Book Review of Angelfire (Australian, Bk 2)

Angelfire (Australian, Bk 2)
Angelfire (Australian, Bk 2)
Author: Linda Lael Miller
Genre: Romance
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
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In book 1 of this series we learned that Jamie McKenna at age 12 and his brother Reeve age 14 are orphaned in the slums of Dublin. While Reeve is trying to find a cabin boy position for Jamie like he has obtained for himself, Jamie is arrested for pickpocketing and is transported. We also learned that Reeve has spent 20 years looking for Jamie who has been avoiding being found for reasons not fully understood.
This book begins 5 years after Jamie has been transported to Australia and he has been whipped almost to death. Fast forward 16 years and Jamie is a successful sheep rancher in New Zealand. One morning as he is feeding his animals he finds Bliss Stafford, who has run away from home to avoid an arranged marriage, hiding in his hay loft. She is on a mission to get to America to join her mother who deserted her years ago. Jamie tries multiple times to help Bliss but she is her own worst enemy and is constantly getting herself into dangerous situations and must be rescued by Jamie. Mr Stafford eventually finds Bliss at Jamie's ranch and forces him to marry Bliss. Bliss does not want to be married and yet she is extremely jealous of Jamie's friend Peony and does not understand their relationship. Bliss is very strong willed and in her pursuit of still trying get to America she places herself, Jamie and Peony in extreme danger.
The banter between Jamie and Bliss who he calls Dutchess is one of the things I most liked about the book. Bliss is a strong woman and I like female characters who are strong.
At times Jamie is very secretive and closed off emotionally but as we learn more we know why. The author slowly throughout the book fills us in on details of why Jamie was whipped, who Peony is and why their relationship is what it is/ Also the author finally tells us why Jamie has been mad at and avoiding Reeve for all these years. It makes for a very good suspense element.