Rosanne Bittner: Heart of the West

Rosanne Bittner: Heart of the West

Outlaw Hearts Series

Outlaw Hearts Series


Book cover showing a cowboy embracing a blonde womanA man whose tortured past won’t let go.

A woman whose love goes beyond forgiveness.

     Jake Harkner is scarred on the inside from his tortured childhood and scarred on the outside from cruel beatings and too many gunfights. Years ago, a chance encounter with Miranda Hayes struck his heart like lightening and struck hers like thunder. Their ensuing storm-filled love match often threatened their years of marriage.

     OUTLAW HEARTS is the ultimate romantic saga, told through realistic history and events that settled the American West and tested a man and woman’s love beyond what most can handle. Now, thinking that the storms are finally over, the dark cloud of a woman from Jake's past appears on the horizon, creating an emotional twister that threatens to tear him from the woman he loves.

      Not only does Dallas Blackburn's visit force Jake to reveal a deep dark secret to his wife and family, but Jake is forced to break a promise he made to his wife of never strapping on his .44’s again. Only this time, Miranda vows she will not be left behind to wait and worry while Jake rides into danger. Come hell or high water, she intends to ride beside her husband into outlaw country.clear the storm clouds of Jake’s past.

     A bad man with a good heart, Jake Harkner is a classic hero Bittner’s readers fell in love with. You will, too, after reading SHADOW TRAIL. Follow Jake and Miranda's journey from their sprawling ranch in Colorado to northern Wyoming's Outlaw Trail for a final confrontation with Jake’s past of good and evil that could finally clear the storm clouds that have followed him all his life.

      "We are all gettin' older, Jake," Cole teased. "How do you keep up with a wife who is ten years younger than you?"

     Jake paused, glancing at Miranda. "You just have to love her so much that it hurts," he answered. "The rest is easy."

      Randy smiled. She was always surprised at how a man who could be so ruthless often spoke more like a poet than an outlaw.

     I am SO happy that everyone is loving this book! Here are some comments from my readers:

  • "OMG, I had to close it last night! The writing is so good that it gave me angst! I won’t say anything more than, 'Dear God, Randy, what are you doing???? Stop!' I shall continue it tonight, with a glass of wine in hand!" -- Melinda, via Facebook

  • "I absolutely loved this one! Beautiful and epic in every way! And loved how the past connects them together in a deeper almost spiritual way. Brilliant job Rosanne Bittner! Thank you for sharing them with us once more." -- Lover of Romance Book Reviews (You can read the full review here.)

  • "Long day. Anixety high. So I'm gonna get lost in my book! If you like good westerns, this is the series. Women love Rosanne Bittner's Outlaw Hearts Series, and it's a series men would love too. Get lost in the old west!" -- Tonya

  • "Just finished Shadow Trail. !! Once again you knocked it out of the park Rosanne!!! Great story, great ending!! Love Jake & Randy!!!" -- Judy

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Note: Please see my Outlaw Hearts Series page for information about previous books in the series, and the SHADOW TRAIL listing on Amazon for more in-depth reviews!


        "As only Rosanne Bittner can do, she brings these characters to life in an unforgettable love story that touches the heart and is told with real Old West adventure and authenticity. Reading these books will show you why Rosanne has been dubbed the Queen of Western Romance!"

2015 reprint of OUTLAW HEARTS   DO NOT FORSAKE ME, the sequel to OUTLAW HEARTS   LOVE'S SWEET REVENGE   The Last Outlaw   Christmas In a Cowboy's Arms   Cover,BLAZE OF GLORY   Shadow Trail cover, showing cowboy enbracing a blonde woman

(Note: Please click on any of the covers for more information about that book!)

Outlaw Hearts   divider graphic   Do Not Forsake Me   divider graphic   Love's Sweet Revenge   divider graphic   The Last Outlaw   divider graphic   Chick-A-Dee Christmas


       When OUTLAW HEARTS was first published in 1993, I desperately wanted to write a sequel about the further adventures of Jake and Randy. However, my publisher had other ideas. Still, Jake Harkner lived in my heart and mind almost constantly. His story wasn’t finished, which is why he continued to haunt me. Little did I know that, 20 years later, a new publisher (Sourcebooks) would fall in love with OUTLAW HEARTS and not only reissue that book but also request THREE sequels and a short story (to date)?

