THEIR PASSION SHAPED A NATION
Over the years, Jake and Miranda Harkner have endured all the dangers a wild and brutal West could throw at them. Now, settled on their ranch in the beautiful Colorado hill country, they’ve finally found peace. But for a man like Jake Harkner, danger is always lurking, and the world may not be ready for an infamous outlaw-turned-lawman-turned-legend to hang up his guns.
Threatened by cruel men in search of revenge, the Harkner clan must be stronger than ever before. Yet nothing can stop the coming storm. With the Old West dying around them and the rules of this new world ever-changing, Jake vows to end the threat to his family no matter what it takes …
Even if it means sacrificing himself so his beloved Miranda may live.
“An emotional powerhouse! The strong flavor of the Wild West combines with a beautiful love story, creating a true saga of the era … This classic historical Western is destined for the ‘keeper’ shelf.”
Romantic Times Book Reviews "Top Pick" for Do Not Forsake Me
Here Jake is all man and “there” for his wife. This has nothing to do with sex. This is a very serious moment, as something terrible has happened to Randy and Jake needs to be strong for her. Most of their married life it’s been Randy who is strong for Jake because he is an emotionally unstable man who is often visited by his dark past and lives on the edge of sanity and insanity because of his incredibly cruel childhood. Jake’s son Lloyd has practiced some tough love here again, reminding his father he can’t run from this one. Randy needs him in a way she’s never needed him before, and he has to stay right with her on this and see her through it. Jake loves this woman so much that he rises above his own needs to be the strong, supportive husband she needs right now.
He held her tighter. “Who do you belong to?”
She jerked in a sob. “I don’t know.”
“Yes, you do,” he said softly. “Say it.”
She hugged him tighter around the neck. “You.”
“Say my name, Randy. Who do you belong to?”
She curled so tightly against him it was as though she wanted to crawl inside him. “Jake Harkner,” she whispered.
“You bet. Nothing has changed that, and nothing ever will.”
“Tell me you’re not in trouble, Jake.”
“I’m not in trouble.”
“You won’t go away?”
“No one is coming to get you?”
“No one’s coming to get me.”
“I was always scared you’d … never come back … back in Oklahoma. Don’t take that job, Jake … that ranger job. I don’t want you to go away.”
“I’m not going anywhere.
“Don’t let go. I love … being in your arms.
“And that’s where you are right now.”
“I knew you’d come.”
“I’d walk through the fires of hell for you.”
USA TODAY best-seller Rosanne Bittner has been writing for approximately 35 years, selling her first book, SWEET PRAIRIE PASSION, in 1982. That was 63 books ago, and she hasn’t stopped and promises more to come. Her first love is American history, especially the Old West and Native American history. She writes well-researched books that have won numerous awards, including the prestigious WILLA award from Women Writing the West, and was named “Queen of Western Romance,” by Romantic Times Reviews, who nominated DO NOT FORSAKE ME for best Western Romance for 2015. That book and LOVE’S SWEET REVENGE also received great reviews from the very important reader/writer national review magazine, Publisher’s Weekly. Her newest book, LOVE’S SWEET REVENGE, is the third book in Rosanne’s “Outlaw” series, with a fourth book coming in 2017, THE LAST OUTLAW.
Get lost in a story? I guarantee that will happen for you readers when you pick up LOVE’S SWEET REVENGE (September 2016 – Sourcebooks in e-book form and in print/mass paperback). If you haven’t read OUTLAW HEARTS (#1) and DO NOT FORSAKE ME (#2), you will want to read those two also, but you don’t necessarily need to have read them to enjoy LOVE’S SWEET REVEGE (#3), which is the continuing story of reformed outlaw Jake Harkner and the his wife Miranda, who has been to hell and back with this man. Jake loves Randy beyond measure and would step in front of a train for her. Randy has seen him through running from the law and then prison, followed by the dangers and heartache of Jake being sentenced to serve as a U.S. Marshal in Oklahoma when it was referred to as “no man’s land.” Through it all these two raised a son and daughter who stand by their parents through thick and thin and eventually, in books 2 and 3, give them beautiful grandchildren.
In LOVE’S SWEET REVENGE the Harkner family has grown and are extremely close and supportive of each other, and even though they are getting older, Jake and Randy’s love endures and strengthens, and these two are still “hot” for each other. Randy is a beautiful woman, inside and out, and Jake is a tough, tough man, hardened by an abusive boyhood and the perils of living by the gun and always fighting a past that won’t leave him alone. Once known as the “handsome outlaw,” Jake retains his good looks and ages well, the type of man who just seems to get better as he gets older. He is damn good at making love and a man no woman would turn away, especially when he flashes his very fetching smile. He is extremely defensive of his family, and handsome or not, this man can be incredibly ruthless to his enemies. When his son is shot while they are all in Denver for a Cattlemen’s Ball, the “outlaw” mode comes forth full force when Jake thinks his son is dead, shot in cold blood. He blows the shootist’s head off right in front of everyone at the ball, an act that for reasons you will have to read, lands Jake in deep trouble with the law wherein he faces a hanging. This is a powerful part of the story, and family unity is HUGE here. Things happen that will truly tug at your heart.
