SETTING: Historical - American West
TYPE: Series Romance
REASON FOR READING: I really enjoyed High Plains Bride so when I heard good things about WW, I had to buy it. But it's been languishing in my TBR since February 2004. WW is Kernan's debut book.
Her prayer was simple: "Dear God, let me die!"
But Cordelia Channing — preacher's wife, preacher's widow — lived and was born anew as Winter Woman, a woman of power who'd survived the deadliest season in the mountains alone.
She knew she could never do it again. Though perhaps there was no need, for Providence had sent her Thomas Nash, an enigmatic Mountain Man who stirred the deep places of her questing soul.
Nash had come west to lose himself, to rail at the fates that seemed ready to destroy his life at every turn. But somehow those same fates now saw fit to put Delia in his care…. And though he was fighting it at every turn, Delia was transforming his life in ways he'd thought forever lost…!
THOUGHTS / OPINION:
Yay! I remembered to post a review for Keishon's TBR Challenge. Last year I think I only got 3 done. Here's hoping I do better this year. Anyway...
I'm a big fan of Harlequin Historicals and this is another good one. Cordelia Channing is probably one of the strongest heroines I've ever come across. She and her preacher husband were heading west to minister to the "savages" when they became separated from their wagon train somewhere in the Rocky Mountains. Her husband was killed after leaving her alone to hunt for food. And somehow she survives the winter alone in the mountains. When a group of Flathead Indians find her half-starved in the spring they take her to the only white man they know, Thomas Nash, a trapper and give her to him. Nash has no choice but to take her but he's not happy about it. Cordelia wants to return back east but Nash can't take her until fall after he has finished collecting beaver pelts which he sells to earn his living.
What follows next is quite a rip-roaring adventure. Delia and Nash don't like each other much at first but they come to depend on each other for survival. Delia becomes indispensable to Nash even learning how to set the traps and skins the animals. Wow, what a woman! After Nash is attacked by a grizzly bear, Delia nurses him back to health as well as doing the cooking, hunting, and trapping. The descriptions of scenery with rapids, waterfalls, and dangerous Blackfoot Indians were fascinating and beautifully written. I also loved the details of their survival in the wilderness although sometimes it was a bit gruesome but that just made it more realistic.
These two are both lost souls. Nash is still hurting from a tragedy five years ago but his heart evenutally thaws toward Delia and they form a strong emotional attachment. He doesn't want her to leave his side ever. Delia finally realizes she is in love with him but she does not want to live in the mountains. And who can blame her after what she has been through. After they make love Delia feels very guilty and feels she has sinned and turns away from Nash and of course he is very hurt, feeling that she is rejecting him because he's not good enough for her. I dislike misunderstandings like this. But they work things out eventually and the ending was wonderful.
If you like a well-paced adventure about the early American west (set in 1835), be sure to find a copy of Winter Woman. Two very strong characters and a story that will keep you turning the pages.