Friday, November 9, 2018

Kaki Warner’s WHERE THE HORSES RUN – Great Western Historical—and this one has Victorian England & Scotland, too!

Set 1871 in England and Scotland (bracketed by scenes from Texas and Colorado) this is the story of Rafford Jessup (“Rafe”), the former lawman we met in Behind His Blue Eyes.

Rafe is the wrangler Ash (Lord Kirkwell) hires to go with him to England to procure breeding stock for his thoroughbred ranch in Heartbreak Creek. One of the places they hope to buy horses is in Penrith, England where a former coal miner who became wealthy is being forced to sell his stock. His daughter, Josephine Cathcart, is a ruined woman who had a son by her baron lover who deserted her to marry someone of higher rank. Sadly, Josephine must go along with selling her prized stallion “Pens” unless her father can marry her off to a wealthy man. And so they travel to America. On the ship sailing back to England, they all come together.

Warner serves up a wonderful cast of characters with this installment in the series: cowboys, Scots, the Cheyenne Indian Thomas Redstone, who we have come to love from Warner’s other books, an Irish maid, and some irascible Englishmen, including the valet, Pringle who continually banters with Ash—all wrapped around a love story between two unlikely people in Victorian England who share a passion for horses.

Rafe is the 19th century equivalent of a Texas “horse whisperer,” and Josephine is an Englishwoman who has borne her shame with dignity. I loved them both. And I was delighted to see that Warner brought back Ash and his countess.

The humor and emotion will have you laughing one moment and crying the next. And did I mention that there’s lots of fun in this most unusual tale. You can enjoy it alone, but it’s best devoured with the rest of Warner’s Heartbreak Creek stories: the Runaway Brides trilogy and the Heroes of Heartbreak Creek. I recommend them all!

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