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REVIEW

"A romance full of steam and suspense"

Purgatory, Texas is the pit stop between Hell and Heaven for one escaped convict. Wade Mason had been wrongly accused of murdering Neville Young, the man who had stolen the deed to his ranch. He was putting space between himself and Huntsville Penitentiary, heading back to the first place the law would think to look for him, to take back what was his. His ranch could wait, but the three month old son he'd never laid eyes on couldn't. Once he had the boy, he would do everything it took to clear his name. The one thing he hadn't figured on was having to match wits with a stubborn little beauty by the name of Callie Quinn.

His boy's mama had been a notorious prostitute by the name Lily White. Callie and Lily had ridden into town on the same coach, and they'd become particular friends in spite of their different callings. Before she'd succumbed to childbed fever, Lily had asked Callie to raise little Matthew. Lily had also been the one witness that could have proved that Wade was not guilty of the crime for which he'd been sent to prison. She had seen Brady Young shoot his own father in the back from Neville's bedroom window. She'd once even visited Wade in prison offering to testify to his innocence in exchange for a respectable future. That's when little Matthew had been conceived. But Wade had turned her proposition down for her own sake mostly. Without love, a marriage between them would have only resulted in misery. Now Lily was gone, and with her the easiest means of proving his innocence.

Lily hadn't been the only witness however. Wade would somehow have to convince the town's crooked sheriff to come forward with the truth. Of course that would require a sizeable bribe, one that would beat anything that Brady could possibly offer. He would have to leave the hows for later, once he'd recovered his child.

Callie had needed a good hot soak in the tub after spending the day tending to the farm chores alone, and taking care of little Matthews needs besides. What she didn't need was a filthy stranger in manacles gawking at her, and demanding her child, while she was in such a vulnerable state. She wasn't about to turn Matthew over to anyone, and especially not a man on the run. She would never allow Matthew to be endangered. Somehow though, the man himself doesn't terrify her as much as he should have. Callie recalls how shocked her brother had been when Wade had been convicted, and that he'd always believed in the man's innocence. Callie's emotions are in turmoil as Wade relates his story to her. She's as distraught as he is when she has to inform him that his prospective witness is also dead. She's appalled by his physical condition as well. It's a combination of compassion and faith in his veracity that has her offering her home as refuge until he can prove his innocence or has to run once more. She needs time to come up with a plan to keep Wade from taking her child with him when that time comes.

Cleaned up, he is more handsome than a man has a right to be, and the air practically sizzles with their desire for each other. Wade is not only wonderful with Matthew, but he does all he can to help Callie in the house while she does the outside chores. Callie affects Wade like no woman ever has. Knowing that he's wanted either alive or dead, and that the killer himself had put a price on his head, his biggest concern is to ensure that Matthew and Callie will be secure if worse comes to worst. It isn't long before Callie is as possessive of Wade as she is of his son. She won't even allow herself to think about him going back to prison, and she'll do just about anything to prove his innocence, even go head to head with a man greedy enough to murder his own father.

These are truly remarkable characters, steadfast, determined, and willing to do whatever it takes to beat seemingly insurmountable odds. You can't help but care what happens to them. Lovers of the sensual will truly appreciate their steamy encounters as well. Refer to the book's cover if you don't believe me *g*. This sequel to WALKER'S WIDOW is every bit as enjoyable Clay and Regan's tale. By the way you'll be happy to know that the new sheriff and his wife are doing just fine.

December 2001
Copyright 2001

Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted August 3, 2002

SUMMARY

STEALING THE MOMENT...

Wade Mason had been to Hell--and escaped. Shackled in iron manacles, the fleeing inmate traveled to Purgatory to claim his newborn son. He arrived at Callie Quinn's house ready to do battle. But the beautiful angel who guarded his child stripped him defenseless by plopping the crying bundle of joy straight into his unsuspecting arms. Then just as surely as she'd released him from his chains, Callie freed his heart. And Wade knew he'd found Heaven in her embrace.

When the intimidating outlaw showed up on her doorstep, Callie vowed she would fight tooth and nail to protect the infant entrusted to her. After all, what did a hardened felon know about babies? But one heated kiss told Callie that Wade understood all about tender care. And soon she realized he might be the convict, but she was prisoner to his touch, to his desires...to his love.

 

Callie's Convict
(Purgatory, Book 2)
by Heidi Betts

Leisure
July 1, 2002
ISBN #0843950307
EAN #9780843950304
337 pages
Paperback
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Other Books by
Heidi Betts

The Bite Before Christmas
Real Men Last All Night
Hannah's Half-Breed
Walker's Widow
Almost a Lady


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