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Kathleen Eagle

REVIEW:  The Sharing Spoon by Kathleen Eagle

REVIEW: The Sharing Spoon by Kathleen Eagle

sharing-spoon

A Christmas star shines brightly in the Western skies, bringing hope, love, and miracles in three unforgettable stories of romance trimmed with the holiday traditions of Native America.

The Sharing Spoon

Cynthia intends to show her inner-city classroom that Santa does not forget about children. For Kyle Bear Soldier, donating part of his fortune is not just about giving money away, but about offering the hope that helped him rise from a dirt-poor childhood on a reservation.

Can two people from different worlds make miracles happen if they share the same dream?

The Wolf and the Lamb

As Christmas 1879 approaches, Boston-bred Emily Lambert arrives in the wilds of the Dakota Territory to find that her mail-order husband has died and left two young daughters for her to raise.

While guarding his heart, gunslinger Wolf Morsette, himself an outcast, reluctantly takes the trio under-wing.

With only the promise of the season to bolster their spirits, a fragile group sets out on a heart-wrenching journey across the frigid prairie in search of a welcoming home where love, acceptance, and new beginnings prove there is always room at the inn.

The Twelfth Moon

Sergeant Luke Tracker is a confirmed career-army man, and he’s only dropping in for the holidays to make his sister, Frances, happy for a while. He’ll spend a few days with their family, enjoy a dose of traditional celebrations, play Santa at the school where Frances teaches—easy.

Hope Spencer has no idea that her friend Frances is about to play Mistletoe Matchmaker. Until she lands on Luke Tracker’s knee.

Dear Ms. Eagle,

Tis the season for Christmas anthologies and when I saw this collection of some of your previously published novellas, I couldn’t resist revisiting two of them and trying the third. I’m not sure who wrote the blurb for “The Sharing Spoon” but I certainly didn’t recall any fortune that the hero had beyond his abundance of determination to help the children of his school. The second blurb – for “The Wolf and the Lamb” is fairly accurate while that for “The Twelfth Moon” might have been expanded just a tad.

In all of the stories, I enjoyed the easy way you worked in the details of NA/Indian culture and traditions. Newbie Cynthia might have come off as a bit of a wide-eyed innocent as far as not only her trial-by-fire introduction to working with school children but also learning about the Lakota and Ojibwa teachers with whom she’s working. But her almost painful earnestness was easing by the end as she began to get into the spirit of Indian time and Indian humor.

The story ends with the two of them heading towards the point where they can take their relationship two – if not more – steps forward and I agree with Kyle’s niece that she’s probably going to be calling Cynthia “Auntie” fairly soon though these two still have a ways to go before a HEA. I’m glad that the finish point still allows them this time. B

I’ve read my share of hard bitten, half-breed gunslinger stories so I wasn’t sure how you’d handle this type of hero. Wolf Morsette isn’t quite as tough as nails as some I’ve seen and I like the fact that his Metis culture hasn’t cast him off as is so often the case with this genre. He’s still got some softness to go with his rougher edges though he doesn’t turn into an overnight marshmallow when faced with Easterner Emily and two orphaned, mixed breed girls.

Emily might be momentarily out of her depth when she arrives in South Dakota but soon shows she’s got the grit to make it and the heart to take charge of two “daughters” she’s never met before. The story manages to avoid veering into too cutesy territory as Emily and Wolf continue to have quite realistic male/female clashes to go along with their culture shock. B-

Soldier Luke Tracker meeting his match in teacher Hope Spencer is a story I loved when I first read it and it remains a favorite today. You’ve got neat thumbnail backstories that reveal just enough of each of them, show their differences and then the novella moves on to let us see them coming together, and getting to know each other. Plus as a bonus there are more little nuggets of information about reservation life, about Luke’s family and their pride in his accomplishments plus some hints and tips about what to look out for at a feed. The giveaway scene moved me to tears a second time just like it did the first. Here is economical story telling that shows me everything I need to know to believe in their HEA and believe it I do. A

~Jayne

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REVIEW:  Lakota Legacy Anthology by Madeline Baker, Kathleen Eagle and Ruth Wind

REVIEW: Lakota Legacy Anthology by Madeline Baker, Kathleen Eagle and...

