Wednesday, January 23, 2008
About the book:
Toni Rodden has escaped a life of prostitution and vows she'll never let a man control her again. After months on the wagon train, she's finally earned her place, albeit grudgingly from some, and has found a surrogate family in Fannie Caldwell and her two siblings. For the first time she can taste freedom and the possibilities of a new life. But as Fannie prepares to marry wagon master Blake Tanner, Toni realizes how alone she is and questions whether she'll ever find acceptance, or true love.
Despite Toni's conviction that no man will be able to see beyond her marred past, Sam Two-Feathers, the half-Indian wagon scout and acting preacher for the train, seems to know of a love that forgives sins and values much more than outward appearances. Will Sam have the confidence to declare his love? Will Toni be able to trust in a love that can forgive even the darkest past?
I loved the previous book in this series, but enjoyed this one even more. It was compelling and interesting. I dare say it is one of Tracey's best historical novels...at least that I've read so far. And it was very well-written.
While Distant Heart has characteristics of a typical prairie "wagon train" western-type novel, it's far from the usual fare. The tension and conflict were awesome and real, and there was plenty of hardship and grit on the "journey" the heroine experienced. Real life issues such as shame, addictions, sin, jealousy, strife, deceit, murder, kidnapping, adultery, etc. They're all in there and comprise one incredible tale.
I SO loved this story and the message it contains. And the perception Toni and Sam had in regards to each other made me crazy. I wanted to shake them both so they'd see the truth. But they were also self-sacrificing, and that makes for an awesome love story. The secondary characters were incredibly well done, too, and I'm looking forward to reading the final story in this series.
Distant Heart was published by Avon Inspire and released in January 2008.