Desert Isle Keeper
This was the first book by Lorraine Heath that I read, and it is a memorable one. Sweet Lullaby is one of those truly wonderful romances that you never want to see end but when it does, you’re so glad you read it. I’ve read many of Lorraine Heath’s books since then and she’s never disappointed me.
Rebecca Anderson is in big trouble and she’s just told her father about it. He’s so mad, he could spit nickels, but at the moment, the most important thing to him is to save face and to marry his daughter off as quickly as possible. The man whose child she is carrying, has left town with no idea that she is pregnant, and Rebecca does not know if he’s coming back. Anyway, her father doesn’t want to see her married to this fly-by-night cowboy who’s only interested in the Anderson money. Now, if only Mr. Anderson could persuade Jake Burnett, one of his ranch hands, to marry his only child, he’d keep a good ranch hand, he would have his daughter at home and everything would be fine. Of course he could never acknowledge this child but any children she’d have with Jake would inherit the Anderson ranch.
So, John Anderson sends for Jake Burnett and offers him Rebecca’s hand in marriage. Jake isn’t so certain that Mr. Anderson’s idea is a good one. He wants to talk to Rebecca first and she if she agrees. Jake is not condemning Rebecca about the baby, but he has loved her for so long that he does not want to see her made unhappy because she’s stuck in a marriage to him – a marriage she might not want.
This begins a wonderful story of angst, desire, sadness and happiness and all the emotions a human can experience. Lorraine Heath is one of the very best writers in her ability to delve into the emotions of her characters. Jake is a man who’s lived a horrible life, but has survived. He was born out of wedlock, and his mother died when he was a young boy. Jake was taken in by the man who claims to be his father. The man brings him back to his home and life becomes hell for the young boy.
As soon as Jake is old enough, he leaves, but when the man dies, Jake learns that he has been left property back in Texas. When Rebecca agrees to marry him, he takes her back to Texas so they can build a life together.
This decision angers Rebecca’s father, and he disowns her and refuses to acknowledge Jake as his son-in-law. With this hanging over their heads, they make their move to Texas, and live in a small log cabin. Things are tough but not unbearable and over time, the friendship that’s always existed between them turns into something more. Unfortunately, Rebecca doesn’t realize the true depth of Jake’s feelings for her or the truth of her own feelings toward him, and eventually a crisis develops that threatens the life they have begun to make together.
Sweet Lullaby is probably one of the best historicals I’ve ever read. Lorraine Heath weaves such a wonderful tale, it will make you laugh one minute and cry the next. You can’t help but fall in love with Jake Burnett. He is larger than life and has a heart as big as the Texas he loves. Jake is also a truly good man and you can see that right from the very first page. Since he was born out of wedlock himself, he never condemns Rebecca, and he loves her child as much as if it were his own.
Be prepared to have a hanky or two handy because you’re going to need them but then, that’s pure Heath. If you don’t have a good cry while you are reading a Lorraine Heath story, then something’s wrong. But Lorraine Heath is not just a mistress at weaving a weepy tale. She is also a superb storyteller and a creator of wonderful, sympathetic characters.
If you’ve never read Lorraine Heath, you’re in for a real treat. If you’ve never read Sweet Lullaby, you’re missing a wonderful tale. I still dream of Jake Burnett and Rebecca Anderson. They’re two characters you’re unlikely to forget for a very long time.