THE WAYWARD HEART by Jill Gregory

THE WAYWARD HEART

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KIRKUS REVIEW

When beauteous Bryony Hill--in her last year at Miss Marsh's School for Young Ladies in 1874 St. Louis--hears that her rancher-father has been killed by a gunfighter out in the Arizona Territory, she naturally decides to head on out there and take over the ranch herself. So off Bryony goes by stage-coach--only to be ambushed in Arizona by highwaymen, who abduct her and are about to have their way with her (""his arm left Bryony's throat to tear savagely at her lavender gown, ripping open the bodice beneath to reveal the full, creamy-white mounds of her breasts"") . . . when she's rescued by The Gorgeous Savage Cowboy. ""Who was this cold, ruggedly handsome man behind her?"" Who indeed? None other than Texas Jim Logan, the man who killed Bryony's pa. So Bryony will be eaten up by conflicting lust/hate for Logan as she starts life on the ranch--where other problems arise: surly ranch-hands; nasty neighbors (Bryony's pa was unpopular); and assorted attempts on Bryony's life. Could the villain behind all this be nice Matt Richards, who proposes marriage? And could the rumors about Pa--that he killed his mistress, that he rustled and land-grabbed--be true? Well, when Jim has to rescue Bryony yet again, he tells Bryony (his ""little tenderfoot"") The Truth. . . in the afterglow of ""wild, joyful. . . wondrous, throbbing unison,"" etc. The next morning, however, Bryony cries, ""No, oh no, Jim, we can't--not again!"" And she refuses to believe The Truth about Matt, Pa, and rustling. So there'll have to be some more violence (along with some matchmaking between a ranch-hand and a tomboy) before Matt gets his and Bryony gets Jim on a permanent basis. Half formula-gothic, half soft-core porn in the restless/ savage/thrusting mode--for the paperback-original audience only.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1982
Publisher: Ace/Grosset & Dunlap