Thursday, June 1, 2023

Shirl Henke’s A FIRE IN THE BLOOD – Enthralling Classic from Wyoming Cattle Baron Days

June is western month on the blog. The American West is one of my favorite settings. I hope you love these stories. First up is a good one.


Not many romance authors would start their story with a black moment but Henke does it here and does it well. This is an absorbing story, very well told, of a hero who thought he’d never belong and a heroine who had everything but him. Meticulously researched, Henke serves up a worthy love story from the days of the cattle barons, the powerful cattlemen of the Cheyenne Club who ruled over Wyoming Territory in the late 1800s.

Jess Robbins and his father, though Texans, fought with the Union in the Civil War. Jess also did a stint with the French Foreign Legion. By the spring of 1881, he had a fast gun and a talent for spying out cattle thieves. So it was no surprise Wyoming rancher Marcus Jacobson hired Jess as a stock detective to find out who was stealing hundreds of his cattle from the sprawling J Bar ranch.


The first time Jacobson’s only daughter and heir, Lissa, caught sight of Jess Robbins, she was drawn to the man. A mixture of white man, Mexican and Indian, Jess was exotically handsome, virile and very sure of himself. Lissa had many suitors, including an older man her father wanted her to marry, but she wanted Jess. Though each was forbidden to the other, they could not stay away.

Henke captures the nuances of a relationship that was forged in passion but held something deeper, a lasting bond that would not be denied. Lissa grows up and her strength comes to the foreground as Jess realizes he cannot live without this woman. How it all comes together is fascinating and held my attention right to the sweet ending.

You’ll like this one. It’s a keeper!

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