Cover Image: Bound for Glory

Bound for Glory

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BOUND FOR GLORY is the fourth and last book in the FRONTIERS OF THE HEART series by Tess LeSue. It has a multitude of characters, but this is Ava and Deathrider’s story. 

Ava grew up with wealth, the daughter of a pampered mistress and rich father who cut ties with them. She couldn’t get away from New York City fast enough when her mother thought that setting her up in a similar situation would be the best life for Ava. Instead, Ava went west and wrote dime novels, mostly about Deathrider. Deathrider is an Indian, whose path she had crossed and never forgotten. When she heard things about him, they went into her novels, whether true or not.  What happens when their paths unintentionally and unknowingly cross again?

The story begins in 1850 in California, but chapter two begins one month earlier. This was confusing and a little disjointed for me and not because I hadn’t read the first three books in the series. There was enough information throughout that I could piece together some of what had happened before. The end of the book takes place at Fort Laramie, ten months after most of the story is told. I enjoyed this since it nicely tied into the story and gave some details about what had happened during that time. Since it took place over several chapters, it gave a lot of specifics and ties into the epilogue, which takes place in Oregon in 1853.

The story has harsh depictions of Ava and the beat-up, blind, sunburned, and naked Apache Indian she finds abandoned in the desert. Later, when the Great Hunt is concocted to find Deathrider and bring him to San Francisco, the hunt takes many interesting twists.

Mistaken identities and many villains continued to provide tension in the story. The growing affection between Ava and her Indian, as she calls him, not knowing his name, pave the way for a wonderful romance.

While the conclusion tied up lots of loose ends and gave me the closure I was looking for, it definitely took me by surprise. I look forward to reading the first three books in the series to fill in any gaps. At the back of the book their was an excerpt from the first book, BOUND FOR EDEN, that whet my appetite for more. The cover of the book was spot on.
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Ava is an author. Her subject Deathrider, aka Nathaniel. She writes a fictional account, but people take her words as fact.
When Ava finds Tag he's not ready to meet company. 
Adventure, romance, drama, old west
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I don’t know about you, but I’ve been waiting for Deathrider’s story from the moment he was introduced in the first book. He was such an elusive, mysterious character that would show up randomly and then disappear in the blink of an eye. He’s a hunted man because of some books a deranged author made up about him. So, imagine my excitement when we not only get his story, but his leading lady ends up being none other than the author herself!

Granted, neither of them knows who the other person truly is. Ava came across who she assumed to be an Apache in the middle of the desert. He’s horribly beaten, blind, and in extremely rough shape. Being on the run herself, she takes pity on him and decides to help him get to safety before continuing on her way. She has no clue that the man in her custody is the same man she has written about, and caused so much trouble for.

I really liked that this story was written in both Ava’s and Deathrider’s POVs. We got to see what lead up to Deathrider’s unfortunate state in the middle of the desert, as well as got a better understanding of Ava’s character and how she struggles with the massive response her books have caused. I was curious how I’d like someone who caused so much undue hatred and animosity towards a complete stranger, but getting to read the book in her perspective really helped show that she truly thought what she was writing was fact. She wasn’t making these things up, but rather, her sources that she thought she could trust were making them up. The fact that she wants to find and warn Deathrider about the latest rally of hunters, kind of helped me to forgiver her a bit.

Now I will admit that it did take me a bit to warm up to this book. For a good portion of it we follow Ava as she goes about her business, and we follow Deathrider as you see just how much Native American’s are hated and treated by the white people who took over the lands. While I found Deathrider’s portions to be a bit more engaging, I was pretty bored with Ava’s side until the two finally meet up and start their journey together.

