by Rosanne Bittner
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Page Count: 640
Release Date: January 6, 2016
How got: Amazon Kindle Unlimited
First attention getter: love the author
A sweeping saga of passion, excitement, and danger...as a beautiful young woman and a rugged ex-soldier struggle against all odds to carve out an empire-and to forge a magnificent love."Lettie McBride knows that joining a wagon train heading West is her chance to begin anew, far from the devastating memories of the night that changed her forever. She doesn't believe she can escape the pain of innocence lost, or feel desire for any man...until she meets Luke Fontaine.
Haunted by his own secrets, Luke would never blame Lettie for what happened in the past. One glance at the pretty redhead is enough to fill the handsome, hard-driving pioneer with a savage hunger.
Against relentless snows, murderous desperadoes, and raiding Sioux, Luke and Lettie will face a heartrending choice: abandon a lawless land before it destroys them, or fight for their Wildest Dreams.
Star Rating - 5
Consider me in happy, romantic heaven… This is the best Bittner book I’ve come across, hands down, so far. It has all the plus’ of Outlaw Hearts with the one flaw that book had corrected in this one. If you’re going to read any book by this author, let it be this one!!!
She keeps up the routine of family saga intermixed with a rich, beautiful romance in this one. Again, Bittner tells Lettie’s and Luke’s tale over decades, drawing in their struggle to build a successful ranch, fight off Indians and rustlers, and raise their children in a safe, loving environment. This trademark trait of Bittner’s novels works well again here.
Our two L’s, Luke and Lettie, have an instant connection, providing the partner that each needs to build a life and future in such a hostile and wild place as 1800s Montana. They play off each other realistically, arguing at times and suffering with the tragedies of daily life as well as reveling in the triumphs too. They’re emotionally resonant; I felt every single surge of love or pang of loss.
Bittner also makes both our leads wonderfully human, with all the fragilities and strengths that implies. Courageous and strong in equal measure, I felt a connection with both as soon as I started reading. Bittner improves on the characterization flaws that I experienced in Outlaw Hearts, the other novel of hers I adored. Neither of our “L”’s are perfect; both let grief and circumstances interfere with their relationship at times and both can be stubborn as hell. Their environment plays on their personalities, giving them a realistic feel that I loved.
She also pleases again in the setting and historical details department. Bittner brings Montana to life like few western romance authors can. She gets the remoteness, the craggy mountain beauty, the wide open valleys and plains, and the wind just right. I’ve experienced that blasting wind moaning over the prairie grasses myself and can say that part really resonated with me. I loved how the author showed us how Montana grew from the rugged territory it was into a bustling new state growing economically and politically.
To date, this is my favorite Bittner work hands down. It gets all the things right that my previous favorite had: great setting details and a wonderful romantic connection. Then she goes further and corrects the characterization flaws to give us two leads that are as human as we are. So if you’re going to be reading a Bittner work, definitely go for this one; to me, it’s the best one out there.