Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Outlaw by Nicole Jordan

After reading and loving The Heart Breaker recently, I was absolutely convinced I needed to track down it's prequel, The Outlaw. It was a bit hard to find but I got lucky and snagged one from PBS. I am so glad I did because I loved it too, but I have to caution you, this book epitomizes the term 'guilty pleasure'. Here is a book that breaks a bunch of my unwritten rules for romance yet I can't help but love it.

The Outlaw almost felt like an older bodice ripper what with the overly alpha hero and stubborn self centered heroine. But don't get me wrong, this book is NOTHING like those horrid books by Coulter, Lindsay, et al, *shudder*. It is an older book published in 1996 (copyright by Anne Bushyhead ??? ok, no snarking) which probably accounts for it.

This is a Romeo and Juliet type of story. As the story begins Caitlin and Jake are young lovers but their families are mortal enemies. There is a range war that has been going on for twenty years between the cattlemen (which includes Jake's family) and sheep ranchers (which includes Caitlin's family) so they must keep their love secret.

I fell in love with Jake in the first chapter with that gorgeous body, devilish smile, and sense of humor. He is head over heals in love with Caitlin and determined to marry her. But she is afraid to tell her father, a bitter angry man with a violent hatred of cattlemen. After Caitlin leaves their love tryst at a mountain pool, Caitlin's father and brother confront him and he kills the brother in self defense. Caitlin is told by her father that Jake murdered her brother, and she does not believe he is guilty at first. Jake barely escapes with his life and he runs away when Caitlin's father frames him for murder to eventually become a hired gun. Since Jake ran away, Caitlin starts believing her father's story and this is where I start gettting pissed off at her.

Four years later, Jake is back in town and, unbenownst to Caitlin (who now has a son), has cleared up most of the false charges against him. But time and again she believes the worst of Jake and I wanted to smack her! But he never gives up on her and she goes back to him and they have a lot of sex. :) My feeling was that if she really had loved him she would have known he was not capable of all the crimes he was accused of, but maybe that's me living in romanceland. But on the other hand, I can understand her wanting to keep from exposing her son to criminals and violence. When she accuses Jake of being like her father, I thought she went too far and was ready to jump through the pages and strangle her.

So why did I love this book? Well, first of all Jake was a wonderful hero to die for. He never gives up on the heroine even though she deserved it. And a small part of me could actually understand her thinking. She was really a self-absorbed bitch, but she was trying to be a good mother, so I give her points for that. Oh, and did I mention that the sex was H. O. T. ? From page one. It was a fast moving story with good dialogue and 3D characters. This one is a keeper to go on the shelf next to The Heart Breaker and I'm giving it the same grade. Not perfect books but I still loved them.

My grade: B+

Now if only Jordan would write Wolf's story I'd be happy. She promises but has yet to deliver. Like Sybil, I'm trying to find a couple other oldies by Jordan, Wildstar and The Savage but they are very hard to find.


Kristie (J) said...

I have this one TBR - but you know that *g*. I'm going to start organizing books very shortly (in fact I bought a couple of 3 drawer shelves just a little while ago - one for the TBR pile and one for the want to reread soon pile) and this is one that I am anxious to read (once I find it in the pile that is completely disorganized)

Nikki said...

ReneeW--That was a fantastic review. I agree with everything you said.

I got my old Nicole Jordan books through ebay. I didn't pay over $10.00 each for them. The Savage is my favorite by far. Get this book ASAP you won't be disappointed. (I think I told you this before...I am having deja vu...) Wildstar is good. On the level with The Outlaw. The Savage is worth $10, Wildstar $8. But that is just my opinion.

ReneeW said...

Kristie: When you get a chance ot get organized I'd love to hear your opinion on this one. Caitlin was hard to like but Jake was wonderful.

Nikki: Thanks. I'm jealous that you have both The Savage and Wildstar. I don't want to pay more than $10 and keep hoping they come available at paperbackswap but I'm probably dreaming. I better go check out prices.

sybil said...

I loved these two and REALLY want wildstar. One day it will be mine, oh yes it will be.

ReneeW said...

Sybil: I figure I'll get lucky some day too.

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