Publisher: Avon Books (Topaz originally)
Publication Date: April 1, 1998
Series or Standalone:Texas Trilogy #2
Links: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Goodreads
CW: Domestic violence (physical abuse); rape; gun violence; torture; miscarriage; infertility; pregnancy; child abuse; forced child prostitution; pedophilia; murder
I mustache you to read this book. Sorry – it had to be done as I cannot believe I fell in love with a character with a MUSTACHE.
Words fail to express how much I adore Dallas Leigh – he made this book for me. And boy, Lorraine Heath takes you on a journey with this book. This book is filled with so much love, yet so much heartache and pain – very typically Lorraine. But it’s so beautifully done that I cannot fault her for the sad bits.
Dallas Leigh has spent his life building up his ranching empire and working to put West Texas on the map. Now, all he needs to cement his legacy is to have a son. After getting into disputes with his land-grabbing neighbors the McQueens, he makes a deal with them – he’ll marry their one daughter, and in exchange, he’ll give them his property along the river as soon as she gives him a son. Cordelia “Dee” McQueen was a virtual prisoner in her father’s house and virtually traded one prisoner for another when she was married off to Dallas. But as Dallas sees his new bride’s fears, he works to slowly make her comfortable in his house and their marriage, giving his heart away to her in the process.
I have to start off by talking about Dallas Leigh. This man. He captured my heart. I went on a major journey with him in Texas Destiny as I started out hating him to being sympathetic towards him by the end. And then this book made me fall in love with him. He’s the kind of guy who cares and feels things deeply, but he doesn’t know how to verbalize it. Instead, he shows he cares in these small, subtle yet incredibly meaningful ways and it made my heart melt. In the author’s note, Lorraine shared she based Dallas on her dad, and I think that’s why he feels so REAL.
Seriously, this man deserves all the love and praise – mustache and all. He can come off as greedy, selfish, commanding and gruff. But behind that hard exterior lies a warm, gooey soul and the gentlest heart. As Amelia says, “Dallas does need love – more than any of us…I think if you give him a chance, he willow worship the ground you walk on.” And boy, was she right. For example, he lets Dee keep a prairie dog, an animal that he sees as vermin, as a pet and even makes it a leash with its name on it because it makes brings her joy! He knows to give Dee space and take time to build her trust and win her love. I seriously fell so in love with this man by the end of it and wanted him to find love and happiness however he could.
Now, when it comes to Dee, I will admit it took me a while to warm up to her. I really struggled with her in the first half of the book, but by the end of it, I was in awe of her character growth as she goes on quite a journey. She lived a VERY sheltered life in a very toxic family until Dallas married her. Her upbringing made her believe that a woman’s lot in life was to live in the shadow cast by men, even though she yearns for freedom and independence. Her terrible family situation made her extremely uncomfortable around others, especially men, and it takes a while for her to open up and warm up to the Leighs and Amelia. She also grew up in a house without love, and there are a lot of feelings of worthlessness and the desire to be loved for who she is that she ends up working through over the course of the book. Thanks to Dallas’ love and affection, Dee ends up finding her voice and her passion, and it’s so amazing to watch her grow and prosper.
I’ve hit on the romance quite a bit already, but be prepared – this is a slow burn. Don’t expect this book to be the steamiest, as its relationship is built through patience and care that leads to a romance where love and affection burst off the page. There is so much love and affection between Dallas and Dee by the end – they’re stronger together, and I loved that. The whole reason this book is called Texas Glory as he’s been searching for glory in all different places in his life, but he never found it until he saw Dee smile the first time and if that doesn’t sum up the type of romance this is, I don’t know what else will.
This book also packs some major emotional punches to the gut – multiple times. When I say this book is heavy, I do mean it. Definitely check the content warning before reading because this book may hit too close to home for some people. Dee and Dallas deal with some major setbacks that are just so heartbreaking to watch them go through it as they already went on such a journey to fall in love and reach a place of genuine affection only to be dealt a truly terrible blow.
The ending of this book is also such a wild ride. I’m seriously in awe of all that Lorraine crams into this book from a plot and character perspective, as there is a lot! The ending is dramatic, but it also does a great job setting up Austin’s book. Speaking of sweet baby Austin – he also goes on a journey in this book, and by the end, his innocence is shattered, and he truly feels like a man now.
As with all of Lorraine Heath’s books, she rounds out the story with a fantastic cast of supporting characters and family members. We see a lot of Houston and Amelia, plus their growing family. Austin plays a big part in this book as well, as I mentioned. Plus, we meet some new faces, such as Rawley, who is as much a part of the Leigh family as anyone else. All these people play such an important role in Dallas and Dee’s life and romance, and I always love how Lorraine incorporates family and friendship into her stories.
If you haven’t read the Texas Trilogy, now is the time to do so. It’s so hard for me to pick a favorite book in the series as I enjoy all of them for very different reasons. Dallas, Houston, and Austin all hold a special place in my heart now. I cannot recommend this series enough as they’re beautiful yet emotional and raw romances. You are missing out if you haven’t read these!