Brits Tame the West by Lorraine Heath

Heath_color_hiresHER MAJESTY’S TEXANS

My mother was a Brit who married an American. While I was born in England, as soon as possible, she and I immigrated to Texas where we joined my dad in Houston. I was about 18 months old at the time. Because of my twin heritage, I’ve always loved everything Texan and British.

What I find fascinating is how much influence the British had on settling the American west. Many lords sent their second sons to America to oversee cattle enterprises in which they were investing. Some Brits came over on their own in order to give this new venture a go. They were accustomed to civilization and very often brought refinement to a harsh life. They smoked fancy cigars, drank French wine, and entertained as they had at home. They were educated at Eton and Cambridge. They were groomed to be leaders. They understood duty and responsibility. While they might not have been as rugged as their American counterparts, they were more than up to the task of settling the west.

My upcoming re-issue, A ROGUE IN TEXAS, begins the Rogues in Texas series which is based on the premise of the second sons of English lords being sent to Texas to make their own way. There actually was a man who approached English lords. For a fee, he would bring their second sons to Texas and help set them up to earn a living. In A ROGUE IN TEXAS, he has brought them over to help a community of Civil War widows with their cotton farming. The next book in the series, NEVER LOVE A COWBOY, addresses the cattle industry.

I enjoyed writing this series because it gave me the opportunity to mix my two heritages. There are some language differences, some attitude differences, some prejudices that are put to rest.

A Rogue in TexasExcerpt:

The Englishmen have just been delivered to the farm where they will work…

Grayson Rhodes’ father had always warned him that he would burn in hell, but he had never expected to arrive at the damnable place while he was still alive.

A woman with hair the shade of a full moon captured his attention for reasons he could not begin to fathom. She looked worn, as though whatever dreams she might have once held had been turned under the soil and never bloomed. 

She stepped toward him, so close that he was forced to look down to meet her gaze. He saw her body twitch as though she suddenly realized she stood closer than she’d intended, but to step back now would reveal her mistake. She angled her heart-shaped chin in defiance, and he somehow knew she would stand her ground rather than hop back out of harm’s way. Her violet eyes challenged him as effectively as tossing down a gauntlet. 

“Let me see your hands,” she demanded. 

“I beg your pardon?” 

She grabbed his wrist, turned his hand up, and placed her palm against his. Her roughened hand was callused, dry, and cracked, leaving him completely unprepared for the jolt of warmth her touch sent spiraling through him. He jerked his gaze from her work-worn hand to her provocative eyes and saw bewilderment swirling within the violet depths.  

She parted her lips slightly, almost breathlessly, and he was hit with the realization that he had not drawn a breath since she’d touched him. What was it about her— 

She dropped his hand and stepped back as though she couldn’t remember why she’d grabbed it to begin with. 

Her caress possessed nothing to entice a man, and yet, he experienced a keen sense of loss now that their contact had been severed. He closed his hand as though by doing so, he could recapture her touch.

* * * *

Of course, Brits weren’t the only ones to settle the west. We had all nationalities, leaving their mark.

Who is your favorite western hero, fiction or real?

Giveaway!!

A ROGUE IN TEXAS was originally published in 1999. It’s been 15 years since it was in stores, and I’m thrilled that it will once again be available in print. To celebrate, I will give an autographed copy to three lucky posters.

The GunslingerAlso look for Lorraine’s upcoming E-Book release on June 24……

It originally came out in print in To Tame A Texan (1999). She took the story and expanded on it so it’s like brand new.

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17 thoughts on “Brits Tame the West by Lorraine Heath”

  1. Hi Lorraine. I have loved western books and movies for many years. My favorite western Hero was John Wayne. I even got to meet him in person while making a movie near us. It was such a thrill. He was just the same to talk to as he was in the movies. One of my special memories. I sure would love to be one of the three lucky winners. Thanks for the chance. Thanks to these good ladies for inviting you to chat with us. Enjoyed your post. Maxie mac262(at)me(dot)com

  2. Brits in the wild west sounds like quite a challenge. I mean, weren’t these young men pampered all their lives? If they had to make a living here, I’d think that would have been a big change. Even if they had French wine with dinner.
    I’ve only started to read westerns in the last couple of years so I’d have to choose a movie hero. Clint Eastwood.
    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.

