A Rogue in Texas

A Rogue in Texas

by Lorraine Heath

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He was the wrong man for the job in every way but one . . .

Grayson Rhodes, the illegitimate son of a duke, heads to America to prove his worth and earn his fortune. But post-Civil War Texas seems more like hell than a land of opportunity, especially when he finds himself working the cotton fields of no-nonsense Abbie Westland. Abbie, with her fiery determination, is wildly different from the fragile beauties Grayson knew at home . . . but there is a tender yearning he can see just below her tough exterior.

Abbie works her fingers to the bone day-in and day-out, and she needs the help of a few good farmhands. Though skeptical of the polished Englishman when he arrives, she soon discovers a man with a resolve to succeed that matches her own. As the long, hot days turn to heated, passionate nights, they dare to dream of a future together.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780380803293
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 05/27/2014
Series: Rogues in Texas Series , #1
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 152,772
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.92(d)

About the Author

Lorraine Heath always dreamed of being a writer. After graduating from the University of Texas, she wrote training manuals, press releases, articles, and computer code, but something was always missing. When she read a romance novel, she not only became hooked on the genre, but quickly realized what her writing lacked: rebels, scoundrels, and rogues. She’s been writing about them ever since. Her work has been recognized with numerous industry awards, including RWA’s prestigious RITA®. Her novels have appeared on the USA Today and New York Times bestseller lists.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

July, 1865

Grayson Rhodes' father had always warned him that he would bum in hell, but he had never expected to arrive at the damnable place while he was still alive.

Sitting in the rear of the wagon, Grayson suffered through the sweltering heat that clung to his body. Flies and gnats joyfully buzzed around his ears as the vehicle bounced over the rough road. He would have thought the seven men crowded into the abominable mode of transportation would have kept the damn thing on an even keel. How the man to his left — Christian Montgomery — could sleep through the incessant jostling was beyond Grayson's comprehension, but he had to admire Kit's ability to do so.

Unlike his traveling companions, Grayson had long ago given up any pretense at being a gentleman. He'd tossed his cravat aside, removed his jacket, loosened the top buttons on his white linen shirt, and rolled his starched cuffs past his elbows. But none of his efforts diminished the suffocating heat.

With his sleeve, he wiped the sweat from his brow. He could do nothing to prevent the beads trickling down his back.

He sliced his narrowed gaze to Benjamin P. Winslow, who sat on the bench seat beside the driver. The rotund man had convinced the fathers of every man in the wagon into paying him five hundred pounds to bring their wayward sons to Texas and make men of them.

Grayson shifted his weight, wincing as a splinter jabbed his backside. If he ever had occasion to travel by coach again, he would not take its comforts for granted.

And although he was beginning to have doubts that fortune truly awaited him here, after this excursioninto hell, he knew he now had a chance to gain with hard work what his father could not bequeath himrespect.

"What do you make of that?" a deep voice grumbled.

Grayson cut a quick glance to Harrison Bainbridge, second son of the Earl of Lambourne, before gazing in the distance. Heat rose from the earth, creating walls of shimmering white flames. Beyond them, shadows of two or three buildings hovered.

"Satan's throne, perhaps?" Grayson suggested drolly.

Harry flashed the easy grin for which he was famous. "I'll wager five pounds that it's an inn, and we'll finally have beds in which to sleep."

"I would take you up on it, but you've already managed to swindle me out of the two shillings I had jingling within my pockets."

"I'll be glad to mark you down for it. I know you're good for it — or you will be, once we've reached our destination."

"How can you be so certain?" Kit asked.

Grayson snapped his attention to the man sitting beside him. "I thought you were asleep."

Kit gave him a laconic smile, his pale blue eyes effectively shielding the windows to his soul. More than one woman had referred to them as eyes of the devil after she'd succumbed to his infamous charms. "'I've merely been pondering our situation and trying to remember what possessed us to climb into this wagon once we'd docked at Galveston."

"Winslow's promise of fortune had us eagerly clambering aboard," Grayson reminded him. "The notion of becoming men of means in our own right and rubbing our fathers' noses into it appealed to us."

"An appeal that lessens as each day progresses. Perhaps we should consider jumping ship, as it were, and heading back to Galveston. I'm certain we could find a gaming hall or two." He smiled in anticipation. "Along with some feminine entertainment."

"And abandon fortune?" Grayson asked. "I think not."

The driver guided the wagon onto a narrower, rougher dirt road than the one upon which they'd been traveling. On one side of the road, dark green cotton stalks reached toward the sun. Grayson had seen the crops growing in a few fields along the route. The abundance of growth in Texas surprised him.

As the wagon continued on, he was able to distinguish the shapes of women and children toiling between the neatly planted rows. They ceased their labors and began walking through the fields toward the road, toward the wagon, falling into step behind it.

"Winslow, shouldn't we offer them a ride?" Kit called out.

"It's not much farther," Winslow assured him.

When they neared what Grayson had taken for Satan's throne, he realized it was nothing more than a barn. A simple clapboard house stood nearby, blue gingham curtains fluttering through the open windows. He doubted extra beds awaited them here. He cursed himself for not taking Harry up on his wager.

The driver drew the team of horses to a halt. The wagon rocked as Winslow lifted his portly body from the bench seat and turned, tottering as though he were a child's toy until he gained his balance. His smile broad, his black eyes gleaming beneath his black top hat, he folded his fingers around the lapels of his brown wool tailcoat. "Gentlemen, we have arrived!"

