Friday, May 25, 2007
From the Publisher:
In Book One of the Westward Hearts series, orphans Fannie Caldwell and her two young siblings have spent the last three years as indentured servants under a cruel master. Desperately wanting a better life for her brother and sister, Fannie devises a plan to secretly join a wagon train heading west. Her plan immediately runs into trouble when the handsome yet bullheaded wagon master Blake Tanner refuses to allow an unmarried woman on the train. But Fannie's determined—she'll escape and go west with or without help.
As life on the trail tests everyone's endurance and faith, Fannie soon realizes the perils of being a single woman on the frontier. Witnessing Fannie fending off one scare after another, Blake slowly recognizes how much he cares for this alluring young woman. Will Blake sacrifice his own dreams and guide Fannie to safety? Or will Fannie's stubborn independence keep her from finding true love?
This was probably one of the most riveting prairie novels I've ever read. I finished it quickly. The tension was great throughout the story. And Fannie was the strongest heroine I've ever come across, though her stubborn streak got her into an awful lot of trouble. On occasion, that stubbornness made her a bit unlikeable, but given her past, her guarded behavior made total sense. Plus, she never would've captured Blake's attention any other way. There were some pretty sad situations in this story, many of which were extremely realistic for those times.
Honestly, the only weakness I saw was the POV switching without warning at times. At first I thought it was that the printer missed the section break, but then realized that probably wasn't the case as the switch happened about twenty times. At any rate, that wasn't a huge issue for me, but did confuse me a bit. Still, I highly recommend this book. It has a nice ending, but there is obviously going to be a sequel, which I assume will be just as wonderful as this story.
Defiant Heart was published by Avon Inspire and released on May 8, 2007.