  3. Good Morning, Lorraine! I have to go with John Wayne for my favorite western hero. I loved your post and I love that you are a Brit and a Texan as well. Thank you for your giveaway and the opportunity.

    melback at cebridge dot net

  4. Hi Lorraine! Welcome back to P&P. We miss you so much. Things just aren’t the same as when you rode the range with us. I LOVED reading your Rogues in Texas series! I devoured each one and felt immense loss when it ended. You have such a special gift for storytelling. You hooked me with Texas Glory way back there. I’m eagerly looking forward to THE GUNSLINGER on June 24th. You betcha I’ll be loading that into my Kindle!

    Take care and come back to visit us more often. Wishing you tons of success with your books!

  5. Good morning, Lorraine! Welcome back!!! You know how much I love your westerns–they were some of the first on my keeper shelf. 🙂

    Favorite western hero? At this moment Sam Elliott in The Golden Compass.

  6. I always loved the 4 friends in the movie Silverado. I am a Kevin Costner fan & he was very young & cute in this one!Not sure if you would call him a hero, but between the 4 of them, they made a difference.

  7. I love Westerns and Regency romances and I’m native Texas born and bred as we say. This sound like a good book and don’t know why I’ve never seen it before. Maybe because I quit reading romances for a while. As for my favorite western hero, I don’t know. I have too many to name. The Virginian for one, Heath from The Big Valley, Hoss from Bonanza, the cowboys from Wagon Train to name a few and these weren’t movie cowboys. These were the ones I saw every week. My folks liked Westerns and so I came by it naturally. I have come to like anything Sam Elliott is in and of course anything Tom Selleck is in too.

  8. What an interesting premise for a novel! I would love to read A ROGUE IN TEXAS. I have read numerous novels about English nobility in the Regency period. It would be fun to read how they do in the Wild West.

    As for my favorite western hero, I think I would say Matt Dillon. I watched a lot of Gunsmoke back in the day. I am also partial to John Wayne in western roles.

  9. I have read many of your books, but do not remember this series. It is one I will be looking for. If nothing else, the difference in weather and landscape must have been a shock to many of the Second Sons coming over, as it was for other settlers.
    As far as favorite heroes, I can’t think of one at the moment. I think it is a case of liking the one I am currently reading the most.
    Best of luck with the reissues.

  10. Im so excited to learn about your writings!! I would love to read them!!! I think my favorite western hero’s would be John Wayne and Jesse James. I fell in love with John Wayne’s Characters as a little girl. And with Jesse James I fell in love with his Character from the movie they made about him called American Outlaws!

  11. I guess my favorite western hero would be John Wayne although Sam Elliot plays a good cowboy also, love the voice. I grew up watching John Wayne movies because my father was into westerns a lot and we watched them when ever the TV would come in.

  12. My father loves watching the John Wayne movies, so I grew up enjoying them… I love older books being reissued… it gives us readers another chance to read them! Thanks for sharing with us today!

  13. Hey, Ladies. I didn’t think I’d be available to drop by today but had a change in my schedule so am so pleased to have a moment to say hello. Love the heroes discussion. Heath from the Big Valley–I had such a crush on him. And the Virginian. My favorite episode there was one with a very young Robert Redford as a guy just released from prison who comes to work at the ranch. (I actually used that premise in my young adult AMELIA AND THE OUTLAW.)

    Thank you all so much for visiting. It’s lovely to be included in this wonderful group.

  14. PS. Yes, some of the Brits did have a time of it and didn’t stay long. But many did stay and tried to bring refinement to the west. It was one of the reasons that “Cattle Clubs” were formed. The Brits wanted something similar to their gentlemen’s clubs. The younger sons understood duty, so when their fathers invested in land and cattle and sent them to oversee it, they worked hard to make it a successful venture. I was recently walking through the historic part of Grapevine, Texas and walked by the newspaper office. The paper was originally started in the 1800’s by a 19 year old Englishman who’d come over here seeking his fortune. Imagine the gumption it would have taken for him to do that. The British influence on the west just fascinates me. Now I have a hankering to write more westerns. 🙂

  15. Oh, Lorraine, I do hope and pray you’ll get back to writing some westerns!!! That’s music to my ears. I think you could do both Regencies and Historical westerns very well. I’ve already pre-ordered THE GUNSLINGER. Can’t wait to read that one. Although I read your novella in To Tame a Texan it’s been so long ago that I can’t recall any of the story. Plus, you added to it so it’ll like brand new. Take care.

  16. My favorite western hero? I am not sure I have one, I think I like them all. Cowboys of any kind, make my jaw drop and my focus skeddadle, even ones like the one on your book cover. Or wait, maybe that one makes me lose focus because he reminds me of my husband when he had more hair. 🙂

    At any rate, I’d love to read your book. Thanks for offering them up.

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