Jake is a tortured soul who lives with the guilt of having killed his own father, even though the man damn well deserved it for something he did at the time that drove Jake to put a gun to the back of the man’s head and pull the trigger. Jake has never lived this down and it haunts him his whole life.
These Outlaw books show how Jake learns to love, and how he gradually learns to forgive himself through the love of his family – and how he grows stronger on the inside thanks to the love of a good woman. He never dreamed he could have the life he’s come to have in LOVE’S SWEET REVENGE, the entire family owning and living on a big cattle ranch in Colorado. Something truly dramatic happens at the end of this story that will carry over into the fourth book of the series, THE LAST OUTLAW, scheduled for September 2017. I just finished the book and it’s a beautiful, beautiful story, very fitting for the last book of the series.
I am proud of how I’ve handled the psychology of Jake Harkner throughout these books, from a young, confused, troubled, vicious and unforgiving outlaw who walks a thin line between darkness and light, sanity and insanity … to (slowly but surely) a man who is strong enough on the inside to face his past. The woman he loves (but who he’s always felt he does not deserve) brings him out of darkness and helps him grow stronger on the inside – to the point where in LOVE’S SWEET REVENGE it’s Jake who must be the strong one for Randy. Up to then it’s Randy who has been the emotionally strong one. Jake is damn good with fists and guns and is as brave and able as they come, but because of his horrific childhood of living with a drunken father who beat Jake regularly and beat Jake’s mother to death in front of his eyes, there is an abused little boy down deep inside who just wants to be loved but who feels unworthy.
My readers are all in love with rugged, handsome Jake Harkner and wish they were his beloved Randy. I guarantee you will get hooked on this whole family once you start reading these books which by LOVE’S SWEET REVENGE cover thirty-one years of Jake and Randy’s life together. Jake was raised by prostitutes and he damn well knows how to handle a woman, which is part of the reason Randy can’t say no to him – but she also can’t say no to that little boy who just wants her love.
In answer to some of the questions posed by GET LOST IN A STORY, what inspires me daily is my love of the western romance genre, which is all I’ve written for the past 35 years. I’ve covered pretty much every single subject related to settling the American West and to Native Americans, all my books are based on real history and events but getting my fictitious characters involved. Many readers have told me they feel like they got a history lesson in an entertaining way. I am also inspired by the fact that for me, my characters really did exist, and when I am in the middle of writing about them, I am living “with” them. I write from the inside-out – almost never as the author looking down on these characters and telling their stories. The stories are “happening” as I write them and they are happening to me.
An already-filmed movie that represents my writing style might be CENTENNIAL (actually a mini-series). I wrote a similar series of my own – SAVAGE DESTINY – about the settling of Colorado and its affect on the Cheyenne Indians. Another similar movie would be HELL ON WHEELS (also a mini-series), because the hero can be ruthless and has a troubled past. Also HANG ‘EM HIGH – OPEN RANGE and THE BIG COUNTRY. Oh, gosh, there are so many. When it comes to how I would picture someone like Jake Harkner dying, the movie similar to that would the THE SHOOTIST (John Wayne). It’s a heart-breaking story of an old gunfighter/lawman dying of cancer, and who has decided he’s not going die a slow and painful, bed-ridden death. He wants to die quick and by the gun, so he sets himself up for a last shootout with old enemies. That’s something Jake would do.
Another question was “be honest” – would you put yourself in the heroine’s role? YOU BET!!! Especially in the LOVE SCENES!!! Hey, I’m right there in bed with Jake and I’m loving it! Who wouldn’t want to be in those big, strong arms, and with a man who knows all the right moves? And I am the type of woman who actually would put up with all the things Randy has had to put up with just because I love my man and I understand where he’s coming from!
And yes, writing and story-telling is easy for me. I eat, drink and sleep my stories, and I have so many more to write that I hope I live long enough to write all of them. I love my genre, and there is so much food for plot when you are writing about the settling of America!
One question was what do I do to unwind and relax. I DON’T!! It’s WRITING that helps me unwind and relax! When I’m not writing I’m very, very restless and unhappy. I HAVE to be working on the “next” book as soon as I finish the “last” book.
I’ll answer one more question – what is my hero’s kryptonite? HIS WIFE! If he lost her, he’d be on his knees and wanting to die. He would give up on life. Randy is the air Jake breathes and the blood that runs in his veins. She is his rock.
Rosanne and her husband Larry have been married almost 52 years and have two sons and three grandsons. She and her husband own a condo in Las Vegas, where they stay part of the winter to get away from Michigan’s snow. They often travel west in the summer for research for Rosanne’s books.
This year is the 100th anniversary of the U.S. National Parks Service. Is there a national park on your bucket list? Which one, and why?
Today Rosanne is giving away all three books in her Outlaw trilogy. Just answer the question and enter the drawing.a Rafflecopter giveaway