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.
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?
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.
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.