Publication Date: January 15, 2019
Series or Standalone: Texas Trilogy #3.5
Links: Amazon – Barnes & Noble – Goodreads – StoryGraph
CW: Rape; sexual assault; gun violence; abuse
It feels fitting that I’m revisiting the Texas Trilogy after many months because that is EXACTLY what Lorraine Heath did as she published this novella nearly 20 years after the publication of Texas Splendor.
Texas Legacy is the perfect novella to wrap up the series as we see the second generation of the Leigh family – particularly Dallas’ kids. This is basically one long Lorraine Heath epilogue, and I LOVE her epilogues as they always make me emotional. And boy, did this novella make me feel ALL the things. It’s truly amazing that Heath managed to cram in so much heartache and emotion in so few pages.
For as long as he can remember, Rawley Cooper has loved Faith Leigh, but he’s always felt undeserving of her, given his childhood trauma. When she comes to him on the night of her nineteenth birthday, they finally give in to temptation. But the searing kiss reaffirms what he’s always known: he can’t have a lifetime of her in his arms. To protect his heart, he packs his things and heads west. Faith has always adored Rawley, but she’s unsure she can forgive him for leaving her life. Now, Rawley returns home six years later, and old feelings are stirred back to life. Both Rawley and Faith must confront secrets from their past or risk losing a legacy of love.
I’m not always a fan of the second chance romance, but this was filled with the perfect amount of yearning and heartache that this really worked for me. And the PINING! If there is one thing Lorraine Heath excels at, it is the PINING. My god, stab me in the heart with all the emotions between Faith and Rawley! I so wanted Rawley to get his happily ever after and feel like he finally belongs somewhere.
Having seen these characters in previous books, I felt an instant connection to them. Rawley has been through so much, and I love how he’s still such an honorable and noble person. He puts others before himself, and I constantly want to hug him. I hate that he feels he’s undeserving of the love from those around him and still sees himself as an outsider to the Leigh family, despite Dallas and Dee loving him as if he was their blood child.
Speaking of Dallas, Faith is so much like her father, especially when we see her in flashbacks walking around, bossing everyone, and doing as she pleases. She’s changed over the six years Rawley has been away, but I liked that she managed not to be cowered by what happened to her and reclaim her destiny.
One of the best things about this novella was seeing my favorite characters from the earlier books all grown up. My heart was breaking a bit as the catalyst for Rawley coming home was Dallas’ health. The man is in his 60s now, and I was excited to see him and the life he’s built with Dee, but sad because he’s older now. It’s also now 1909, and I was so sad that the age of the cowboy was ending. But luckily, the town the Leighs built is thriving and changing with the times – a fitting legacy for Dallas and his family.
Also, Lorraine Heath packs in so much plot and drama in a novella that is just shy of 200 pages! This has all the hallmarks of her full novels and is executed flawlessly. This book delivered on the DRAMA. I felt like I was on a rollercoaster with all its twists and turns. My one minor complaint was that the big dramatic confrontation at the end happened and was resolved quickly, but hey, it is a novella!
If you adored the Texas Trilogy series, I highly recommend this novella. It’s a beautiful and fitting conclusion to the series and the characters you’ve grown to know and love. It’s filled with heartache and pain but also so much love and hope. It made me cry multiple times while reading it as it made me so emotional, but it was a stunning conclusion to a fantastic series. I cannot speak more highly of this series, so pick it up if you haven’t!