Grayson felt as though he'd just stepped into the middle of a boxing ring with his eyes closed. Apparently, he was not the only one. His traveling companions' mouths went agape and their eyes bulged. Harry struggled to his knees. "Exactly where have we arrived?"

"To the fields where you'll work."

"Are you telling us that all this time when you assured us that fortune awaited us, you were talking about our working in bloody fields?"

"Indeed I am, lad."

"Bloody hell, who would have thought he meant for us to become common field laborers?" Harry demanded.

"Obviously, none of us," Kit said. "Or we wouldn't be here."

"Come on, lads, hoist yourselves out of the wagon. The ladies are waiting!" Winslow exclaimed.

Against his better judgment, Grayson climbed out, his booted feet hitting the ground and creating a cloud of dust. His aching body protested the movement. He longed for a soft bed and an even softer woman. Unfortunately, he doubted either was in supply at this rut in the road.

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Rogue in Texas 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 32 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Everything about this book was great, character development was more than I could have hoped for. It was a book that made you think,'if I was this lady, thats EXACTLY what I would have said/done!!!!' I recommend this one the romace fan sick of the same story/different names type of book. Give it a read, you won't regret it!
kronan1 More than 1 year ago
Great Story................................................................................ A dukes son and a farmers wife? Lorraine Heath makes you want to believe it. And you do. Now that's amore.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is such a sweet love story! After reading it I went on to read Never Love a Cowboy, Never Marry a Cowboy, Promise Me Forever and The Outlaw and The Lady.  They are all about families of these characters and are all well written. Worth you time and money to read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
An excellent historic romance that pulls you in from the start! Wonderful character development about trust, loyalty, sacrifice and true love. All romance readers will love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Really enjoyed this book. Well written and fun.
mom2lnb on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wow! I'm beginning to think that Lorraine Heath simply doesn't know how to write a bad book. It's been a while since I last picked up one of her novels, but considering her stellar track record, I'm not sure why. A Rogue in Texas is now the sixth book in a row I've read by her that earned a spot on my keeper shelf. I did initially have a little bit of trouble getting into the story. Trying to skip back and forth between a cultured English accent and a Texas drawl in my head was somewhat challenging and distracting, but that was more of a personal issue than any weakness of the writing. I also didn't feel the connection between the hero and heroine at first, but about halfway through, that all changed as their relationship took on a sweetly romantic turn with just a little spice to heat things up. Then there was a major plot twist which made the latter part of the book very emotionally taut with many difficult choices needing to be made with no easy answers in sight. A Rogue in Texas is definitely one of those stories that gradually grew on me as the narrative progressed.Abbie is a strong woman who has learned to do what needs to be done in order to survive. She was married off at the young age of sixteen to a man who was older than her. He wasn't a bad man per se. He provided for her and never abused her as I initially thought, but he was a man who was already married to the land when he took Abbie as his wife. With him, the land always came first, and sadly, Abbie and their children received little more than scraps in an emotional sense. Abbie's husband was a hard and distant man who never showed her any tenderness or affection. In some ways, she was little more than a slave to cook, clean and keep him company. She always did things to his liking, suppressing her own feelings and preferences. Then he went off to fight for the Confederate army in the Civil War, and didn't return. It was something of a relief to Abbie to have his name turn up on the rolls of the dead, but of course, she felt guilty over not loving him enough to be able to mourn him. Over the years since he left, she has done a very respectable job of holding together their cotton farm, but is in need of some extra help bringing in the harvest which is how Grayson came to work for her. Abbie is rather disconcerted by the charming Englishman. She's a little afraid of him (or at least of the feelings her stirs within her), and isn't quite sure what to make of his gentlemanliness as she has never been treated with that kind of deference before. In spite of being a widow with three children, Abbie might as well have been an innocent for all she knows of desire and love-making. She never knew what true love and passion between a man and a woman meant until meeting Gray.For all his declarations of being a disreputable rogue, Grayson spends the entire story showing just how much of a gentleman he can truly be. Gray was the eldest son of a nobleman, but a bastard, so even though his father claimed him and paid for his upbringing, Gray is unable to inherit the title and also never felt completely accepted either by his father or society. He came to Texas looking to start a new life and become a land-owner which would put him on more equal footing with his father. At first, I thought his intentions toward Abbie were somewhat mercenary. As a widow who now owned her late husband's farm, she presented a quick and easy way for Gray to gain the land he desired. I think he was rather surprised to actually fall in love with Abbie. Her love in return made him want to be a better man, because the thing he longed for the most in life was simply to feel wanted and loved by someone who didn't care about his paternity. In spite of not having close family ties growing up, Gray understands and relates to Abbie's children extremely well. He has an instinctive sense of how to be a great father, and not too surprisingly, the kids end up loving and respecting him more than the
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Buy the series. Very enjoyable read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I personally didn't care for chemistry together. It was a little lacking for me. First time in your life your in love and she just didn't fight hard enough for it. I know back then when you get married you're pretty much stuck. But after 4 years of presuming you're husband dead and she just except's him back (a loveless marriage). Walks away from her one true love. I just didn't buy it. She was lacking for me. I in just wish she was fought harder and been stronger instead of just excepting it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could not put this down! Same with the sequels.
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This was well worth reading highly recommend
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
1.99 for 37 pages. Ripe off
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