by Catherine Anderson

Rating:
4/5

This book! Well I’m a bit conflicted about this book. But this book! This book takes place in the wild 1800s of Texas. And it will really show you the atrocities committed during that time. The absolute hardness a person had to have to survive any amount of time there. The struggle of daily life, non stop just to barely etch out a living and feed yourself. I just can’t imagine. Well, I could with this book. I felt like I was there. And I felt it all. I felt stress, I laughed my heart broke, I got angry. This is one of those stories that will really make you feel. I was totally engaged from the beginning.

My first impression of the book came with an author note in the beginning that really made me like the author. She was talking about how excited she is that her books have been reprinted and more people were able to get them. It sounded like she truly cared about her fans and readers. She also added a note about the Comanche tribe and their heartbreaking story of the American west settlement. I felt like she really knew this topic and cared about the world and characters she was creating.

The general synopsis: Loretta was orphaned as she watched Comanches murder and rape her family while she hid. She has never been able to get over this terror and has become mute. She is now living with her aunt and her husband and their child. Hunter is raised with the expectations of fulfilling a prophecy – he will meet a honey haired maiden with white skin whose voice has been taken. Once Hunter becomes aware of Loretta’s existence, he takes her. And thus begins a dramatic battle of wills between them and their cultures.

Okay, let me get Loretta out of the way. She is the reason this book lost a star. I loved her in the beginning when she was scared and stubborn and mute. I loved her strength and determination to not lose herself. I cannot imagine her terror after witnessing what she did. I can’t imagine anyone really healing from that. But…as the story went on, she just refused to yield. And it got annoying. She was constantly on guard. As soon as she started to soften and give an inch something would happen and she’d be refusing to let anyone near her again. Like I said, I can’t imagine what I would do if I was in her place, I’m sure I would have been a whiny ninny that died after like 37 minutes in the West, but still. I just wanted to see her form that deep relationship with Hunter and it was just taking forever. Still, an amazing character. You want a strong woman, here you go.

Hunter! Oh I loved Hunter. LOVED him. From the very first meeting, even with all of his arrogance. There is a scene where he puts a knife in Loretta’s boot so she can protect herself. She wants nothing from him and throws it down. She finds it on her windowsill when she goes upstairs. And there went my heart. And throughout the rest of the story that was Hunter’s main goal. Keep her safe. Make her happy. Make her his. I felt like he just gave and gave and gave and even when he was so angry, he always cherished her and never harmed her.

There’s plenty of drama in this story. There’s always something crazy going on. I felt like I got to experience the Comanche way of life. I got to see a bit of living on a small farm in the west. This book made me really happy I didn’t live back then lol. I’m really happy I read this book. I will definitely read more from this author. Catherine Anderson also made a note that publishers refused her work because they were too heavy, too real. She refused to budge and eventually her work was printed. I adore an author that sticks with her heart.

I will say I wished for an epilogue from this. I know it’s a series, so perhaps the characters appear. I just read the synopsis for the second book and it’s about Amy and Swift Antelope, who are secondary characters with plenty of page time in this book. Definitely going to try that one sometime.

Safety issues: sexual assault, murder, sexual assault of a minor (12 years old), attempted sexual assault

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