Berkley Books Presents: Bound For Glory

44641824Title:  Bound For Glory
Series:  Frontiers Of The Heart #4
Author:  Tess LeSue
Length:  384 pages
Date Of Publication:  December 3, 2019
Publisher:  Berkley Books
Rating:  5 stars

An unwilling legend and the woman who made him one face off in this epic conclusion to the Frontiers of the Heart series.

He has many names. They call him Deathrider, White Wolf, The Plague of the West. He's the ice-eyed killer of the plains; the ghost of the trail; the restless spirit who haunts the frontier from California to Missouri, leaving a trail of bodies in his wake. They say he seeks vengeance for his murdered people; they say he never sleeps; they say he moves silently through the night and changes form to run with the wolves. And that he is as beautiful as Lucifer.

At least, so they say. Ava Archer wouldn't know; she's never seen him. But that doesn't stop her from writing about him. The Plague of the West is her bread and butter, and after more than a dozen dime novels, she thinks she probably knows Deathrider better than he knows himself, even if she wouldn't recognize him on the street. If only rumors of his death would stop getting in the way of a good story....

Those damn stories make Nathaniel Rides With Death's life an absolute misery. Thanks to his unwanted notoriety, he's hunted like an animal by an endless stream of gunslingers looking to make a name for themselves. When someone close to Nate is shot by one of the gunslingers, Nate decides it's time to hunt down the novelist at the root of all his troubles. He has a plan to end this farce once and for all....

Please enjoy this excerpt from
Bound For Glory

There was a naked man in the desert.
Ava Archer knew trouble when she saw it, and this was trouble with a capital T. She was alone in the desert, her horse was played out, her canteen was bone-dry, and she was out of bullets. This was no time to be running into natives. Even a solitary one. If she had any sense at all, she would turn right around and run in the other direction . . . but Kennedy Voss was in the other direction, and Kennedy Voss was a mean son of a bitch. Besides, she was desperate for water, and maybe this Indian had some.
She’d thought she’d known thirst before—but this was something else again. She felt made of grit and sand, her every pore a desert in miniature, her tongue thick and swollen in her cottony mouth; even her eyes and nose had dried out. And every thud of her horse’s hooves on the ground made a drumbeat: Water. Water. Water. Water.
So Ava kept on toward the man, pulled by the hope of water. As she plodded closer, she reassured herself that at least there was only one of him, and from what she could see, he was in bad shape: he was squatting under the screamingly bright September sun, naked from the waist up, his body a patchwork of bruises, and both of his eyes swollen shut. Ava doubted he could see her. But he knew she was there, because he rose to his feet at the sound of her tired horse dragging his way.
Oh dear. He wasn’t mostly naked, she saw as he stood: he was completely naked. He was also tall, wide, and terrifyingly powerful. A warrior. He was the color of rosewood, his muscles as hard as if he’d been carved from a tree. And he was covered in tattoos, including a sprawling, intricate pattern in the shape of a bird, which stretched its wings the breadth of his thickly muscled chest. His hair was long, loose, and coated in dust; it fell down his back in tangles to his shoulder blades. He was bruised all over, she realized as her gaze drifted down, wincing as she took in the black blotches on his legs. There was a particularly nasty one on his hip, right next to . . .
Ava tore her gaze away. Hell. She was alone in the desert with a naked man. A big, powerful, wounded naked man. And she was heat struck and ill with thirst, barely able to think straight.
She couldn’t have stumbled onto a little old lady instead? Or a nice family, with a pack of kids? A pack of kids and an icy-cold barrel of water . . .
Ava rubbed her hand across her dry mouth. She felt skin flakes come away on her fingers and winced. She needed to get hold of herself. She was growing delirious. This here was just an injured man. Probably an Apache, considering she was somewhere near the Apacheria. Probably. Maybe. Who knew where the hell she was, to be honest. Purgatory seemed likely. Little old ladies and nice families didn’t go wandering around Purgatory—this was the best she could hope for. She should have been grateful that he was just one beat-up Apache and not a whole party. And at least he wasn’t Kennedy Voss. Without even realizing she was doing it, she glanced over her shoulder, as though thinking about Voss might summon him. That man gave her the willies. Voss was likely to be somewhere nearby (she hadn’t had that much of a head start on him), and here she was about to die of thirst right in his path. She didn’t have time to be distracted by naked strangers.

My Thoughts
The story told in Tess LeSue's  Bound For Glory illustrates how legends are created for good or for ill
through stories and word of mouth.
And how said stories can then become the bane of someone's existence.  Or as in the case of Nathaniel.  A threat to their very lives.

As for Ava.  One could honestly say that she had no idea that her tales of Deathrider's supposed exploits would be as widely circulated or as popular as they became.
Let alone that they would serve as the impetus for a sponsored manhunt for the "outlaw" that she helped to make infamous.
By other outlaws.  Who are in themselves just as infamous.
Nor did she have any way of predicting the unbelievable set of circumstances that would find her stranded in the desert.  The threat of death looming, and the only person standing between the certain demise of the very man that her words doomed to the hunt.
But the story of survival, trust, friendship, and unlikely forever love that author LeSue weaves around these two is one that stays in the heart forever.
A big reason for this being that at their first meeting, neither of the two is aware of who the other actually is.
Only that they each are the other's sole hope for survival.
As such, readers get to see their relationship grow and change on a person to person basis.
Without the constraints of preconceived prejudices and judgement.
While being fully aware that there will be a reckoning of sorts when the truth of their identities is revealed.

When the very real history of Native American resettlement and other societal injustices that native peoples had to endure in the name of  "American expansion." come into play within the story.
What could have been a rather light and almost comical "western Amazing Race" gone awry.
Becomes a poignant tale of life love and freedom.

About Tess
Tess LeSueTess LeSue writes raunchy and adventurous historical romances, with strong and sassy heroines and heroes to make your knees go weak. Set against vast and dramatic backdrops, these are love stories to sweep you back in time, and off your feet.

Her historical Western, Bound for Eden, was runner up for Romance Writers of Australia’s 2016 EmeraldPRO award and will be published by Harlequin/MIRA in 2016.

You can find Tess on Facebook:


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