Lieutenant Michael Trent is a notorious rogue known for getting in brawls and romancing the ladies. Not one to settle down, he has no plans to marry - until his commanding officer gives him the choice of either marrying Ms. Ellen Winthrop or facing a court martial. Determined to do his duty, Michael marries Ellen and plans to protect her on the journey from Texas to California, where he'll turn her over to her uncle.
Fleeing her home in England, Ellen only wants to travel with the Army to California where she hopes to find her wayward uncle. She didn't plan on getting married but when it's her only option, she readily agrees. She never thought she'd fall for her own husband and want more than a marriage in name only. Will she be seduced ...or will she be the seducer?
San Antonio Rogue by Cindi Myers is a sweet and energetic romance set in the American Southwest at the beginning of the Mexican-American War. The story is full of likeable characters and colorful dialogue. It's a well paced tale with some light military action, and while there aren't any "cowboys" we do get a battalion of "dragoons" (light infantry) and some Texas Rangers.
Michael Trent is a young officer in the regular army, assigned to the "Dragoons" or light infantry due to his training at West Point and familiarity with the West, who's accustomed to being in some kind of "scrape". Michael had a difficult childhood which has shaped both his outlook on life and his image of himself; he's used to rejection and fighting with his fists. He has a tendency to react before he thinks. He never planned on being married to a young English lady or on falling in love with her as they make their way west.
Ellen Winthrop is not who she seems; the illegitimate daughter of an Earl and his mistress, she fled her home after her father's death when she didn't want to fall in line with her step-sister's plans. Fleeing to America, Ellen wants to go to California to locate her mother's brother and hopefully get a new start on life. Ashamed about her background, she allows both Michael and his commander, Colonel Peabody, to think she's a "fine lady". When she's informed she can only travel with the army if she marries a soldier, she accepts their terms and soon finds herself married to Michael, who she thinks is an educated gentleman - someone who would normally be out of her reach. Agreeing to a marriage in name only, she never dreamed she'd want to seduce her own husband and make their marriage real.
The scenes between Michael and Ellen are full of sexual tension and really good chemistry. They're attracted to each other but are under a mistaken impression about their backgrounds and social standing. Ellen soon proves her worth as a wife doing the cooking, laundry and mending without complaint while Michael ensures her safety. As they spend more time together, their feelings for each other grow. Ms. Myers did a good job developing their gradual romance.
The secondary characters were also well written and two were pivotal for Michael and Ellen's future. I especially liked Dr. Marvin Sullivan, the company doctor, who is Michael's friend and encourages him to think before he acts. I also liked Katherine Shea, another traveling woman who makes an "arrangement" to travel with the army and becomes Ellen's best friend. The trip West isn't without some danger, especially with the antagonist in this story- a Captain Gregory Dunleavy, a Scotsman who joined the Texas Rangers accompanying the "Dragoons" as they travel west. While he's in the Rangers, he has no real loyalty to either Texan's or the U.S. Army and has an immediate hatred towards Michael, he wants Ellen for himself. He's definitely not anyone who can be trusted or who you would want to turn your back on.
The end of the story is full of action with Michael and his troops seeing some action. When Michael is shot in the shoulder, Ellen realizes just how deeply she's in love with her husband and is determined to stay with him past their arrival in California. Will Michael and Ellen be able to put aside their pride, come clean about their pasts and forge a real and lasting marriage? You'll have to read San Antonio Rogue to find out. I think you'll enjoy it.
Lieutenant Michael Trent was not the marrying kind – in fact, he was a notorious rogue, known for romancing the ladies and barely skirting the bounds of legality. But when his commanding officer orders him to marry lovely Ellen Winthrop, he determines to do his duty by her and protect her on the journey from Texas to California by way of Mexico.
As for Ellen, she only wants safe passage with the Army to California, where she hopes to locate her wayward father. But the handsome lieutenant distracts her from her goal – and all thoughts of propriety. Alone for so long, Ellen wants more from her husband than a marriage in name only. Will she be the seduced – or the seducer?