Monday, August 30, 2010

Recent Read

Sunrise over Texas by MJ Fredrick

Publisher: Carina Press

Genre: Western

Why this one: Have you ever just kind of surfed the net and notice a book that made you sit up and take notice? Silly question, of course you have. We all have and that's why our TBR piles are so large. Anyway, I was on Twitter not long ago and Jane tweeted about her page of upcoming books for September. I noticed one in particular. As it was a historical Western, I sat up and took notice. When I clicked on the cover, I really took notice. Long story short, I just finished it the other day.

Steam Level: Yep, it has steam

Blurb: Texas Frontier, 1826 Kit Barclay followed her husband into the wilds of Texas only to be widowed. Stranded with her mother- and sister-in-law to care for, with no hope of rescue before winter sets in, Kit has only one goal: survival. So when a lone horseman appears on the horizon, and then falls from his mount in fever, Kit must weigh the safety of her family against offering aid and shelter to the handsome stranger. Trace Watson has lost everything that ever mattered to him. Trying to forget, he heads to the frontier colony of San Felipe, not caring if he lives or dies. But when he wakes to discover he's being nursed back to health by a brave young widow, he vows to repay her kindness by guiding the three women back to civilization, no matter what the cost. Soon, Kit and Trace are fighting the elements, Indian attacks and outlaws-as well as feelings they both thought were long buried...

My Thoughts: They say good things come in small packages and this is a perfect example! Although not that long a book, it's about the size of a Harlequin Historical, the author really wrote a emotional and poignant story about two people who have both suffered great loss, but managed to find love again.

Kit Barclay and her mother-in-law and sister-in-law have been practically abandoned. With winter approaching, her mother and sister in law next to useless, supplies running low and Indians making semi-regular attacks on the fort, things are looking pretty grim when they see a lone man riding up to the fort before falling. Kit isn't sure what to think. She can't leave him there to die, but she's also not very trusting of strangers. But despite her reservations, she does rescue him though she keeps in a separate part of the fort so he won't realize how alone they really are and that there are two other women.

The stranger is Trace Watson, a man trying to run away from his own tragedy. He's ill and Kit nurses him back to health. Slowly he becomes an oasis in her dessert of stress and though both Kit and Trace have recently lost loved ones, they come to care deeply for each other. When Trace is strong enough, he realizes that he needs to take the women to civilization.

As I said, despite not quite being a full length novel, this one certainly does read like one. Both Kit and Trace are strong characters that are very well developed. As are the secondary characters of Agnes, Kit's disapproving mother-in-law at what she perceives as a betrayal of her son on Kit's part over her developing feelings for Trace and Mary, her rather shallow sister-in-law. The author does very well in handling their attraction to each other despite the feelings of guilt each feels.

The only downside is what happens near the end of the story. I've seen this quite often in romance and it's a storyline I don't really care for. But other than that, I was very impressed with this good book in a small package. It's a September release and I have not qualms about recommending it to those like me, who enjoy a good emotional Western read.

Grade: 4.50 out of 5


Leslie said...

Loved the review Kristie! I requested this one from Netgalley when you mentioned there was a western. We need more westerns! LOL

Kristie (J) said...

Leslie! Yes we do! Angela said on Twitter that there would be more. And if they are as good as this one - we are in for some good ones.

nath said...

Nice review Kristie :D and LOL, two things in your opening remarks... the sitting up because of a book was like of course! but the thing that made me sit up was that you're actually on Twitter!! is that where you've been hanging out?

Kristie (J) said...

Nath - sometimes I am. I'm getting better at condensing :-) Blogging is still my favourite form of communication though. I can be nice and wordy.

CindyS said...

Please don't leave blogland!! I'm on twitter but discovered I'm not too good with just bits and pieces of conversations. You have me curious about the ending - I can't think of a plot device in a western I'm not keen on - unless there is a twin ;) Going to put this down on the TBB list and see what happens. I do love those stories where one is hurt and the other needs to care for them.


Kristie (J) said...

Cindy: Oh heavens!! I have no plans whatsoever to leave blogland!!! It's way too much fun.
And I'd tell you the plot device at the end, but it's a HUGE spoiler. If you want I can email it to you. But be warned, it might spoil things - being a spoiler and all.

azteclady said...

Gah, woman!

Now I'm torn--me, spoilerphobic me--wants to know what the twist could be that would bother you so much!

But I wanna read this one so... *wringing of hands and pulling of hair* I'm torn!

Wendy said...

Lynn from AAR dropped me an e-mail several weeks back to tell me about this one. I'm not on NetGalley, so hadn't heard about it yet :) What struck me the most? OMG a western that's PRE-CIVIL WAR!!! I love those, and they're super hard to find.

CindyS said...

Nah, no spoiler required - maybe it will be a nice surprise ;)


Trish Milburn (Tricia Mills) said...

I got to read this one too, and it's wonderful. I agree -- bring on more westerns!

KarLynP said...

Nice review! I actually finished this book the other day (I got in at Netgalley too), and really enjoyed it. It put a lump in my throat at times, as the hard times really came through in the writing. Started a bit slow for me, but once the hero was awake and healing, and the relationship took off, I was into this story. The ending was OK for me, but my first thought was someone else wrote the ending. It felt like a last minute rush re-edit, and the dialog seamed to change voice. Otherwise, I enjoyed it much and thought it was plenty steamy for my tastes too. :-) I think people who like a cabin romance (where hero/heroine are stranded mostly alone for much of the story) will love this one.