Like I said before, I’ve been waiting for Deathrider’s story from the very beginning. The fact that he’s been through so much because of one woman’s idiotic writings, was crazy. The poor guy had been through the wringer and was on the run from the moment we met him. I suppose it was only fitting that he find his happily every after, and closure from the one person who started it all.
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Bound for Glory is the first Tess LeSue historical that I've read - I was intrigued by the whole idea of a intrepid lady writer! While Ava and Nathaniel were individually great characters, I have to admit that I found their romance less compelling. For me, this novel took much too long to really started, for the characters to meet and the whole romance thing to get going. For me, it was hard to get invested in the story when it felt that I wasn't really reading a romance. In a romance, you expect things to go a certain way, and while I'm all for subverting genres, I don't think it worked in Bound for Glory, since the setup dragged and the romance suffered as a result.
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I really enjoyed this one! I loved Tess Lesue's previous books, and so I had no doubt that I would fall in love with Deathrider and his story. I was a little nervous going in, as the story progressed I was concerned that the main conflict would come from mistaken identity, which is a trope I really hate, but LeSue avoids this and gives these two a much richer story. The only thing that is preventing me from giving 5 stars is this novel heavily features native american culture in the old west- I want to say that this is a great thing and empowers a voice that is usually marginalized or villainized in this narratives, but there was about it? I just don't know enough about these particular tribes or this region to say if it was a faithful or respectful representation, although I hope that it is. The Native characters are painted as protagonists and have rich personalities, but I simply don't have the authority to recommend or not recommend these portrayals. That being said, I loved the romance and the characters, and this was an enjoyable reading experience!!
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This didn't work for me. Didn't connect with the heroine Ava. Wasn't a fan of the fact that her writing caused huge problems for Nate, especially since she made up/embellished a bunch of it. Also, the couple didn't even meet up until after the 40% and I just was having a hard time staying interested.
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For lovers of historical, romantic westerns, this is a keeper. Tess LeSue’s ability to capture the essence of the historical west by painting vibrant and lively characters is amazing. I loved this finale to the Frontiers of the Heart series!

Ava Archer rejected the relatively few options allowed her growing up by leaving home to make her own future.  Ava traveled the west writing true (mostly!) western novels about the people she meets along the way,  gaining unexpected fame and much needed money to finance this future.  She unwittingly falls into the Great Hunt with all the worst characters in the west vying to be the one to kill the infamous Plague of the West.  Ava Archer knows a great deal about the Plague, his notoriety is center stage in all of her western novels.  

When Ava finds herself alone with a blind, naked man in the desert,  hunted by the worst of the worst (is it really the Plague?), she begins to question her motives and past decisions.  

I loved Ava’s spunk and the subtle sarcastic humor thrown in throughout the story.  Ms. LeSue’s ability to set the scene and eloquently describe the people who made up the west in a vivid and believable way really hooked me.  5 Star read. I did receive an ARC and the opinions are my own.
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The story told in Tess LeSue's  Bound For Glory illustrates how legends are created for good or for ill
through stories and word of mouth.
And how said stories can then become the bane of someone's existence.  Or as in the case of Nathaniel.  A threat to their very lives.

As for Ava.  One could honestly say that she had no idea that her tales of Deathrider's supposed exploits would be as widely circulated or as popular as they became.
Let alone that they would serve as the impetus for a sponsored manhunt for the "outlaw" that she helped to make infamous.
By other outlaws.  Who are in themselves just as infamous.
Nor did she have any way of predicting the unbelievable set of circumstances that would find her stranded in the desert.  The threat of death looming, and the only person standing between the certain demise of the very man that her words doomed to the hunt.
But the story of survival, trust, friendship, and unlikely forever love that author LeSue weaves around these two is one that stays in the heart forever.
A big reason for this being that at their first meeting, neither of the two is aware of who the other actually is.
Only that they each are the other's sole hope for survival.
As such, readers get to see their relationship grow and change on a person to person basis.
Without the constraints of preconceived prejudices and judgement.
While being fully aware that there will be a reckoning of sorts when the truth of their identities is revealed.

When the very real history of Native American resettlement and other societal injustices that native peoples had to endure in the name of  "American expansion." come into play within the story.
What could have been a rather light and almost comical "western Amazing Race" gone awry.
Becomes a poignant tale of life love and freedom.
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BOUND FOR GLORY by Tess LeSue met all my expectations and surpassed them beyond what I could imagine. It was hard for me to envision Deathrider’s story, even though I’ve craved it since reading the first book where he appeared. I knew it would take a tough woman to out-fox and out-talk him. Ava Archer is exactly what he needed.