       The Outlaw Hearts Series is the saga of outlaw/ gunfighter (later turned lawman) Jake Harkner. These books combine for an incredible love story, as Jake's strength comes from one woman, Miranda Harkner, who gives Jake the family he never thought he would have. Jake and Randy's deep devotion to each other helps them rise above life's struggles caused by Jake's past reputation, and helps Jake come to terms with the one devastating sin from his past that has haunted him all his life. Most of all, these books tell the story of a man who deep inside is an abused little boy who wants nothing more than to be loved.

       Just a note about these gorgeous covers: Jake Harkner is in reality cover model Nathan Kamp, and these breath-taking covers were designed by the very talented Jon Paul Ferrara. I feel so honored that Jon Paul designed the covers for OUTLAW HEARTS, DO NOT FORSAKE ME. LOVE'S SWEET REVENGE, and THE LAST OUTLAW. If you're interested in how this gorgeous art is created, please visit his website, "Jon Paul Studios."

       By the way, the first book, OUTLAW HEARTS, came from an idea I had about 30 years ago while standing in the bathroom fixing my hair. I had nothing to write on so I scribbled the idea on the back of a check book with an eyebrow pencil. Now, there is an entire Outlaw Hearts series. All from a few words on the back of a check book. Wish I still had that check book. I'd frame it!


     "I must tell you that I just finished reading your book OUTLAW HEARTS. I read a lot of western romance novels by many different authors, but your book brought me to tears more times than I can count!I could literally FEEL the fierce love and determination that Miranda Hayes possessed for her outlaw Jake. Her faith in God unwavering. I felt his pain as he doubted his ability to love, to be the good, kind man that God meant him to be. Thank you for writing such a good novel and transporting me back in time." -- Peggy Seck, 11 September 2019

     "I discovered Jake and Miranda by reading THE LAST OUTLAW 1st. Since then I have been able to purchase the other three books through our used book store or Amazon. I have thoroughly enjoyed the Outlaw Hearts series. . . .There was times I felt the terror, agony and frustration that Jake and Miranda went through to be together. It was not only a book about love and endurance but about how important FAMILY really is to all of us. Regardless of your circumstances anyone can rise above them. Thanks for a great heart warming series." -- Bill, 23 September 2018

     "The first book in the series was my first romance book I [ever] read, and all these years later it's still my top favorite! What's cool, is 20+ years after first publishing OUTLAW HEARTS, Rosanne Bittner was given the opportunity to have it reissued and write 3 sequels!! . . . You do *not* want to miss these if you are a fan of western romance! She knows how to steal your heart and breath and give it back in the most amazing way!" -- Michelle R., 26 July 2016.

To order in paperback and in all e-reader formats, please see my E-book List page!



The 2015 reissue of OUTLAW HEARTSUnited by chance, bound by fate, consumed by passion.

       In June, 2015, Sourcebooks reissued my 1993 book OUTLAW HEARTS, in both print and e-reader formats! Jake Harkner is one of my all-time favorite heroes!

“A young widow who’s lost everything and a decent man on the wrong side of the law find love amid hardships and challenges in this epic Western romance by an award-winning writer noted for her realistic and carefully researched novels. First published by Bantam in 1993.” -- Library Journal, 15 June 2015

"An epic saga. A story that spans a lifetime and tells of two totally mismatched individuals who fell in love, then walked through fire to remain together. ... Outlaw Hearts is what true romance should be. These two didn't have it easy but they fought to be together. Forever meant something. ... Ms. Bittner writes such rage and passion into this book that it comes alive. I understood Jake's fears, his anger and his desire to make a better life for him and Miranda and their children. I was brokenhearted when his past kept coming back and ruined what he had built. And I cheered when they once again triumphed. This is a long book but it seemed too short when I had read the final word. ... A True gift to the romance world. Do Not Forsake Me, A Sequel is coming out July 7, 2015 and I find myself already screaming because it's not here yet. Because believe me when I tell you, Romance doesn't get any better than this!" -- Shauni, "Bodice Rippers, Femme Fatales, and Fantasy" (Read entire review here.)

       Miranda Hayes has lost everything-her family, her husband, her home. Orphaned and then widowed, desperate to find a safe haven, she sets out to cross a savage land alone...until chance brings her face-to-face with notorious gunslinger Jake Harkner.

