Tuesday, January 20, 2009

TBR Challenge: REVIEW: Winter Woman by Jenna Kernan

PAGES: 296
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…!

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.



Rosie said...

Super Librarian Wendy referred me to Kernan and I've enjoyed all her books, but this was a particular fave.

Wendy said...

I love westerns. Which is probably no secret by now LOL. But what I especially love about Kernan's work (besides her tendency to write great heroines) is that her westerns have a wonderful "frontier" quality to them. Before the Civil War, and when anywhere west of the Mississippi was literally the middle of nowhere.

Glad you enjoyed this one!

ReneeW said...

Rosie: I have only read these two by Kernan and they were both great. I'd like to read more so if you or Wendy have a rec, I'd love to hear it.

Wendy: I love westerns too. Especially, the early frontier. This heroine was really remarkable and very memorable. I need to find another Kernan to read.

Wendy said...

Renee: You must read Outlaw Bride. Also, I thought her story in the Western Winter Wonderland HH anthology was quite good.

As for Turner's Woman....the heroine is remarkable, and I loved her to bits. But I thought the hero was a raging jackass. Rosie has also read the book and she didn't have quite as strong a reaction to the hero that I did ;-)

I still have High Plains Bride (which you've read) and The Trapper in my TBR....

sybil said...

Read Turner's Woman ;)

Don't listen to wendy the hero isn't that bad. really *g*

sybil said...

You read it yet, huh huh did you did you?

I think I still have an extra copy but would need to look. Let me know if you need me too. I have been getting rid of the dupes like mad since the move. sniff...

ReneeW said...

Wendy: Thanks, I will get Outlaw Bride and the anthology and The Trapper. You MUST read High Plains Bride. It was wonderful. Of course I read it while driving (well actually hubby was driving) through Montana and felt like I was inside the story and you won't get that effect but it's still wonderful.

Sybil: Yes, yes, I'll take it. Um, well, I suppose I should email you about it. You should have my address on the old yahoo group.

sybil said...

checked the box to go out and yep the dup was still there along with a extra of High Plains which I see you don't need...

email me just so I have the right addy and I will try and get it out on monday

Judah Raine said...

Hey there - sorry about coming in the "back door" but I'd love to chat with regard to the possibility of reciprocal links and review. Please email me at judahraine@judahraine.com if you are interested.
Great blog!

Shon said...

I love a good western, too. Renee, you should HEART OF THE WEST by Penelope Williamson. Would really love to know what you think about that book. It sits at the top of any top ten list I do. Thanks.


ReneeW said...

Keishon: I have Heart of the West in my TBR pile. I'll move it up towards the top and do a review for TBR challenge - in March hopefully.

Wow, I haven't touched my blog in over 6 years and I'm still logged in!  Good thing because I have no idea what my password is.  In ...