Review: Ruthless Heart by Emma Lang

Wednesday, September 8

Title:  Ruthless Heart*
Author:  Emma Lang (aka Beth Williamson)
Series: connected to Restless Heart
Genre:  Historical Romance
Publisher: Kensington Brava
Format: Trade size paperback
Date/Year: July 2010

*This book was provided to me by the author for review

Summary from the publisher:

He led her astray, and she never wanted to go back…

Sheltered all her life, Eliza Hunter never imagined herself alone in the vast Utah plains, much less trailing a mysterious, rugged man hired to hunt down her beautiful younger sister. Unable to reveal the truth about her pursuit of him, Eliza plays student to the teacher, transforming herself in the process. And she when she finds herself sharing the warmth of Grady’s campfire, wrapped in his arms, hypnotized by his power, soon she is a naive spinster no more…

Grady Wolfe is more than a loner, he’s a man forever on the run. With a body and soul finely honed from living off the land, Grady knows he should leave the irresistible woman alone, but she stirs something in him he hasn’t felt before. Now he’s lost in the woods for the first time in his life—with a dangerous job to do. And no one—not even the luscious Eliza—is going to stop him…


My Musings:

Grady Wolfe is a dangerous, cynical and world weary bounty hunter/assassin for hire.  He’s lost all hope in humanity and himself and feels that he is doomed to the life of a ruthless killer so he embraces it with a callous and cold heart.  At least that is until he meets the tempting, and sometimes frustrating, yet intriguing Eliza Hunter.

Eliza is a subjugated soul yearning to break free from the restriction life that is dictated to her by her father and a religion that she no longer believes in.  Tutored as a young woman by an elderly scholar, Eliza’s inventive and curious mind is stifled in her environment, but that doesn’t suppress her yearning inquisitiveness.  However, until she joins Grady on his search for her runaway sister she’s only learned though books, not life.  Grady enlightens her in more ways than one, and makes her feel alive…like a woman with value and beauty.

Their journey across the American West is full of adventure, danger, enlightenment (for both of them) and passion.  Though Eliza keeps the reason for her trip hidden from Grady, an unlikely bond forms between the two as they get to know and trust one another.

Both Eliza’s and Grady’s characterizations felt so real, and I think a lot of it has to do with the dialogue between the hero and the heroine.  One of the things that struck me when reading the book was not only how different these characters were, but how they complimented each other in unexpected ways.  Opposites attract stories don't always work for me because sometimes it's not always apparent why the characters end up together...what they see in the other that makes it all work. That’s not the case with Ruthless Heart.  It worked for me in a big way and it was such a pleasure to read this story.

I loved that Eliza was the woman to show Grady how to love and be loved, especially considering how unlikely their pairing was at the beginning.   He’s redeemed through his love for Eliza, and through Grady’s love Eliza becomes the woman she has hidden from the world all of her life.  She’s always had strength and determination, but through his love she finds the courage to become her true self.   Eliza becomes the person she’s always wanted to be because of Grady’s love, and Grady becomes a man he never thought he could be because of her love.  
Ruthless Heart has both heart and soul.  I highly recommend it and can’t wait for Eliza’s sister’s story in Restless Heart due out early 2011.  A great debut by author Emma Lang and one of my favorite historical romances this year!


Overall: 4.5 stars
Sensuality level: 3.75 (hotter and more frequent love scenes than your average historical romance, but wouldn't quite classify it as an erotic romance)

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Anonymous,  September 8, 2010 at 8:57 AM  

I read this one when it first came out and I have to tell you that I agree with your review 100%! I loved this book and the ending made me cry like a baby!

Ivy September 8, 2010 at 12:09 PM  

I loved Ruthless Heart too and I'm waiting on Restless Heart.

Scorpio M. September 8, 2010 at 8:39 PM  

This sounds so romantic. Will have to look for it. Is Emma Lang aka Beth Williamson? For some reason I keep thinking that.

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