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Images In Scarlet [Kindle Edition]

Velda Brotherton
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The Civil War over and her family dead, Allie Caine packs up what's left of her father's photography equipment in the "what's it" wagon and sets out for Santa Fe and a new life. Finding a man sprawled across the trail is not something she expected, but this discovery changes all her plans. Jake soon becomes a part of her life, and their adventures together bond them in a way only hardships can.
Jake left Andersonville Prison at the end of the war to wander the countryside trying to discover who he is and why he carries a photo of a beautiful woman named Lorena. He's convinced he loved her, but the wounds he sustained and the long hellish imprisonment have wiped out all memories of his former life. Even as he and Allie grow closer, he can't give up the notion that he must find the woman he loved, maybe still loves.
Cole Younger approaches Allie while Jake is away from camp and takes her off to take photos of Frank and Jesse James and the gang. Jake follows. His plans to rescue her go slightly awry when he tumbles through a window of the hideout and is tied to a chair. All Jesse wants is a photograph of himself and the gang for posterity and he pays Allie well for her services before sending her and her shamefaced hero on their way.
Allie's ex fiance joins the wagon train for two reasons. He want Allie back and will do anything to get her. He is also convinced that Jake is a man named Ethan Hollingsworth who killed his lover, Lorena before the war. A wanted poster offers a reward of $10,000 for the capture of Hollingsworth.
Allie has no interest in the man she once loved because he left her when she needed him the most. Besides, she has fallen in love with Jake and does her best to convince him that he could not kill anyone, and that he should stop his pointless search for Lorena. At one point she is willing to give up her plans and go with him, but he won't allow that and takes off on his own when his dreams and visions get so strong he can no longer deny them.
Images in Scarlet takes the reader on an exciting journey from Westport, Missouri to Santa Fe, New Mexico with two likeable, slightly flawed characters who will capture your heart and bring you laughter and tears as they struggle to find a life together.

Editorial Reviews


"A lucid presentation of the hero's interior combines with (the author's) adventurous heroine and reticent wit for a connoisseur's "amnesia romance." Four stars from Romantic Times
"A pleasure to read...beautifully original." Author Jodi Thomas

From the Author

This book is one of my all time favorite western historical romances to write. I enjoyed all the others because I love to weave history around a love story, but for some reason following Allie and Jake west on the old Santa Fe Trail was like going back in time. We've driven the route so many times, my hubby and I, for we love going to New Mexico from our own home state of Arkansas. My first book set there was a biography of my mother's cousin who grew up on a homestead in New Mexico. Visiting her introduced me to that surreal landscape of the high desert and I was in love.
Allie is also a tomboy like I was growing up, and I like her spirit. Jake is a man after every woman's heart. Put them together, along with a healthy dose of outlaws like Jessie and Frank James and  the infamous Clay Allison, the really bad guys like Allie's ex-fiance, and all the good people of the caravan headed west from Westport, Missouri, and you've got an unbeatable adventure.
Writing historical westerns is my most favorite pastime right next to watching western movies. Not sure which I enjoy more. And the grittier the better. I don't write sweet romances or even sweet westerns. I write them down and dirty with villains to die for, literally.
Republishing this book to Kindle has given me a great thrill because I know there's a huge reading audience that didn't get the chance to read it back in the 90s. I hope they enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Product Details

  • File Size: 511 KB
  • Print Length: 255 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Velda Brotherton (February 11, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0078FCE8Q
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #821,917 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to Put Down April 8, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When Allie Caine sets out for a new life in Santa Fe, all she hopes for are two things: to leave behind in Missouri the memories of her family's deaths and her broken engagement, and to start a successful business as a photographer on her own. The last thing she needs is to come across the prone figure of a man blocking her road. The young man, known only as Jake, has his own problems. Recovering from injuries and imprisonment in the recent War Between the States, Jake has no memory and his only attachment to his past is a photograph he carries of a woman named Lorena. As the couple tentatively build a relationship, pieces of Jake's past come back to haunt him and he feels he must find out what happened to Lorena before he can make any kind of commitment to Allie. At the same time, Allie's former fiancé, now a bounty hunter, appears on the wagon train they have joined to head west, and he has two goals. One is to win back Allie, and the other is to find a man named Ethan Hollingsworth who is wanted for the murder of his lover back east.

For those of us who love western historical romances, Velda Brotherton's Images in Scarlet is a book that proves difficult to put down and has you longing to get back to it. Brotherton skillfully weaves in historical characters, such as Jesse James and Clay Allison, and settings, particularly along the Santa Fe Trail, that give the book a strong sense of time and place. Allie's work as a photographer is so clearly described that you feel you might be able to develop a photographic plate right along with her. And while at times I felt like wringing Jake's neck or giving Allie a good kick up the butt as they go through the permutations of their on-again/off-again relationship, it is only because they are such engaging characters. The feisty heroine and the caring, patient hero are totally endearing, flaws and all. But it was the final surprises and twists in the plot that truly make this a five star read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read! February 20, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this story. Heroine, Allie Caine, is trying to regain confidence in her independence after the death of her father. She is on her way to Santa Fe to start a photography studio business, a profession she learned from her father who was a civil war photographer. Traveling in her photography wagon with all her cumbersome equipment, she stumbles across Jake, a victim of a strange malady. Reluctantly Allie allows him to become her traveling companion.

