Bound for Sin by Tess LeSue

What happens when a backwoodsman finds himself saddled with a widow and a pack of kids? A hell of an adventure.

Tess LeSue has become a favorite among our reviewers. Her books are filled with spunky, realistic heroines and broody, strong, loving heroes. The perfect mix of western adventure and romance. 

Hear what the author has to say about BOUND FOR SIN… “In Bound for Sin I wanted to tell the story of a woman who has been in love before, who has had children, who is no longer a fresh young debutante – but who is only just beginning her journey as a romantic heroine…”

What happens when a backwoodsman finds himself saddled with a widow and a pack of kids? A hell of an adventure.

Falling in love is a magical shining experience, and we have well-worn stories about how love and courtship should go. As the old children’s rhyme says: ‘first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes [insert name here] with a baby carriage’. But for so many of us love comes out of order. Sometimes we fall in love after our marriages have failed, or after we have kids in tow. Sometimes we have lost our first (or second or third) loves to death, or deception, or drifting apart. Sometimes we fall in love with people who already have children of their own, and the pledge of ‘I love you’ is to an entire family, and not merely to one person.Bound for Eden by Tess LeSue

Women in popular culture are celebrated for their youth and beauty, and romance heroines have traditionally been young single women. In most stories youth is where the fun stuff happens: adventure and love and passion. In contrast, motherhood is often represented as a dowdier time of life, when we step out of the spotlight and into the shadows. At the end of the old-fashioned Disney movie, the prince kisses the princess and the story is over. But the declaration of love, the passionate kiss, or the wedding day is only the beginning of another story – a story that has the capacity to hold even greater passion and romance and love. I fell in love hard as a teenager, but I fell in love ten times harder more than a decade later when I was a single mother. I didn’t expect to feel the shiny magic again, not as a working mother with a cracked heart, but there it was, brighter and shinier than ever. And the person who loved me fell in love not despite the fact I was a mother, but because I was. The person he fell for had been tempered by parenthood, by adversity, and by responsibility. Motherhood for me has been a rush of life and chaos, a time when (although I often feel tired from the insane busyness) I feel younger and stronger and more interested in life than ever. I don’t feel reduced by motherhood and ageing; I feel enriched by it.

Bound for Sin by Tess LeSue

In Bound for Sin I wanted to tell the story of a woman who has been in love before, who has had children, who is no longer a fresh young debutante – but who is only just beginning her journey as a romantic heroine. Georgiana has had her heart stomped on; she’s been widowed and left to the mercies of a world that isn’t made for single women, and certainly not single women with a pack of children. When she advertises for a husband she isn’t looking for a rich man, or a handsome man, or a smart man; she just wants someone who can help get her and her family across the country to California. She never expects to find the love of her life.

Matt isn’t expecting love either. And he’s certainly not looking to be a husband, let alone an instant father. But we don’t choose love; it chooses us. Falling in love is something we understand – the wild joy of it, the excitement, the thrilling arousal and pleasure – but what happens when you fall in love with someone who comes with five children? How does that change the joy and passion? What happens when love comes with immediate responsibility? Matt has spent most of his life alone; people are difficult for him, let alone children. Falling in love with Georgiana sends him on the biggest adventure on his life: he has to grow up. As he tries, fails, and tries again to father her children, he has to face up to the grief in his own past and he has to learn about himself, accept himself, and rise to the challenge of parenting.

Stepparents have often been treated shabbily in fiction (think of the Wicked Queen in Snow White or the Wicked Stepmother in Cinderella) and it’s easy to see why children might resent them or grow jealous. Stepparents can be a very real threat to children: they can be competition for a parent’s love, or a source of change and disruption. But they can also be sources of heroic love. They can come into a child’s life and offer love and support, guidance and stability. By loving the child’s mother or father, they can model healthy relationships. I think stepparents deserve to be recognized for the muscular acts of daily love they show. Parenting is hard, and how much harder must it be when you come into a child’s life later, not at birth, stepping into their existing world and taking their parent’s attention. How much harder must it be when you have to initiate, grow and nurture relationships with a child, or multiple children, who didn’t choose you and don’t necessarily want you in their lives. I think being a patient and loving stepparent is one of the greatest acts of love there is. The true love story in a blended family is multi-stranded. Matt falls in love with Georgiana, and she with him, but over time he and her children also come to love one another; their relationship becomes independent of his relationship with their mother. He loves them for their own sakes; and they love him for his.

Because I live in a blended family, and I saw how my partner and children showed their love for me by learning to love each other (in all the complexity that entails), I was curious about writing a romance about a family. Because love is powerful and has the capacity to change people and the world, and loving a stepchild or stepparent is a conscious and transformative act. Bound for Sin is my love letter to my family, and to everyone who has fallen in love beyond youth and single-life, and to every single parent who is still waiting for the love of their life.

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