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by Jannine Corti Petska
Category: Romance/Historical Fiction
Description: She traveled West to marry the man she loves--instead found the man of her dreams. In 1873, New York City heiress Courtney Danning shuns privilege and position to follow her heart to the fledgling community of Santa Fe. Widowed the same day she's wed, Courtney soon discovers her husband wasn't the only man awaiting her arrival. The stranger's indifference makes New Mexico's summer even hotter, but what she keeps hidden might be the key to the life she's always dreamed about. He was hired to guard her?but forgot to guard his heart. Ex-gunfighter Beau Hamilton's past and present are shrouded in mystery. From the moment Leif Danning hires him to watch over his pampered daughter, Beau fights his attraction. To win her love, he must find the courage to expose all, knowing the truth might become his worst nightmare. A range war threatens.... Struggling against their unbidden love, Beau and Courtney must protect themselves from everything trying to tear them apart. When the woman he's sworn to protect finds herself in the middle of a range war, will he send her back East and lose her forever, or will he do whatever it takes to defend her--even if it costs him his life....
eBook Publisher: Highland Press/Western, 2006 2006
eBookwise Release Date: October 2008
5 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [383 KB]
Reading time: 223-313 min.
"Rebel Heart is a fiery, heartfelt tale featuring two headstrong individuals finding love despite all obstacles."--Jennifer,Love Western Romances
"Rebel Heart is full of characters and situations which will have readers anxiously reading to learn what will happen next in this exciting story full of all the hope and passion I'd expect in a novel with a western setting."--Chrissy Dionne,Romance Junkies
"Rebel Heart is a wonderfully written historical, not only fascinating but kept this reader turning the pages. . Ms. Petska pens a delightful read with well-rounded characters and great dialogue that grabs the reader. This book is a great start to any day or evening."--Linda L.,Fallen Angel Reviews
"Rebel Heart is an entertaining escapade set in the Wild West. The characters, both good and bad, are completely convincing. The banter between the hero and heroine was delightful and imaginative of what the old west must have really been like. Ms. Corti-Peska's novel was a pure joy to read."--Bonnie-Lass,CoffeeTime Review
"This book comes very close to being what I consider the perfect book: a historical romance, well written, long enough to allow interesting development of characters and their backgrounds, and a beautiful love story developing a fascinating plot. Ms. Petska's writings demand attention; she draws the reader to quickly become involved in this passionate story. This is a wonderful rendition of a different type which is a welcome addition to the historical romance genre. I believe that you will enjoy this story; I know I did!"--Brenda Talley,The Romance Studio
"Fiery and passionate."--Tami Brady,TCM Reviews
"Author Jannine Corti Petska must have done a lot of research on sheep ranching to create such a beautiful and well written story. The main couple is very different from each other, but a perfect match. The author made sure that this is one pampered, but feisty, lady that readers cannot help but cheer for. Keep your eye on this author. I certainly will be. Jannine Corti Petska's future looks bright."--Detra Fitch,Huntress Reviews
"Jannine Corti Petska's Rebel Heart--a fast-paced story of Beau Hamilton, a mysterious man of panther-like grace and deadly guns, and Courtney Danning, a woman who's not afraid to take responsibility for her own hot-headed actions--brings the Old West to life in vivid colors of cactus, sunsets and love-kissed lips. I read this book from cover to cover and turned the last page still feeling the warm glow left over from a good loving. Life on the range is never easy; when the bullets start flying and blood starts flowing, I want a man like Beau Hamilton at my back!"--Aysel Arwen, Romance Author
Beau planted himself behind Courtney once again. His arms lined hers as she positioned one of his Colts between her hands, the barrel pointed at a can on the fence post.
"This time, keep your hands steady and your eyes open," he directed in a tight voice.
Courtney was hard pressed to keep from laughing. Aware that she was the direct cause of his waning patience, she decided she liked frustrating him. Perhaps it wasn't fair to toy with his genuine concern for her safety. But she had Beau all to herself for now, and if she continued to mess up, he'd have to stay awhile longer.
His breath on the back of her neck gave her a chill each time he moved behind her and bent his knees in order to see the target at her level. She wondered if he noticed the goosebumps on her exposed forearms.
Grinning, Courtney squeezed the trigger. The gun barked, rocketing her hands skyward.
"Dammit!" Beau exploded. "I told you to keep your hands steady. Were your eyes open?"
Glancing back over her shoulder, she gave him a tentative smile. Meekly, she answered, "I don't know."
"Jesus! How the hell are you going to defend this ranch against Stover's bunch?" he blustered, then expelled a long breath of hard-fought patience. "All right," he said, his tone more subdued. "We've been at this for an hour. Let's get a rifle in your grip."
While he explained how to load the weapon, Courtney observed him closely. Frustration carved gullies on his handsome face. The discoloration was gone and only a few minor scars were left as a reminder of what Stover's men had done to him. She almost felt badly for Beau. He was trying his best to teach her, and she was making it more difficult than it actually was.
He bent his head forward, and his hair rested carelessly about his neck, caressing his shirt collar and catching on the stubbles at his jaw. Unconsciously, he pulled the strands away. Courtney smiled fondly. But the second he looked at her again, she quickly put on her sweetest face. She really shouldn't do this to him.
"Press the butt against your shoulder or you'll break it."
"The butt?" she asked innocently.
"Your shoulder!" he snapped.
"Don't get testy."
"Don't get..." he repeated, then clamped his teeth against the retort she knew clawed to get out.
Doing as he instructed, Courtney turned her back to him, grinning again. "Like this?"
He positioned the rifle against her shoulder. "Now, do you think you can squeeze back gently this time?"
"I'll try," she said sweetly.
The rifle exploded, forcing Courtney back into Beau. Taking him unaware, he lost his balance, and they toppled together to the dirt.
"Goddammit, woman!" Sitting, he pushed her to sit between his outstretched legs. "I said gently." Gripping her elbow, he helped her stand as he got to his feet. "You don't yank on the trigger like it was an udder."
Pretending to react to his harsh words, Courtney revealed her impertinent side. "I didn't yank on it. Maybe you don't know how to teach me to shoot. Ever think of that?"
"Damn me if I ever volunteer to teach anyone to do anything ever again," he mumbled.
Courtney snapped her shoulders back indignantly. "Well, damn you for being so short-tempered and impatient."
Beau shoved her shoulder to turn her attention back to the target. "Try it again. And this time--"
"I know. Squeeeeze gently." She bit the inside of her lip to stop a grin as she gently applied pressure as if holding an egg between her fingers. "I did it! I hit the fence post," she said excitedly.
"It's about time." Beau scratched his head, obviously confounded by her clumsiness with a weapon. "Lady, I think you gave me a few white hairs."