Rafe’s Redemption by Jennifer Jakes
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Length: Full Length (321 Pages)
Other: M/F, Spanking, Anal Sex
Rating: 4.5 Cherries
Reviewed by Foxglove
He rode into town to buy supplies, not a woman.
For hunted recluse Rafe McBride, the raven-haired beauty on the auction block is exactly what he doesn't need. A dependent woman will be another clue his vengeful stepbrother can use to find and kill him. But Rafe's conscience won't let him leave another innocent's virginity to the riff-raff bidding. He buys her, promising to return her to St. Louis untouched. He only prays the impending blizzard holds off before her sultry beauty breaks his willpower.
She wanted freedom, not a lover.
Whisked to the auction block by her devious, gambling cousin, and then sold into the arms of a gorgeous stranger, outspoken artist Maggie Monroe isn't about to go meekly. Especially when the rugged mountain man looks like sin and danger rolled into one. But a blizzard and temptation thrust them together, and Maggie yearns to explore her smoldering passion for Rafe.
But when the snow clears, will the danger and secrets that surround Rafe and Maggie tear them apart?
Rafe McBride got more than he planned on when he went into town for supplies. When he saw the lovely woman being auctioned off in front of the saloon, he remembered another time, and another woman being mistreated, and he made sure she wouldn’t go to someone who would harm her. He planned on taking her to Fort Union as soon as the blizzard passed. He didn’t need any complications in his life.
Maggie Monroe came west from St. Louis with her cousin, planning to draw the scenery and sell the sketches after showing them at a gallery. She was tired of being controlled by men; first her father, then her cousin Michael. She never realized just how dangerous life would be traveling with Michael, until he lost all their money gambling, and decided to sell her. Maggie is delighted that Rafe isn’t interested, it means she will get home that much sooner. But what they say about best-laid plans proves true, and soon something like friendship and even affection begins to grow between them, as Mother Nature conspires to keep her from leaving.
But there is danger ahead for both of them; Michael is determined to see her dead, and Rafe has secrets that haunt him as well. Can Maggie come to terms with her growing affection for Rafe? Can she convince him he isn’t the evil man he believes himself to be? When evil comes calling, can they face it together and survive?
Rafe’s Redemption is Jennifer Jakes debut, and it is an excellent beginning. I will be honest and say that I rarely read historicals or westerns, but this story caught my attention from the beginning. The world Ms. Jakes has built is a rough one, with men who have survived the War Between the States and who just want to go on with life. It is gritty and shows a part of life in a time when things were simpler, and people were stronger and independent. The characters here are well defined and interesting, from Rafe and Maggie, to Old Tom at the general store, and others we meet along the way.
Maggie Monroe is smart, strong and determined to be independent of any man. Men have controlled her all of her life, and she wants nothing more than her freedom. I loved watching as she discovered that freedom didn’t need to mean she had to be alone. I enjoyed watching her learn to like, then respect, and finally love Rafe. I found her willingness to help others at the cost of her own safety a rare treat.
Rafe McBride is a man running from his past. He is strong, brave and loyal, and, although he did nothing wrong, he believes he is not a good person. He has secrets, and only by facing his past will he become the person that will be free to care for Maggie. I liked watching as he tried so hard to resist temptation and keep Maggie at arms length.
There are several threads weaving through this story, hints of danger and murder with more to come for both Maggie and Rafe. I enjoyed the pace of this story, and the way Ms. Jakes stretched out the anticipation for when these two would finally realize what they felt. There are two very real threats to Maggie and Rafe, when Michael comes searching for Maggie and when Rafe’s past catches up to them, and they have to fight for their lives. The friends of Rafe’s become Maggie’s friends, and I can honestly say I didn’t see the ending of this one coming.
If this book is any indication, Ms. Jakes has a lot of imagination and talent, and I look forward to more from her in the future.