Outlaw in Love by Tanya Hanson

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On the run from his gang, having robbed his own sister, outlaw Ahab Perkins has no place to go but …good. He’d give his heart in a single beat to the woman he all but kidnapped…if only the beautiful lady in gray wasn’t a nun.

Hiding out in disguise at a rundown mission, Teresa Avila is as wanted as Ahab. Her past crimes and her evil stepfather’s abuse have her thinking she’s not good enough for any man. Giving her heart to Ahab Perkins would be far worse than spending her life pretending to be a nun—wouldn’t it?

But there’s more to this hardened outlaw than meets the eye. A burned-out homestead, a kindly sheriff, and an abandoned little girl bring out his tender side, and Teresa finds it harder and harder not to reveal her true identity.

Publisher and Release Date: The Wild Rose Press, September 2014

Time and setting: Arizona Territory, 1881
Genre: Historical Romance
Heat Level: Sweet
Reviewer rating: 4 Stars

Reviewed by Vikki

I enjoy western romance and Outlaw in Love lived up to my expectations, because I was hooked from the first page. I always enjoy a book that drops me into the action right away, and this definitely does that. The story kept me flipping the pages to see what would happen next.

Teresa Avila, a young woman in hiding and dressed as a nun, is traveling with a known outlaw, Ahab Perkins when they come under attack. Ahab throws Teresa into the dust and lands on top of her to keep her safe from flying bullets. The only problem — this action triggers flashbacks of her worst nightmare.

After the bandits leave, they travel on foot, since Ahab’s beloved horse, Nitro was killed in the fracas. They spy a fire off in the distance and go down the hill to investigate, only to find a homestead burning. No one seems to be around and the house is too far gone to save.

The barn is far enough away from the house that they deem it safe. Ahab finds a shovel, so he goes back to bury Nitro while Teresa rests her twisted ankle. None too happy, but not having any choice, she settles on a bench to await Ahab’s return.

After he leaves, she hears the cries of a child. She finds some sort of root cellar with a little girl closed up inside. When she frees her, the child tells her how her papa put her in the cellar when the fire started.

This starts their attempt to reunite the child with her parents, only to discover her papa perished in the fire and her mama ran off. Through their attempts to do right by the child, Teresa and Ahab fight their growing attraction. Will their secrets keep them apart, or can they free themselves to find a love of a lifetime?

This is a fast paced story with plenty of action, yet it also allowed me to get to know the hero and heroine and become invested in their story, rooting for them to find a way past their difficulties and achieve HEA.

This is a sweet love story that also teaches of the power of God’s love and forgiveness. It’s a story of redemption through acceptance of doing what is right, even if it has dire consequences for Ahab. I truly loved the ending because it gave me the chance to see the couple ten years later and know that they did indeed find their way to a life richer and more fulfilling than either of them ever anticipated.

I found Outlaw in Love to be a highly entertaining book, and recommend it to those who enjoy a well-written western historical romance that inspires.

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