       Hunted by the law and haunted by a brutal past, Jake has spent a lifetime fighting for everything he has. He's never known a moment's kindness...until fate brings him to the one woman willing to reach past his harsh exterior to the man inside. He would die for her. He would kill for her. He will do whatever it takes to keep her his.

       Spanning the dazzling West with its blazing deserts and booming gold towns, Jake and Miranda must struggle to endure every hardship that threatens to tear them apart. But the love of an outlaw comes with a price...and even their passion may not burn bright enough to conquer the coming darkness.

What Readers Are Saying About OUTLAW HEARTS:

       "5 stars just isn't enough for this wonderful book. The Queen of Western Historical Romance, Rosanne Bittner, never ceases to amaze her readers with her picturesque ways of telling a story. We are so blessed to be living during a time when the greatest western story teller, graces us with her majestic works of written art!!!!!! Outlaw Hearts is a fabulous piece of extraordinary work. It is filled with regrets, revenge, romance, and reunion. Jake and Miranda's (Randy's) love and courage remind us of what true devotion and love can conquer. 5 stars just isn't enough for this wonderful book. Rosanne, you have done it again. Excellent book!!!!" -- Tonya Lucas, 17 June 2015

       "My favorite love (epic) story ever!!!  Rosanne Bittner has a way of weaving a story into your heart so that you can't help but love the characters and feel like you truly know them! I love that their story wasn't just about them meeting, falling in love, then getting married at the end with a quick-peek epilogue into their future. She takes us through 20+ years of marriage, and introduces grandkids, making the story (to me) feel so much more complete! I love how not only we saw good times for them, but we also get to experience the real struggles that they faced together - and how their love was able to push through it all! I didn't realize . . . how one could "fall in love" with a fictional hero - but Jake definitely "stole" a part of my heart. And Randy - well, I'll just say that I'd love to have her strength and attitude! This is one of Rosanne Bittner's stories you don't wanna miss!!! I really cannot wait for this book to be available on my kindle!" -- An customer.

       "A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds...   Outlaw Hearts is a romance between a very dangerous man and a strong resilient woman that has seen her share of heartache. Jake is tired of his outlaw existence, always staying one step ahead of bounty hunters or constantly being on guard for the next man that will try to make a name for himself by being the one to gun down the notorious Jake Harkner. Randy has lost the last of her family except for a brother that went West years ago, she has no reason to stay on a farm she can't work by herself. She has made the decision to go West and hopefully reunite with her brother. . . . This book may be about the redemption of a man but it is Randy that holds this book together. Her unconditional faith in a man that has lived a faithless life, trust in a man that trusts no one, and love for a man that believes he is loveless is simply amazing. . . . But the major theme is love, love of self and family.
       "If you want a true to life gritty shoot em up bang bang you will find it in Outlaw Hearts. This is not window dressing, this is the real deal. Nobody escapes unharmed, the gun battles are the best I have read in Western fiction. Jake is one cold ruthless MF, he makes Clint Eastwood look like a pussy cat. He is also a man of few words, but when he speaks everyone listens because they know the next thing talking will be his guns. His history is tragic, it takes a special woman like Randy to help him heal a lifetime of hurt. The book spans 22 yrs of a marriage between a God fearing woman that refuses to give up on her man, and a man that will do anything including killing all threats to protect the family he never believed he could have. Jake is a hard man make no mistake but he is completely in love with Randy.
       "If you like authentic American West romances with in depth characterizations Rosanne Bittner is your author." -- Ms. Daisy "Ava" on

       "I wish the rating system went above 5*'s.   I wish there was something to say that would do this book and author justice. Bittner is the western-civil war-frontier diva. No one does it better. Her characters are so real. They are filled with all of the emotions the human soul can have. This 500 pages held me in constant thrall. The uniqueness is the depth of the characters, especially jake. He is tormented and his despair leads him into a horrible and unhappy life. Enter Miranda, who is almost too good to be true. Although this is not about religion, the depth of her belief in Jake and her belief that God will indeed help him is inspiring. It's a story that brings real hope and an awareness that we are each responsibile for what we make of our lives. That we can bring about change and that forgiveness and love are the most important gifts we can be given..And that unless we intervene, mistakes will repeat themselves. If you only read one book a year.......make it this one........thank you Roseanne . You are a gifted, compassionate writer." -- An customer.

