I thoroughly enjoyed "Heart of Thunder" and was all set to write a glowing review when I noticed a reader mentioned the plot of "Heart" mirrored that of Lindsey's first novel, "Captive Bride." All right, I thought: I'll bite. So I spent a torturous week reading "Captive" just so I can now say "Heart of Thunder" is 1) nothing like it and 2) far, far superior in every way possible.
The plot of "Heart": To force an American rancher off his ancestral land, Mexican hottie and bandito Hank Chavez orders the kidnapping of the rancher's daughter, not knowing that the daughter is the same girl who jilted him.
The plot of "Captive": Jilted desert Chieftain Philip tricks comely Christina into coming to Egypt so he can kidnap and steal her away to his desert camp, where he can make her his love slave.
Okay, the common denominators are "jilted" and "kidnap." But that's about all these books have in common. "Heart" is passionate, with spirited, likable characters who show gumption and can barely keep their hands off one another. "Captive" is an exercise in patience, so wooden that it's difficult to feel anything for the characters - even when they are hurt.
In typical Lindsey fashion, both books have key elements: good guy gets hurt, bad guy comes after girl, baby is involved. Most of her novels follow this pattern (like Brave the Wild Wind, When Love Awaits, Warrior's Woman, etc.). So those don't count as similarities, in my opinion. But, in "Heart," these elements are exciting and keep you turning the pages. In "Captive," you wail, "Will this EVER end?"
All in all, "Heart of Thunder" is a sexy, steamy story with lots of appeal. Be warned: it is a sequel. Be further warned: its prequel "Glorious Angel" is pretty blah, but I won't go into it here (read more about me to see my review on "Glorious"). I would never put "Heart" in the same category as something as pedestrian as "Captive," and heartily recommend it as an extremely enjoyable read.