The Bounty Hunter's Bride

Christian - Romance - Historical
226 Pages
Reviewed on 09/06/2022
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Edith Wairimu for Readers' Favorite

The Bounty Hunter's Bride by Janis Jakes is a rewarding Christian romance novella with surprising sub-plots and a delightful ending. Luke Lancaster is a skilled bounty hunter contracted to track Billie, an alleged dangerous criminal on the run. But they are being trailed too, and when both fugitive and bounty hunter get caught up in an almost fatal attack, Luke hesitates to rescue Billie. Still, he helps her and both survive. Billie is unsure why Luke did not leave her to die. Part Comanche, Luke was raised by his Christian mother. Now, he is at odds with his faith after having gone through a tragic event in his past. Though Billie is introduced to Luke’s life, she believes his work and her profession as a school teacher will keep them apart.

I was fascinated by the story from the opening scene which involves Luke and Billie’s face off. The story does not lose momentum and throughout, Billie and Luke are pursued by powerful criminals. I also loved that the characters are complex and intriguing. Luke is struggling with events in his past. Growing up, he also felt torn between two worlds. His mother was white and his father is Comanche. His estranged relationship with his father is explored in the book. The sub-plot helps flesh out Luke and his sisters’ backgrounds. Surrounded by danger and separated by social attitudes and their professions, Luke and Billie’s love is original and captivating as it includes two people from contrasting backgrounds. The Bounty Hunter's Bride by Janis Jakes is a historical novella that readers will love for its creative plot and relatable characters.

Delene Vrey

Luke Lancaster is a good bounty hunter. His Christian upbringing has made him unique in that he never killed a criminal. He has a troubled relationship with his father, a Comanche warrior, who left his English wife and young children. When Luke realizes that the criminal Billie Batson, whom he was supposed to bring to justice, is a woman, he knows he is in trouble. Billie, a schoolteacher, is on the run from Clovis Caldwell and the law after her co-worker was shot and she was framed. When she is shot, Luke has no other option than to take care of her. In his efforts to help her, she meets his family and is kidnapped by Comanches. Luke has to make a decision that will affect his and Billie’s future. And how does this decision fit in with life in Arkansas? In The Bounty Hunter’s Bride, taking a chance on people and putting your trust in God is apparent in the actions and words of the characters.

Janis Jakes has written a lovely western romance based on Christian values and norms. She does an excellent job of writing a story where the believing characters fit into a sometimes unpleasant and always sinful world. Ms. Jakes captures the essence of believers in the hostile west, their faith in God, and discipleship to those who cross their paths. The Bounty Hunter’s Bride is a delightful read for the Christian reader looking for a clean read without profanity or sexual content, but with the tension and desires inherent to people with feelings for each other. She does a great job of inculcating prayer and faith into the story in an organic manner that does not feel forced.

Viga Boland

I honestly cannot remember ever reaching the end of a book and thinking “What a beautiful story!” What surprises me even more about my gut response to The Bounty Hunter’s Bride by Janis Jakes are the following three factors: It’s essentially Christian; it’s romance; it’s old West historical. But, if that’s just the kind of book you love to read, then don’t hesitate to immerse yourself in this love story about Luke, a half-Comanche bounty hunter, and Billie Jo the hunted.

Their unusual and dangerous meeting at the beginning of the book immediately grabs a reader’s attention: which one of them will shoot the other? But that possibility is quickly dismissed as bullets whiz around them both. Billie-Jo cops a couple of bullets, and despite his misgivings, Luke caves to his inner good Samaritan and carries her to safety. Destiny has brought them together but the path forward is fraught with mutual mistrust and complicated by the deeds of evil men. Ultimately, both put their faith and fates into God’s hands, bringing this story to a most satisfying close.

Janis Jakes’ writing is simple and straightforward, with plenty of dialogue and perfectly suited to the setting of old West country fiction. At the same time, there is lots of tension throughout. Jakes’ approach easily engages readers emotionally with the almost cinematic delivery of each scene. Yes, this would make a lovely short movie, just as Jakes has made this a lovely short book. She certainly won this non-romantic non-believer over! Well done. This is a wonderful read.

Natalie Soine

The Bounty Hunter’s Bride by Janis Jakes tells the delightful story of Luke Lancaster, bounty hunter for Littleton and Clark Detective Agency in El Paso, hired by the Justice City Bank’s insurance company to recover the outlaw and stolen property. Luke is following schoolteacher Billie Jo Batson through the Chihuahuan Desert. Billie is wanted for the murder of an honorable man, accused of stealing miner’s gold, and charged with taking another man’s horse. Billie surprises Luke from behind shortly before Clovis Caldwell’s posse shoots at them and Billie gets injured. They find refuge in a cave used by the Comanches for a lookout while hunting buffalo. On their way to Billie’s Aunt Matilda Schumann and Uncle Rupert in Kansas, Luke and Billie are ambushed and wake up in a teepee with war chief Mighty Bow and his daughter White Feather. Luke’s father Walking Stick arrives and offers a solution to their predicament.

The Bounty Hunter’s Bride is a delightful story of love, dedication, and bravery. The characters are from many different walks of life and are described so well that they draw the reader in. The vivid descriptions of the scenes and events in the desert, towns, and homesteads make it easy for the reader to form a visual story. The book is well written and flows smoothly from beginning to end with just enough surprises, twists, and turns to captivate the reader. Some of the characters may previously have chosen the wrong path but through spiritual guidance, they land where God intended even if they are unsure of His plans. Janis Jakes has crafted a thoroughly enjoyable novel that is highly recommended for all ages.

Astrid Iustulin

The way Billie Jo Batson and Luke Lancaster meet is not ideal. She is wanted for crimes she did not commit, while he is a bounty hunter given the task of finding her. Billie Jo's innocence, however, is clear from their first meeting, and no one who knows her would believe for a moment she is guilty. But proving her innocence is a different matter. Will justice prevail? And how will the two protagonists behave when they realize that love is blossoming between them? Learn about Billie Jo and Luke's dangerous and romantic adventure in Janis Jakes's The Bounty Hunter's Bride.

A love story can rarely be both compelling and inspiring, but that is what Janis Jakes did with The Bounty Hunter's Bride. This novel has so many charming elements that even the most detached reader will find something to their taste. The love story is sure to appeal to romance readers, but even those who prefer other genres will find something extraordinary in The Bounty Hunter's Bride. Some will be interested in finding out how to prove Billie Jo's innocence, and others will enjoy discovering Luke's incredible family history. Many readers (and I am one of them) will love all the ingredients in The Bounty Hunter's Bride and consider it a great novel as a whole. This is not the usual love story you may have read elsewhere, but it is a surprising tale that will thrill anyone who loves a good read. It is for all these reasons that I highly recommend The Bounty Hunter's Bride.