Tuesday, January 20, 2009

TBR Challenge: REVIEW: Winter Woman by Jenna Kernan


COPYRIGHT: 2003
PAGES: 296
SETTING: Historical - American West
TYPE: Series Romance
SERIES: None
SENSUALITY: Warm

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.

SUMMARY:
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.

GRADE: B

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sick kitty


My kitty, Bailey, is sick. :(

She has been acting very strangely the last three days. Not eating or drinking. Throwing up small amounts of liquid. Hiding behind the couch. She always sleeps on our bed but the last three nights she has been missing - doesn't seem to want to climb up the stairs.

I took her to the vet today and she says she thinks it could be her kidneys failing! So she took some blood tests and tried to get a urine sample but her bladder was empty (bad news) and gave her an injection of fluids and some anti-nausea medicine. And gave me some pills to give her for the nausea. I get the test results tomorrow. She is 11 years old and considered an older cat and the vet says this sometimes happens. I figure if it's kidney failure that there is not much they can do, but I hope it's something else that they can maybe fix or give her a pill for. But I'm preparing myself for the worst.

UPDATE: Bailey is going to be fine. The blood test results were good. Kidneys are fine. She went 5 days without eating. I finally coaxed her to eat a half of a Greenie snack on Thursday and Friday. But then on Saturday she ate a tiny bit of tuna. And everyday she eats more and more. Today it's been about 10 days and she is almost eating normally. The vet thinks it was some kind of virus or bacteria. Kinda like a kitty version of the flu. She's sleeping (and purring) on our bed again at night. Only problem now is to wean her off the tuna and back onto her regular cat food. She doesn't want to touch to cat food. Spoiled kitty.