Bittner takes the reader on a journey that is emotional, easy to relate to and mixes those with the elements and incidents that are true to the life and environment of the time: not always pretty, neat or clean.  As a stand-alone, the story and characters are engaging and engrossing, transporting readers to the center of the setting, rich in description and imagery.  I do think that the full impact of the story and the connection between Jake and Miranda would have been more impactful with having read the first book: something I am intending to remedy soon.

Do Not Forsake Me: Outlaw Hearts #2 by Rosanne Bittner

Title: Do Not Forsake Me
Author: Rosanne Bittner
Series: Outlaw Hearts #2
Genre: Historical Romance
Published by: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 1492612847
Published on: 7 July, 2015
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Pages: 512
Rated: four-stars
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Experience the epic, sweeping story of Jake and Miranda Harkner from Bittner's beloved Outlaw Hearts, called by New York Times bestseller Heather Graham "a wonderful, absorbing read, with characters to capture the heart and the imagination".

Fate brought them together. His past may tear them apart.

Miranda Hayes' life was changed the day she faced down infamous gunslinger Jake Harkner...and walked away with his heart. Their fates have been intertwined ever since. Hunted by the law, fleeing across a savage land, their desperate love flourished despite countless sorrows. Now, twenty-six years later, their family has finally found some measure of peace...balanced on the knife's edge of danger.

Jake has spent his years as a U.S. Marshal atoning for sins, bringing law to the land he once terrorized. But no matter how hard he fights the demons of his brutal past, the old darkness still threatens to consume him. Only Miranda keeps the shadows at bay. But when outlaws looking for revenge strike a fatal blow, Jake risks losing the one woman who saw past his hard exterior and to the man inside.

He always knew there'd be the devil to pay. He just never realized he might not be the one to bear the ultimate price.


See the Outlaw Hearts Series on GoodReads

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.


About Rosanne Bittner

For those of you who have not yet read my books, my stories are generally set in the American West of the 1800's and feature vividly-described, historically accurate settings that span the US from Missouri to California, from Canada to Mexico. Many of my books portray the poignant history of our Native Americans, and though the characters are my own, I use real historical locations and events in all my novels. I must be doing something right, because more and more men are writing to tell me how much they enjoy my westerns, too. Louis L'Amour has always been one of my favorite writers, and I am very flattered that my male readers compare my books favorably with his!

For me there is nothing more beautiful than the magnificent western landscape. Big - huge - incredibly beautiful - endless horizons - there just aren't enough adjectives to describe the dramatic, even emotional views you find in the American West. You have to see it to truly appreciate it. My favorite states are Colorado, Montana and Wyoming. You'll find a lot of my books are set in those areas.