Originally published in 2003, this anthology has now been reissued by Harlequin. I’ve read all three authors before, though it’s been awhile for two of them, so I went into the anthology with a little bit of preconception – both good and bad – but I was hoping and willing to be wowed all around. For various reasons, this didn’t happen. Two of the stories aren’t bad but one hit most of my bad buttons.

Wolf Dreamer
by Madeline Baker

Pregnant and alone on the Colorado prairie, Rebecca Hathaway’s prayers were answered–by rugged Wolf Dreamer.Will her search for home and family lead them to a new life together?

Lakota-LegacyI read some of your books years ago and I can say your style hasn’t changed. We have a passive, helpless heroine who brings out the dominant hero’s possessive and protective streak. Plus there’s kind of a fated mate feel to story which got skeevy at times. Wolf Dreamer has watched Rebecca every day for 5 years? Then, even though he knows she wants to go back East, he takes her to his tribe anyway and basically tells her “this is the way it’s going to be because of my dream.” Rebecca is a rapist magnet with 3 different sets of eeeevil white men attempting it – and there are almost no other white men in the story besides the eeeevil ones – until the noble hero shoots them all. The delicate snowflake heroine runs off multiple times, almost always getting into trouble due to her magnet ability, until the last time Wolf Dreamer kills for her and tells her she’s a lot of trouble. He said a mouthful. I was hoping to avoid the almost obligatory “insanely jealous Indian maiden who covets the hero’s bod and will do nasty things to sweet heroine to get it” but, alas, no. The ending is just too perfect. Suddenly Rebecca’s in love? Ready to be a Lakota living a lifestyle so different from anything she’s ever known? I couldn’t buy any of it. The only thing that raises this to a D is the care with which Wolf Dreamer treats Rebecca after her initial miscarriage.

Cowboy Days and Indian Nights
by Kathleen Eagle

Meredith Woodward had emptied her nest. She didn’t need a scruffy rodeo cowboy moving into her home–or her world. But Ryder Red Hawk was a man prepared to face his past and discover his future–with her.

This has the smooth, easy writing style I’ve come to expect from your books. The characterization is almost effortless and within two pages I feel that I know these two people. I love that it’s an older couple romance, too. She’s a little shy about her figure. He’s got salt and pepper hair and knees that don’t take to kneeling too long anymore. They’re opposites attract – she’s a homebody and he’s a wanderer. She’s got a fancy kitchen and loves wine while he’s got a cast iron stomach for anything and prefers kicking back with a cold one. The growing attraction works well. The tip over into the physical is that of two people who’ve been around a bit know a bit more about attraction and are ready to go for it. The back scene views of Ryder at work at the rodeo are fascinating without being fetishizing. I can even accept the sudden HEA. But something about Meredith’s fascination with Ryder’s Indian heritage seems “off” and at times a little too intense. It’s no big deal to him but she brings it up again and again until even he seems puzzled by it. I realize that this was the way to carry through the story arc and it does point out the issue of Indian children being taken from tribes back in the day to be raised by white families but the heavy hand here stands out in comparison to how the rest of the issues were so nicely handled. C

Seven Days by Ruth Wind

Sunny Kendricks’s luck had run out. With no money, no car and no home, she was sure she’d hit rock bottom. But Michael Chasing Horse was prepared for life’s storms and ready to offer refuge…in his arms.

Michael’s a quiet, cowboy hero. Slightly older and a bit threadbare from the drought but still in love with the land and determined to stay. He’s doubtful of this pretty, young woman being able to take the challenges of eastern Colorado living but in her own way, Sunny is as strong as he is having endured the challenges of her young daughter’s medical issues. I can picture this land and these two people – so similar despite their apparent differences. Still the 7 days til “I’ll love you forever” seem too rushed in spite of the tornado and wildfires that serve to bring them closer and quickly reveal to the other their strengths and character. I could accept them deciding to develop a deeper relationship and the novella ending on a HFN note but for both of them to be survivors of past bad marriages and take the plunge that quickly didn’t work for me. This is a story I would love to have seen fleshed out into a longer novella or full length story. C

~Jayne

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