See the full color version of this review, plus all the clickable links at

But first, he had to suffer a lot, and go through one dark moment after another, with his sarcastic humor and dog as his sidekicks most of the way. When Deathrider’s humor no longer serves him, and anger replaces it, Two Bears, Deathrider’s father, fills in the gaps with his hilarious banter. Oh my, did I love Two Bears. He cracked me up.

Deathrider, aka Plague of the West, is hellbent on saving his friends no matter the odds. The man’s devotion to others is commendable. He proves his endurance in this book beyond comprehension.

Tess LeSue has earned her rare spot on my keeper shelves. FRONTIERS OF THE HEART is the best western series I’ve read. Fans will appreciate seeing all their favorite characters from the series in the final chapters of this book.

I reviewed the first three books for Romance Junkies, but another reviewer beat me to requesting this last book, so I’m reviewing it on my personal site, The Zest Quest.

Even though I think this book stands well on its own, I would hate to see someone miss the buildup to this climax. Do yourself a favor and read this series in order. It’s one of the best historical series I’ve experienced.

Here are quotes from my RJ reviews and links to them for your convenience…

“BOUND FOR EDEN is so ridiculous and addictive that I carried the book with me everywhere until I finished. I laughed so hard at Deathrider. He’s the absolute best caricature of a Native American who befriends white settlers. He’s the best friend who knows you so well that he’s the thorn in your side for life.” Review by Dorine ~ courtesy of Romance Junkies.

“BOUND FOR SIN by Tess LeSue is easy to recommend for its well-rounded entertainment. You’ll laugh, cry, and be enchanted by the western historical detail that makes you stick to this book like glue. I really can’t get enough of the FRONTIERS OF THE HEART series. I’m completely addicted, especially to read more about Deathrider, my favorite character.” Review by Dorine ~ courtesy of Romance Junkies.

“BOUND FOR TEMPTATION by Tess LeSue riles up the west as the naughty heroine disguises herself as a nun, launching one crazy plan after another… Thanks to Deathrider, Tom Slater is on the run from bounty hunters. The darn fool used Tom’s fairly good name when the heat became too much around Deathrider’s reputation. A reputation earned mostly by a dime novelist who found the crazy Indian perfect fodder for her creative adventures. Now the “real” Tom Slater can’t go anywhere without having his life threatened. It’s no wonder Tom prefers cows over people.” Review by Dorine ~ courtesy of Romance Junkies.

The riot continues in BOUND FOR GLORY.

Ava Archer is a pistol. I wanted to hate her for her poison pen, but she’s so stinking adorable that I couldn’t imagine anyone better for Deathrider. Their journey is fraught with challenges, but their HEA is pure bliss. Of course, there are more villains than you can shake a stick at this time around, but one in particular was beyond nasty and believable. Rooting for Ava to best that nasty piece of work was so much fun.

Thank you, Tess LeSue, for giving me exactly what I craved. BOUND FOR GLORY is beyond perfect, ending this series with all the laughter and love I could stand. Fabulous! I highly recommend all four books. THIS is how western romance should be written. It’s funny, entertaining, dangerous, crazy-wild like a horse race, and full of characters you wish to meet. You will be smitten.

Review by Dorine, courtesy of
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Bound for Glory by Tess LeSue is the 4th and final book in her western historical romance Frontiers of the Heart series. We meet our heroine, Ava Archer, who is a famous author, who writes about the wicked west and her tales of the infamous, Deathrider or Plague of the West.  Ava has written many tales in her books about the dangerous Deathrider, who kills at will, and even rapes women along the way.  But Ava bases her stories on the gossip of others, and has never really met him.  Deathrider (Nathaniel), whose life is a mess, based on the untrue stories written by a woman who has ruined his life, with her false stories about him; constantly running from those hunting him.   

Ava finds herself in the middle of a hunt, that will bring all the criminals to win a large monetary prize, if they bring back the real Deathrider. Ava is pushed to also join the hunt, especially when a true evil man, Kennedy Voss, wants her.  As she tries to avoid him, she comes across a naked man, who is in bad shape and blind.  Despite her need to move on, Ava agrees to help the desperate man to get him to the next town.   Unbeknown to both of them, they will be surprised when their true identities is revealed.  The injured man is Deathrider, whom Ava thinks is an apache, and Nathaniel, has no idea she is the woman who has caused all his grief.   When Kennedy Voss catches up with them, he forces Ava to join hands with him and pretend that ‘apache” is Deathrider (which he truly is), and they can claim the prize.   There were many comical parts during this adventure, especially when they both discover who the other is.   