       "Being totally disabled I do a lot of reading, about two or three books a week...I've read books by Louis L'Amour, Zane Gray, Max Brand...I thought that I have read all the good Westerns until I read Outlaw Hearts Your book belongs at the top with the best of them. I am quite interested in reading more of your books." -- Steven

       "My 88-year-old mom has become one of your fans. I can't tell you how many books I have brought her and how many she has rejected, in my search to find 'a good book set in the Old West'...When she read your Outlaw Hearts, she declared it to be one of the best books she had ever read. Thank you for your novels. They are certainly giving much joy to one very senior citizen!" -- Marilyn

       "Thank you for the enjoyment and tears that your novels have provided me through the years. My favorites are Outlaw Hearts and Wildest Dreams. Sometimes, novels don't give enough of the long lasting romance that romantics need to sustain that good feeling. You take us to the bitter end! Thank you for the pleasure of sharing your characters with me." -- Gigi

       OUTLAW HEARTS has also been translated into Chinese -- click here to see the Chinese cover!

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NEW for 2015: DO NOT FORSAKE ME, the epic sequel to OUTLAW HEARTS Fate brought them together. His past may tear them apart.

     "In this long-awaited sequel to Outlaw Hearts, notorious outlaw–turned–U.S. marshal Jake Harkner and wife Miranda have settled in Guthrie, OK, with their children Lloyd and Evita, now grown and building families of their own. No longer a fugitive with a price on his head, Jake has found some peace yet continues to struggle to forgive himself for his past misdeeds and worries for the safety of his family, as many of his former associates wish him dead. Miranda, whose intrepid and loyal character will bind readers to her from the series start, is the only one who can keep Jake from falling back into his old life. Bittner wonderfully juxtaposes Miranda’s poise and inner strength with Jake’s hard, ruthless exterior to fuel a never-ending passion. Their unlikely romance catches the attention of earnest Chicago journalist Jeff Trubridge, who’s determined to write a book that reveals the real Jake Harkner, and his outsider role becomes essential when a band of killers plot a final attempt to destroy Jake and the family he can’t live without.
     Verdict: Against the backdrop of a raw Western landscape, this post–Civil War–era romance delights the senses. Through Jake, Bittner (Desperate Hearts) explores the complex issues of childhood abuse, self-forgiveness, the bonds of family, and love’s promise to be true no matter the price." -- Annalisa Pesek of Library Journal

"DO NOT FORSAKE ME is Bittner's proudest accomplishment to date, and it's easy to see why. She's consolidated her strengths to write a rolicking historical adventure that appeals to both genders, and readers old and new." -- RT Book Reviews, July 2015.

"[A] refreshing view of enduring love that survives the dangers of the Old West. Jake is a man of his time who feels deeply possessive of Miranda, and though Bittner takes pains to describe her as a strong woman, she’s also quite willing to yield to her man. There’s plenty of drama, including gunfights and multiple brushes with mortality, amid great storytelling that readers will savor." -- Publisher's Weekly, 12 May 2015 (Read entire review here.)


       Miranda Hayes' life was changed the day she faced down infamous gunslinger Jake Harkner...and walked away with his heart. Their fates have been intertwined ever since. Hunted by the law, fleeing across a savage land, their desperate love flourished despite countless sorrows. Now, twenty-six years later, their family has finally found some measure of peace...balanced on the knife's edge of danger.

       Jake has spent his years as a U.S. Marshal atoning for sins, bringing law to the land he once terrorized. But no matter how hard he fights the demons of his brutal past, the old darkness still threatens to consume him. Only Miranda keeps the shadows at bay. But when outlaws looking for revenge strike a fatal blow, Jake risks losing the one woman who saw past his hard exterior and to the man inside.

       He always knew there'd be the devil to pay. He just never realized he might not be the one to bear the ultimate price.

