Dear Mrs Eldridge,
I think this is a first book from you and sorry to say, I can tell it. I’ve long been a fan of Western romances and you manage to hit just about every cliche in one that deals with an Indian/White romance.
First we have our white, Irish heroine with — no secret here — red hair who’s — yep again — a healer. Mail-order bride Nora hopes to find a better life in the west with her sight unseen husband. On the way, her wagon train is attacked by — here it comes — white men posing as Indians. But luck is with Nora because a friendly, English speaking Indian hero is there to save her and the other survivor of the massacre, a plucky, six year old boy. Nora heals our wounded hero all the while sizing him up with heated glances that make her blush when she realizes what she’s doing. Later she needs to keep him warm when the fever breaks so you throw in some close body contact.
Our intrepid band is taken captive by renegade Indians and naive Nora quickly learns what the slimy leader, named Striking Snake no less, wants her for. Yes, as we all know is coming, any man other than the two helpful minors they met earlier (insert authentic frontier dialect) is immediately aflame with lust for our luscious Nora. A conveniently helpful native woman helps our two escape and they’re off for more adventures during which they meet up with the hero’s tribe and even more people feel lustful towards Nora. The hero’s prior entanglement is quickly dispatched leaving him to track down Nora who’s been kidnapped again (toss in more slimy men thinking evil things to do to poor Nora). Yet somehow Nora always manages to escape the fate worse than death.
Okay, so we know Act III as well. Nora is delivered to her intended after spending a few nights involving hawt lovin’ with the man we know is her true love but who she thinks she can’t marry. Intended turns out to be — you know it’s coming — a slimy no good bastard from whom Nora has to be rescued in the nick of time. Everyone is reunited in the end and they head off into the rosy western sunset to the sound of swelling violin music.
Nora does usually regain some common sense in a crisis once our hero stops her from rushing into danger looking for people to save and the hero doesn’t hesitate to tell her to be quiet when needed but beyond that, there’s really not much to distinguish this one from countless other books out there. I wish it had lived up to the excerpt I read which enticed me to buy it. You did get a nice cover, though. C-