Terms of Engagement

Fiction - Western
308 Pages
Reviewed on 01/20/2014
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Trudi LoPreto for Readers' Favorite

Terms of Engagement by Lorrie Farrelly is exactly as the description reads, but so much more. Robert lost his wife in childbirth and is now a single father to five-year-old Gracie Rose. Tess is in a marriage with a very rich, domineering man who thinks nothing of abusing her. When he strikes Scottie, their little boy, Tess knows it is time to leave. While sleeping, Dr. Robert receives a message from his guardian angel, his deceased brother Gavin, urging him to go back home to their sister and brother-in-law and their Wyoming Ranch. Robert wakes up, determined to leave as soon as possible. Tess escapes in the night and heads West. When Tess faints on the train, the conductor asks Robert to help. They get off the train at the next stop and Robert watches over Tess as she slowly begins to heal. Tess very slowly begins to trust Dr. Robert and they continue the journey together and travel to the ranch. Robert and Tess soon fall in love but the only way they can be truly together is if Tess gets a divorce from her mean, arrogant husband who is bent on revenge and wants his wife and son back no matter what it takes. Robert and Tess need the help of family, lawyers, old friends from the Calvary and guardian angel Gavin, plus a long hard ride on the stagecoach before the end is near.

Lorrie Farrelly has created characters that are so real and a story that captured me from the very first page. Terms of Engagement has so much – suspense, drama, historical romance, to name a few. Lorrie deals with marital abuse in a real way but without the ugly detailed descriptions. I am not a fan of paranormal but Guardian Angel Gavin was presented in a way that made him very believable. Terms of Engagement is an excellent read. Lorrie Farrelly will quickly make it to your favorite authors list

Mamta Madhavan

Terms of Engagement by Lorrie Farrelly is a sequel to the author's previous book, Terms of Surrender. The story is set in 1885 in Wyoming Territory. Tess Rutledge has fled from her abusive and wealthy husband, taking her toddler son. In the train she meets fellow passenger Dr. Robert Devlin, who is a widower. He is also traveling with his small daughter. Circumstances in the train lead to a string of developments between Robert and Tess. He takes her home to regain her health and they fall in love. But Tess is trapped in a marriage with a man who will not let her go. Will she be able to break free from the unhappy and abusive marriage?

The story is very exciting. The author has blended in a lot of emotions like danger, romance, thrills, and excitement to make is a fast paced romantic thriller. Both the characters - Robert, who is a single father and Tess who is trapped in an unhappy marriage - have been sketched well by the author. The romance in the book is not the usual cliched type. There is an underlying intensity, intrigue, adventure, and action that run through the story.

The supporting characters of Gavin, Grant etc. add to the depth of the story line and give adequate support to the main characters of Robert and Tess. The book has some passionate scenes that highlight the romance of Robert and Tess. It is a book that you will want to read at one sitting.

Brenda Casto

The year is 1885 and Teresa (Tess) Rutledge is the wife of a very powerful yet brutal man. She was resigned to the fact that he was abusive, and his latest round almost killed her, but when he harms their child Scottie she knows she must escape. With the help of a maid, she does just that and hops on a train west. While on the train she collapses, but fortunately Dr. Robert Devlin had recently had a spiritual encounter, warning him that someone on this train would need his help so he and his young daughter Grace are on board. When he learns of Tess's injuries, he decides to protect her no matter what and takes her home to his sister Annie Cantrell's ranch. Rob enlists the help of his family to help extricate Tess from her brutal marriage but her husband won't give up easily. When Rob and Tess are faced with a life and death situation it will take divine intervention to save them!

Terms of Engagement reads like an epic novel. A historical romance that provides plenty of suspense and drama, along with a twist of supernatural flair makes for a page-turning read. The author easily pulls readers back to the days when people traveled by train or stagecoach, and when the west was still far from tame. She certainly brings history to life. I could easily imagine the ranch, the rutted roads traveled by stagecoach, and the horses that were an integral part of the ranch. The characters are solid, too. So much more than just another historical love story, there is a richness in detail. The author is a true wordsmith, choosing her words to describe the situation without dwelling on the darkness of spousal abuse. While this book is the second in a series, the author provides enough background information that it can easily be read as a stand-alone work. However, I would highly suggest reading the first book, Terms of Surrender, as well. Terms of Engagement is a very well written historical adventure that provides a satisfying ending. It left me hoping for another book in the series so I can reconnect with this family.