What Readers Are Saying About DO NOT FORSAKE ME:

     "My husband left to go back to work early Sunday morning, and with the weather being as rainy and dreary as it was, I quickly did the chores I had to get done and then I snuggled down on the couch with my two fur babies (dogs) and Jake and Randy. . . . I couldn't put it down.... I just *had* to know what happened next! And what a ride you took me on, lady!! *swoon* Between feeling the intense love and desire from Jake, the sweet enduring love and devotion from Randy, the giggles from Little Jake (EEK! YES YES YES I definitely vote for a Little Jake as an adult book!), the nail-biting-edge-of-my-seat feels from the adventures and trials and scares.... I was all over the place and loving every second!
     "This was definitely Jake's story - healing, forgiveness, redemption, beauty. . . . Ben! I totally saw him as Jake's redemption/salvation. A way for Jake to really heal from his past. While Randy is his strength, his air, (oh my word was I swooning over his description of her, and how he treasured Randy!) his kids are his redemption and healing balm.
      "I also loved a few of the flashbacks you shared -- and it was really interesting to see them from Jake's perspective - same feels, just deeper...
     "I loved how you ended it -- they're going to get their peace -- but because they are Harkners, you know they still gotta have a bit of work to do to get their reward. After all, this is Jake and Lloyd we're talking about! troublemakers.... and we wouldn't love them any other way!!
     "Thank you for the escape you provided with Jake and Randy - I love them even more now than before. And I'll anxiously but patiently wait till September for Love's Sweet Revenge! It'll be here before we know it!" -- Michelle, 20 July 2015

"Omg this has got to be the best book Rosanne Bittner has written so far. I hated for it to end. I love loved it!!! Jake and Miranda just get even more precious!!!! And oh his grandson 'Little Jake' is a pistol ball. Get it asap and read or devour it as I 'did!! You definitely will not be disappointed!!!" -- Glenda Kinard, 10 July 2015

"I think I have a new author to follow in Roseanne Bittner: the writing and characterization is wonderfully done with characters that dance above the norm for romance: mid 40’s and 50’s. . . Bittner takes the reader on a journey that is emotional, easy to relate to and mixes those with the elements and incidents that are true to the life and environment of the time: not always pretty, neat or clean." -- Gaele, via (Read Entire Review here)

"Well now, I might have found a new author to binge on. . . Do Not Forsake Me was a wonderful read. I'd say it's more family saga than romance but I loved it. From the characters--who were in their 40s-50s and married 26 years-- to the locale of the frontier to the danger surrounding this family at every turn. A legendary outlaw turned lawman who so many want to take down just to claim they were the ones to kill the legend. A reporter wanting to tell the story of the real man behind that legend. It was just fascinating at every turn." -- Anna, via (Read Entire Review here)

"Reading Do Not Forsake Me was like sitting in a warm embrace. . . Ms. Bittner deals with love and forgiveness beautifully. She shows again and again that true strength is not about the physical but comes from within. . . This series is what romance books are all about and Do Not Forsake Me lives up to it's predecessor, showing both new readers and those who read this years ago, Roseanne Bittner just gets romance." -- Shauni, via (Read Entire Review here)

"What really peaked my interest in continuing with this second book however is that the events that are chronicled in this fictional tale actually are very much true to what life was like for the men and women who lived and died in the western territories of the 1800’s. . . This is a story filled with adversity, courage, love, honor and heartache." -- Jackie Burris, via (Read Entire Review here)

Click here to read more reviews on!

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LOVE'S SWEET REVENGE, coming in September 2016!Their Passion Shaped a Nation

"Bittner's third installment in her Outlaw Hearts Saga (after 2015's DO NOT FORSAKE ME) follows the Harkner clan in the late 1890's as they establish their ranch in Colorado and deal with threats to their family. Jake Harkner, a former outlaw turned U.S. Marshal who's now a rancher, enjoys working the land of the J&L Ranch. At 60, Jake feels blessed to have his wife Miranda by his side along with their children, Lloyd and Evie, and their families. But Jake has made many enemies over the years, and he knows that he must protect his family when he learns that one of the men who raped Evie has been released from prison. Meanwhile, Randy's afraid that he'll let his lawless side take over and she'll lose him once again to prison. Intense romance complete with the page-turning adventures of life in the old west propels this novel forward to its stunning conclusion, complete with the promise of a future installment." -- Publisher's Weekly, July 2016.