Both Allie and Jake are very appealing characters. Their adventures on the trail, which include a great session with the Jesse James gang, an encounter with Clay Allison, and lots of romance created a wonderfully fun story. Great characterizations, great descriptions!

I've now downloaded another Brotherton book, Montana Destiny.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A GREAT WESTERN STORY November 1, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I just finished reading IMAGES IN SCARLET. I absolutely loved the story. I could barely put it down. I finished it over a two day period of reading. In my opinion, the story is a good western with plenty of action and romance. The cover doesn't give much hint as to what the story is about. The author, known for researching historical facts for her stories, does an outstanding job of making the reader feel like you are there in the middle of each scene. I loved the attention to details of what it was like to travel west as part of a caravan.

I gave it five stars because it is such a compelling story with characters the reader can't help but have sympathy for. Danger lurks around every bend in the trail as they head west. I wanted to find out what happened in Jake's past that causes him to have blackouts. I had to keep reading to see how Allie and Jake would handle the next bit of trouble, and whether or not they would be able to stay together. I can't remember the last time I pulled so hard for two fictional characters to make things work out so they could be together. I also liked Defoe and the outlaw Clay Allison who helped find Jake after he took off on his own. All three were strong tough men. Don't let the book cover fool you. This story is for all readers with lots of suspense for the men and plenty of romance for the women. It is one of the best blends of both, I've read in a while.

As I approached the ending, I began to fear the worst for Jake's outcome. I kept telling myself the author better not let them kill Jake. I really liked the ending. This story has the kind of characters a reader continues to think about for a long time after finishing the novel. I will be reading more books by this author, for sure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Darkness into Light October 5, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
How many plots are there in literature? The answer ranges from 3 to 36 amongst those who sit around counting. I am intrigued by how an author may indulge in a plot device time and again, with fresh characters, causes or resolutions to create a captivating story. In the case of Velda Brotherton's novel, IMAGES IN SCARLET, the plot concerns how a boy with a traumatic past meets girl wth same and how they will overcome the obstacles to their love, with a twist here and there. This simplistic analysis tells nothing of the adventure, realism, passion and compassion, history and hardship or resolution of conflict contained in the book.

Just after the Civil War, two unique young people fall into the other's path only to head west together, with reluctance. Allie and Jake are determined to eliminate their pasts, despite that one doesn't know what that past is. In a "Wagons West" tale of adventure, with scoundrels, Indians and bounty hunters, the death of innocence and the immense beauty of prairie, mountains and deserts, a love story emerges. Clarity resolves conflict, love prevails, evil is eliminated and the reader is caught off-guard. IMAGES IN SCARLET is a refreshingly good and unusual interpretation of one plot pattern...ENJOY!
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More About the Author

Velda Brotherton has a long career in historical writing, both fiction and
nonfiction. Her love of history and the west is responsible for the publication of 15 books and novels since 1994. But she's not about ready to stop there. When the mid-list crisis hit big city publishers, she turned first to writing regional nonfiction, then began to look at the growing popularity of E Books as a source for the books that continued to flow from her busy mind. Those voices simply won't shut up, and so she finds them a home.

A need to continue to write and submit her work, soon led to publishers in the
growing field of E books. So she obtained a conversion of rights for her out-of-print historical romances and published all six to Kindle.Within a matter of months, she placed a western historical romance, Stone Heart's Woman, with The Wild Rose Press, an award winning publisher of both print and E books; then a mainstream paranormal, Wolf Song, was accepted by SynergE Books.

Recently Wilda's Outlaw: The Victorians was published in both E book and print by The Wild Rose Press. The second book in this series, Rowena's Hellion will be out later in 2014. She is now producing audio books through ACX from her Kindle published books. Montana Promises came out in audio May 8, 2013, read by Jeff Justus. She also uploaded a novella, The Legend of the Rose to Kindle that same month. Montana Dreams is currently underway as an audio, and Stone Heart's woman is also available in audio.

Velda signed two more contracts in May, 2013, one with Wild Rose Press for Once There Were Sad Songs, a women's fiction, another with Oak Tree Press for a mystery, The Purloined Skull. Both were released in late 2013. In May, 2014 she signed a four book contract with Oghma Creative Media. Beyond the Moon, a women's fiction, will be released in August, 2014, A Savage Grace, a horror novel will come out in time for Halloween, 2014, #2 in A Twist of Poe mysteries is scheduled for release in April, 2015. An Ozark cookbook containing recipes from her mother's collection and stories of growing up in Arkansas during the depression, will be re-released as well.

This busy writer who has co-chaired a large weekly critique group since 1988, also gives two yearly all-day workshops and mentors promising young writers, plus teaches at conferences in a four-state area. She is currently working on edits for Rowena's Hellion and A Tell Tale Stone, and isn't sure what will come next. With all those voices in her head, she's bound to let some of them out to play before long.

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