What follows is a fun adventure with some danger, excitement and the humorous banter between Nathanial and Ava.   I really liked them together, even though we did not think they could their relationship would ever work.  Will Deathrider ever be able to forgive Ava?  
I do not want to give spoilers, as it is a fun story that you need to read.  It was a very exciting and intense but satisfying conclusion.  Bound for Glory was a sweet fun historical western that was adventurous, romantic and humorous, with a great couple. The adventure was not only wild crazy, but a lot of humor along the way.   When they meet dangerous criminals during their travels, the situation becomes tense, and they manage to escape.  Though their relationship grows, Nathaniel discovers more about Ava that threatens to ruin any possibility of them being together.  But Tess LeSue writes a wonderful conclusion, also giving us a glimpse at the previous books couples.    Very well done.
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Bound for Glory is the fourth book in the Frontiers of the Heart series.  It can be read as a stand alone, but characters from the previous books appear in this one.  
I loved this story!! It grabbed from the first chapter where we meet our main characters, Deathrider (he has many names) and Ava Archer.  Their fist encounter was very entertaining since she does not know what to do with this man who is naked and all beat up in the middle of a desert.  She's in no condition to help him but she does.   Her inner turmoil on what to do was fun to read. 
I had no idea what to expect from this book, since it is the first one I read from the this author, but it did not disappoint.  This book had great storytelling from beginning to end.  I had a hard time putting it down!  It had lots of action and a love story between two people who swore that they disliked each other from the very beginning.  Their bantering was a delight to read because you could tell that their chemistry was off the charts.  They both went through a lot in order to survive in the worst conditions ever.  They were both close to dying and yet they kept strong.  I liked how their romance slowly evolved in the story. 

I highly recommend reading it!

Thank you to the publisher for providing me with an ARC through NetGalley for an honest review.
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I loved the synopsis of this, but the beginning was too bogged down with characters and silly things that I couldn't keep anything straight, so I bailed. I just thought that a mid-series book wouldn't have so many character introductions and the action could start right away. I know... I'm the reader, not the writer, so I don't get to choose.
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Deathrider who is also know by many other names including the Plaque of the West, White Wolf, and by his people, Nathaniel. He has a reputation for being the bogeyman of the Wild West. Countless stories about his fearsome crimes gives chills and thrills to Ava Archer’s readers. Just because she never met him, that does not keep the plucky Miss Archer from telling his story. Ava finds how just exactly what payback means when a contest is set up to capture this most dangerous half-breed man with eyes of ice and a black heart.

Deathrider is tired of people blaming him for things he did not do; but finds it almost impossible to fight such a bad reputation. When he finds himself in a desperate situation, none other than Ava Archer is his rescuer although neither one knows it at the time. They have a long, difficult journey with this most famous outlaw in a sad state. Several others are after Deathrider to win some prize money besides Ava who feels responsible for the whole mess in the first place.

There are quite a few adventures before and after Ava meets up with Deathrider. Since he is in a bad way for much of the journey, Deathrider is at Ava’s mercy once again. Their relationship develops during numerous trials and tribulations although it is mostly a rocky one. This is a very slow burn romance which actually is a lesser part of the story. Fans of the old West tales with humor, some romance, and Native American content will most likely enjoy it. This is number 4 in the Frontiers of the Heart series and can be read as a standalone; however, the epilogue will make less sense to first time readers.
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I wanted to like this one more than I did. I really liked both of the main characters, Ava and Deathrider, but it just took way too long for the romance to develop between the two of them. I think I would have been fine with that had this not been a romance novel. They don't even really meet until thirteen chapters in, and everything romantic between them happens in the last 20% of the book. That being said I did enjoy the humour in the book, at some parts I actually laughed out loud. Overall, it was just an okay book for me.
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Ava is a writer back in the old west. She writes about a man that is a legend they call him Deathrider. Some of what she writes its true some made up.  Now there is a hunt to capture him.  When Ava and  Deathrider meet they don’t know who each other really is. The adventure and trouble they get into will keep you very entertained.
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