4.5 Stars, September TOP PICK! "What a joy for Bittner's legion of fans to read the third in the Outlaw Hearts saga! Bittner writes powerful, beautiful, harsh and tender stories that take readers' breaths away with their emotional depth. Strong characters, powerful storytelling, realistic history, sexuality and passion all portrayed through the lives and loves of one remarkable family. This is a tale of tragedy and triumph and the undying power of family to overcome all odds. Bittner at the top of her form. (Plot Summary): After decades of being a hunted man, a lawman and a family man, Jake Harkner can try to live a quiet life. But he can't stop danger from following them to the Colorado ranch he, Miranda and their children have built. When men from Jake's past return to destroy his hard-earned retirement and his son Lloyd's life on the line, Jake will strap on his guns and ride into peril. When his daughter and Miranda are caught in the middle, he will risk everything to save them. But the days of one man's gun ruling the West are dying and with the new century coming, new rules apply. Still, Jake will allow no one and nothing to stand in his way." -- RT Book Reviews

       Over the years, Jake and Miranda Harkner have endured all the dangers a wild and brutal West could throw at them. Now, settled on their ranch in the beautiful Colorado hill country, they've finally found peace. But for a man like Jake Harkner, danger is always lurking, and the world may not be ready for an infamous outlaw-turned-lawman-turned-legend to hang up his guns.

       Threatened by cruel men in search of revenge, the Harkner clan must be stronger than ever before. Yet nothing can stop the coming storm. With the Old West dying around them and the rules of this new world ever-changing, Jake vows to end the threat to his family no matter what it takes...

       Even if it means sacrificing himself so his beloved Miranda may live.

        Be sure to watch for the mention of a "secret character" in LOVE'S SWEET REVENGE!! I've decided that if I'm going to set books in areas and time periods in which important characters in some of my other books lived, then for the sake of realism, some of those characters from past books should be mentioned!


     "The Queen of the Western Historical takes you on the grandest ride yet of her career. LOVE'S SWEET REVENGE opens to Jake and Miranda (Randy) Harkner finally enjoying the peace they have so long sought for nearly 30 years -- or have they truly found that peace for a man that has lived Outlaw then lawman? He definitely has made enemies and when they attack all he holds dear he takes care of things the only way he knows how. Then when Jake's guns can't completely fix a wrong committed he must fix in a way he never has before, drawing for the first time on the goodness and inner strength his beloved wife, daughter and son has always told him is inside of him. Although he has never seen it himself, he has to finally believe it or forever lose all that is precious to him. Can Jake learn that Love is the Sweetest Revenge of all?" -- Glenda, 30 August 2016.

     "Powerful, emotional, and superbly written. Jake Harkner, outlaw turned lawman turned rancher, and his beautiful wife of 30 years, Randy, face the most challenging time of their lives. After living peacefully the last 4 years on their Colorado ranch in the foothills of the Rockies, The Harkner family must band together in spirit to save their family's patriarch. Jake has lived his whole life trying to keep his dark side in check from an incident that occurred when he was a young boy. Randy had been his saving grace, but can her love and the love of his children and grandchildren save the infamous Jake Harkner and his Colt 44's now? The most gripping book I've ever read and an explosive ending that will leave you speechless. Can Love truly be Jake's Sweet Revenge? If you loved OUTLAW HEARTS and DO NOT FORSAKE ME, you'll be mesmerized by LOVE'S SWEET REVENGE. As Lloyd told Jake, "Revenge can be sweet, and it doesn't always mean needing a gun." -- Tonya, 4 September 2016.

     "Rosanne Bittner never ceases to amaze me. The highly anticipated new book, about the continuing story of the Harkner family, did not disappoint! I reread the first two, knowing this book was being released. I love the whole story line. I love the characters. I love the old west. I love being swept away and totally sucked in by a good book! Thank you! 5 Stars! Leaves me wanting more!"-- Suzanne, via, 9 September 2016.

     "Jake Wants Peace But He Will Defend His Family With His Life. Heartwarming. Intense. Gripping. Western Romance at its Best! ... Jake and Randy are at the heart of this story, but the scope has widened to include Lloyd and Katie and Evie and Brian, Jeff and Peter, along with the older grandchildren. Their story is all one. The line from Jake to Lloyd to Little Jake to show how each generation carries on the Harkers was clearly made. ... The past having bearing on the present and how each character handles it is a strong thematic element. ... The western history aspect of the story was strong and supported the romance and action plot. The author portrayed the latter years of the 1800s in Colorado, ranch life, and changes in the law and society well. There were hard hitting situations and elements. ... All in all, I was enthralled and wanted nothing more than to remain in the world of the Harkers. I'm so glad there is to be one more book for sure. Those who love sagas and Western romance really need to treat themselves to this series and this author's books."-- Sophia Rose, via, 6 September 2016. [Read entire review here.]

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The Last Outlaw"Bittner revisits the Harkner family of Colorado ranchers in this refreshing and impressive fourth volume (after Love’s Sweet Revenge) of her 19th-century Outlaw Hearts saga. While visiting Boulder, Jake Harkner’s wife, Randy, is taken hostage by bank robbers. Jake is a former outlaw and lawman, so he takes down the robbers, but he’s shot in the crossfire. Randy fears for his life, desperate to save the husband she loves—and whom she needs to protect her, as she was assaulted by outlaws months earlier and is still traumatized by the ordeal. As Randy helps Jake recover from his wounds, she slowly regains her own strength. They return to their family ranch, where they enjoy the love and support of their children and extended family, and Jake gladly promises to retire. But when Jake receives a request to strap on his guns one last time to help an old friend save a young girl, he feels like he can’t refuse. Bittner’s skill with character development is on fine display. Jake and Randy, who began the series as a typical romantic couple, are now grandparents, yet their love continues to grow and mature as they endure trials and triumphs. Bittner has achieved what few authors can: making her fourth installment just as fresh and alluring as the first while keeping the same protagonists at the center of the story." -- Publisher's Weekly, July 2017.

"The last book in the unforgettable Outlaw Hearts series is as powerful a story as readers could want. Bittner strives to gift fans with stories of strength, undying love, family ties and a portrait of the West that sears into their hearts. The underlying power stems from her “leap off the pages” characters and a depth of emotion that touches the soul. As the country moves into a new century, Jake Harkner and his family are busy building a new life in Colorado. Even with his beloved Randy, their children and grandchildren, Jake is haunted by the past. Randy has been Jake’s rock, and now she desperately needs his strength to heal her own wounds. But the past will not rest, and Jake finds himself rescuing his family from bank robbers and becoming a reluctant hero still unable to wipe out his notorious history. Then Jake is caught up in rescuing a kidnapped girl. He must return to Mexico where he will face his demons or die, leaving his family to fight their own battles with the fear that Jake might never return." -- RT Book Reviews Top Pick -- 4 ½ stars

       "Times have changed, and the old Wild West is a thing of the past. Nestled in his beautiful Colorado ranch, surrounded by family, infamous former outlaw Jake Harkner’s hung up his guns for good and finally found a measure of peace—but dark memories haunt the woman who has always been his strength, and not even Jake is certain he can save his beloved Miranda this time.

     "All he can do is swear to remain by her side. But it takes more than a hope for peace to outrun a past defined by violence, and it isn’t long before Jake is embroiled in a rescue mission he simply can’t refuse. Life has brought him back full circle as he rides into Mexico to save a young girl from a dreadful fate…leaving Miranda behind one final time, fearing the other half of her soul is destined to die the way he’s always lived—by the gun. "

      When asked my Sourcebooks editor when I would get final edits on THE LAST OUTLAW, her reply was, "I hunted and hunted for some big flaw, but this book is so strong! It was emotional and moving and epic - what a beautiful story!" It doesn't get any better than that for a writer - and now you know you have a great story coming! I am so proud of this one. Proud of Jake. Unbelievable growth. A face-off with his ugly childhood. Such a true hero in this one (something he would never admit himself!). The story involves Peter and Jeff again - and Gretta MacBain from LOVE'S SWEET REVENGE- big time! And a whole new level of love and trust between Jake and Randy - their relationship is more beautiful than ever. A real tear-jerker ending - in a good way! I wish this book was coming out next month instead of in September!


     "Very rarely does a writer come along that touches one's heart and soul as deeply as Rosanne Bittner. There is definitely a reason she's called the Queen of the Western Historicals because she can continue to write such heart moving sagas. The Last Outlaw is such an emotionally charged book that is almost impossible to put down. Will Jake and Randy finally finally get the peace they have so desperately wanted for over 30+ years? Can Jake finally make peace and have closure with his past that has forever haunted him? One simply must read The Last Outlaw to find out. I don't believe I have ever read a book that touched me emotionally as The Last Outlaw did. The Harkners are a family that will never leave ones heart and soul!!.The touching moments Jake has with his grandchildren and in theses moments it's hard to believe that Jake could ever have been the big bad Outlaw he has been in the past. I truly hated for this book to end. I didn't want to leave those beautiful mountains of the J&L Ranch." -- Glenda, 5 September 2017.

     "The Outlaw Hearts saga continues with an intense guns a-blazing opening, as only Rosanne Bittner can deliver. The Last Outlaw is everything her readers expect from such an amazing family. Just as Ms. Bittner's epic Savage Destiny series engulfed our hearts and souls, The Outlaw Hearts saga equally encompasses our hearts and feeds our souls. Jake and his beloved Randy have seen it all, survived it all, and once again will be tested in the most traumatic ways. Jake wants more for his young son and daughter, and grandchildren, he wants them not to follow the life he has lead. From Outlaw, to U.S. Marshal, to rancher, Jake only wants to be the family man he's always craved, but will he get the chance, as he's needed once again to right a wrong and face a demon a lifetime in the making? How much more can the Harkners endure and can they survive this newest turn of events? Jake's sweet disposition and interaction with his grandchildren is precious and so worth witnessing. Even an Outlaw like Jake has an achilies heal when it comes to these little Harkners. This was truly an amazing book that will help heal our hearts after Loves Sweet Revenge's traumatic ending. Rosanne Bittner's The Last Outlawis phenomenally written with a heart-felt, nail-biting, emotional conclusion. So saddle up and hang on tight, The Harkners will encompass your heart and feed your soul." -- Tonya, 5 September 2017.

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Christmas In a Cowboy's Arms       Jake Harkner is an ex-outlaw with a ruthless nature, but when it comes to his grandchildren, his heart is as big as the sky. Jake learns how to channel his anger into love and patience in this story about his sweet granddaughter, Sadie Mae, and a young man Jake helps lead away from a path of lawlessness. A life and death situation leads to a lesson in love and forgiveness in A CHICK-A-DEE CHRISTMAS.

        My Harkner family Christmas story, A CHICK- A- DEE CHRISTMAS, will be included in the CHRISTMAS IN A COWBOY'S ARMS anthology. This story will show a softer side of Jake, and will truly round out the series. Those of you who know my books also know that I am not designed to write “short” stories. I love to dig deeply into a big cast of characters, but you can’t do that with a short story. A CHICK- A- DEE CHRISTMAS will be a very sweet 150 - page story involving Jake's little granddaughter Sadie Mae. Through an "unexpected character" (ie, one that I didn't plan but who just "showed up" as I was writing), Jake is filled with the spirit of forgiveness and joy, the celebration of the birth of Christ, and the beauty of Christmas giving. (Click here to read more about my challenges writing this short story.)


     "Just when I was feeling the blues after reading The Last Outlaw and saying good-bye to the Harkers and especially Jake, here was an exciting and gritty, but heartwarming Harker family Christmas. The Harkers go Christmas shopping, find trouble, Jake brings home an angry, bitter stray man, and then they all pray for a Christmas miracle for little Sadie Mae. This was a lovely reunion with a cast of characters I love. The spotlight on Jake and his grandchildren was just precious." -- Sophia Rose

     "This is the first time I've come across the Harkner family but reading this has made me want to continue on and read the Outlaw series.... I really enjoyed this little read and I'm looking forward to reading Jake's story from the beginning." -- Deborah

     "This is a collection of six novellas by different authors all set in the West in the 1800’s during the Christmas season. Although not usually a fan of novellas, I thoroughly enjoyed these very engaging, positive stories and was amazed at how well the characters and story lines were developed in just a few chapters. Highly recommend!" -- Nancy

     "Rosanne Bittner's story is the wrap up I was wanting. It shows the softer side of Jake. The love he has for his family, especially his grandchildren. The sense that he could help a young man, that he saw as a person just like himself at that age, where you can go bad, or take another path and do good." -- Veda

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BLAZE OF GLORYcoverA man haunted by his outlaw past.
The woman who loves him.
A tight-knit family he holds dear.
Old enemies out to kill him.

       Jake Harkner loves hard. He also fights hard, determined to protect the woman and the family of whom he has always felt unworthy, but they are the only light in his inner darkness. Now Jake lives in changing times. New laws tell him he can no longer deal his own kind of justice with the guns that made him infamous. Jake’s passion for the woman who understands him more than any human being on earth might be the only thing that keeps him alive.

Hot. Gritty. Old West Meets New West.
An unforgettable love story.

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OuTLAW HEARTS BannerWindow Cling for RT 2016, DO NOT FORSAKE MELOVE'S SWEET REVENGE banner from the Romantic Times Convention, 2016




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