Monday, June 12, 2017

Review: Dorothy Wiley’s LOVE’S NEW BEGINNING – Charming Tale of Love on in Kentucky when it was “the West”

In the ship bringing Daniel MacKay to Nova Scotia, the 13-year-old boy loses both his father and mother to sickness. Comforted by Margaret MacDonald, the two young ones make love and a child is conceived. Turned away by Margaret’s father, Daniel grants his dying mother’s wish and travels to New Hampshire to make his living as a hunter. There he meets the Wyllie family and they adopt him as one of the Wyllie brothers and give him the nickname “Bear”.

Years later, it's 1800 and the child of their one night of love has grown up, unbeknownst to MacKay. In Philadelphia, Daniel Armitage loses his entire family to Yellow Fever. On her deathbed, his mother, Margaret, tells him his real father is Daniel MacKay. She urges Daniel to find him. Stunned, Daniel agrees and sets off on a long journey that takes him to Kentucky—the “West” at the time.

In Kentucky, Daniel meets his real father, “Bear”, now a respected frontiersman, and he meets a young woman, Ann Byrd, the daughter of the officer in charge of the fort. Daniel seeks to court Ann, but her father won't allow it because Daniel is a bastard. In the background lurks a sniveling coward, Charles Snyder, the bank owner’s son, who wants Ann for himself.

This is a charming story of love on America’s frontier with lots of historical details reflecting the author’s considerable research into the era. I loved the scenery and the homespun nature of the relationships. I loved the sense of building a future in a new country. There are some exciting scenes, too, as Snyder makes his presence known.

One caveat: I do recommend reading the author’s Wilderness Series first as all the characters in that series are in this one and, if you don’t know their stories, what they look like, etc., you might be confused.

The Wilderness Series:

Wilderness Trail of Love (Stephen and Jane)
New Frontier of Love (Sam and Catherine)
Whispering Hills of Love (William and Kelly)
Frontier Highlander Vow of Love (Bear and Artis)
Frontier Gift of Love (apparently more of Sam and Catherine)
The Beauty of Love (Edward and Dora)

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