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My Rating: 4/5
Author: Lauren Linwood
Title: Outlaw Muse
Genre: Historical Fiction Romance/Western
Separated from her twin during the Orphan Train selection, schoolmarm Serena Sullivan searched for her brother Bill over fifteen years. Just as she gets a lead on his whereabouts, she is railroaded by a crooked sheriff and set to hang for the murder of the sheriff’s best friend.
English playwright Daman Rutledge has come to the American West on business for his brother when he witnesses a woman about to be executed. On impulse he rescues the beautiful stranger and goes on the run with her. Along the way Daman finds the muse he’s been missing and loses his heart to the raven-haired beauty with haunting amber eyes.
As they try to outrun the long arm of the law, Daman seeks to prove Serena’s innocence before it’s too late.
Outlaw Muse is a story about a woman named Serena who was wrongfully accused of murder in a 19th century western frontier town. On the day of her hanging, she is rescued by an English playwright, Daman. From there, the two run from the law while falling in love with each other. Both, however, have troubled pasts that might get in the way of their love along with the sheriff and his posse.
The story is written in third person, mainly following Serena and Daman. Serena started her life out as a poor Irish New Yorker. Her father was a drunk and her mother grew ill, leaving both her and her twin brother to an orphanage. The Orphan Train took orphaned children to the frontier where they are adopted out. Serena and her brother were separated, but Serena never lost hope of finding him again. Serena’s adopted family abused her. She eventually made it out of there to become a schoolmarm – traveling from place to place. However, luck was not on her side when she was arrested for murder and found guilty. She was then rescued by a complete stranger. Selena must learn to trust again and overcome her fears and horrible experiences of her past. She is an outlaw; and the sheriff won’t stop until he catches her.
Daman, born and raised in England, is a third son. His troubled past includes a drunken father, a dead mother and sister, and a newly dead brother and mistress. Once able to write plays, he loses his muse and helps his older brother with his business with cattle. Unsure of where his life is leading him, he stumbles upon a woman being hanged, unjustly, for murder. By rescuing Selena, his life is thrust back into action, stimulating his imagination and muse once again. One main problem: can he save her and himself from the law?
The plot moved along well. I won’t write much here to avoid any surprises that you might find along the way. One thing is for certain in the book: there is a constant chase between the law and Selena and Daman. The relationship between Selena and Daman is not an easy one with their individual pasts. Their characters grow over the course of the book. One thing I would have liked to see in the book is more development/background of the Sheriff and Bill.
Overall, I enjoyed the story. If you like historical western romances, then you might want to give this book a try.