Tracy’s rating: 3.5/4 of 5 stars
Series: The Runaway Brides, #3
Release Date: October 29, 2019
On the surface, it would appear that Evelyn “Evie” Perkins married well, her husband Matthew is rich, attentive and handsome. But the reality is far different, Evelyn’s husband is abusive and beats her without mercy, he controls every aspect of her life and has successfully separated her from her friends and family. Finally at the end of her rope, Evie forms a plan and escapes.
She heads west, but knows better than to go to her brother or her friends, as she is sure that is the first place Matt will check. Instead she plans to go to California and disappear into one of the large cities – but that plan is out the window when her train is stopped and boarded by outlaws clearly looking for someone – when asked her name, she lies and gives another passenger’s name and as luck would have it – that is the person they are kidnapping! She is taken without her possessions and knocked out. When she wakes, she is at the outlaw’s camp and they realize that they have taken the wrong woman. Unable to risk taking her back, they will take her to their leader, Luke and let him decide how to handle it.
One of the men, Gabe, is kind to her and sees to her comfort and is assigned to taking her to Luke. She is surprised at her attraction to him and finds that while she is wary of him, she isn’t afraid. Gabriel “Gabe” Sloane is a Cheyenne Indian who has been riding with Like for years but still feels out of place. He was taken as a boy and raised by missionaries, but when he was older and escaped, found that he no longer fit in with his family. That is when he met Luke and began “working” with him. Gabe is a quiet man of few words, he is also surprised at his immediate attraction to Evie, who tells him her name is Eve. He protects her on the trail and when he learns the extent of the abuse she endured at Matt’s hands – he knows he would lay down his life for her.
This was a very emotional story with strong abuse triggers as well as adultery that may be upsetting for some readers. I personally thought Ms. Sandas handled the physical abuse as tactfully as possible and wasn’t overly graphic in her descriptions, but nevertheless, be warned if that sort of thing is difficult for you to read. I loved Gabe and Evie, but I did have a problem with the adultery – I hated her husband and wished him a painful and slow death – but she was married to him while she was will Gabe and that sort of thing bothers ME. I also felt like the end was a whirlwind and ended too abruptly – Since this is the last book in the series, I really feel like this book should have had an epilogue to get some closure with Evie and Gabe as well as Courtney, Dean, Alex and Malcolm.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher*