Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Review: Johanna Lindsey’s A HEART SO WILD: Well-told Saga with Indians, Gunslingers and the Dangers of the American West!

This is the first of two novels about the Stratton family in 19th century Texas. At that time, Texas was a rough place bringing together gunmen, cowboys, ranchers and Indians. Many who had lived through the destruction of the Civil War looked to the West for a better life. Courtney Harte's father, a doctor and a Southerner (who ended up on the North’s side), was one of them. Now disillusioned, he decides to move to Texas. On the way there, in Kansas, they are attacked by Comanches seeking vengeance for a massacre of their people that occurred years before. Courtney’s life is spared by a blue-eyed Indian. Thinking her father dead, she stays on to live in Kansas until one day she sees a newspaper photo from Texas and her father is in the background. Courtney decides to hire a gunman to take her to Texas. She chooses Chandos, a ruthless gunslinger.

There are many themes in this romance that Lindsey presents well. First there is the bias against Indians and the way they were treated (though Lindsey recognizes cruelty on both sides). Then there is the fact the West held many dangers, especially for young, beautiful unmarried women. Courtney grows up as she faces danger and rises to various challenges with great courage. Lastly there is the tension that comes from a strong-willed father and an equally strong son, a rebel caught between two worlds.

The dialog is very believable and presents a man of few words and a woman of many. I enjoyed their interaction and the chemistry between them was exceptional. I have since read the sequel, ALL I NEED IS YOU, and it’s not as good.

I really liked this one and recommend it.

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