Outlaw Hearts


Outlaw Hearts suffers from what I’d like to term the Coincidence Plot (akin to movie critic Roger Ebert’s Idiot Plot, wherein conflict or problems would not occur had all the characters not been idiots). Coincidence number one: British Rebekah Benson, after years of possessing half a gold medallion, decides to go to 19th-century New England to see if she can find the other half, possibly left by her missionary parents when they tended to Abenaki Indians in Maine. Rather than going straight to Maine or to Manchester, New Hampshire, where her brother lives, she stops instead in Londonderry, New Hampshire. Coincidence number two: in Londonderry, she goes to the trial of Zachariah Thompson, who ends up being condemned to death. Around his neck, she sees the other half of her medallion. Who would have thunk it?

Naturally, it is mutually beneficial to both of them that Zachariah not be hanged, but they both think they deserve the whole medallion. And, of course, their tussle over the gold only masks an attraction they try to repress. Although these coincidences abound and the formula announces itself from a mile away, this was a fast, harmless read. Bekah and Zach do possess chemistry, and, joined by their faithful hound dog and loveable orphan Jimmy, they achieve (surprise!) a happy ending.

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Jenny Barden's masterful novel about the lost colony of Roanoke.





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(US) 9781594145704




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