REVIEW: Crooked Rock Braves (Crooked Rock Book #4) by Pamela Sanderson
Linda and Arnie are the should have been that never happened.
Linda Bird has poured her heart into building a community for Indians in the city, but the setbacks keep coming and her supporters are losing faith. In college, Arnie Jackson was a sexy-but-aggravating rival. Now she needs his help if Crooked Rock is going to succeed. Turns out he’s still sexy, he’s still aggravating, and she’s never gotten over him.
Arnie has dealt with every challenge Indian Country has thrown at him, but nothing could have prepared him for the accusations that bring his leadership into question. Linda has been his most loyal friend—equal parts stubborn and dazzling—and she’s the only one he trusts to help him through this crisis.
They have always been right for each other, but it’s never been the right time—until now.
Dear Ms. Sanderson,
At last, the final book in the Crooked Rock series. I’ve watched the director of the Crooked Rock Urban Indian Center, Linda Bird, and board member Arnie Jackson butt heads and lock horns over the course of the last three books. Both are trying to do all they can for urban Ind’ns who are away from their homes and families as well as Elders who live in the city. Some times Linda and Arnie don’t always see eye to eye but the goal is the same.
Actually it’s been the same since they were both in college together over ten years ago but a romantic relationship has never surfaced. Now Arnie is dating a non-native while Linda has a chance to move to another state and work in a different Indian group as well as having a potential relationship developing with a Native lawyer. Will she choose to leave Crooked Rock with so much still undone? Will Arnie’s over-commitment to any and all projects to help his Nation finally cause him to lose someone he’s cared about for years? And how will the other members of the UIC react when they learn what might be happening?
As the description of the book at Amazon says, this is definitely a book that will make more sense if the previous ones in the series are read first. New comers might be able to swing starting here but there’s a lot of layers and relationships that will be lost.
Linda and Arnie are so similar. They’re both go-get-’em people who don’t appear to know the words “slow” or “down.” Fiercely dedicated to helping Natives of all nations, they work 32 hours a day and live on coffee. Less than a year ago, the center almost lost its (slender) funding and they were given a short amount of time to get the center on more solid ground. Since then, things have gone from bad to worse. They lost the building the city was supposed to be letting them buy, then moved to a small office on the campus of the local college but that’s being yanked as well. Needing to show that they’ve worked out a space, they need to find permanent housing for the center.
Linda debates what is best for her and the center. Should she stay and see things through or leave and let fresh minds tackle those problems? As always, Elder Margie, who started the UIC years ago, is there with no nonsense advice but is not going to tell Linda what to do. Arnie works tirelessly for his nation and all Ind’n causes but is running himself into the ground going to help anyone? Now he’s also got conflicts with his council that his charm might not be able to solve. It doesn’t do to diss Elders.
I like that the problems presented are real life and pertinent to what Native Americans/Ind’ns face today. In order to get more grants and funding, the UIC has to show itself as stable and settled but in order to do that, they need grants and more funds. The city treats them as an afterthought and I, along with Rayann, cheered when Linda had finally had enough of that.
Then, just when it seemed darkest, a light began to shine. I’d actually thought about what Linda finally realizes but it was wonderful when the bulb switch was flipped and everything came together. I wasn’t as excited with Arnie’s issues as they seemed to be hand waved away after being set up over long sections of the book. Arnie does finally get his act together but it basically took a conversion on the road to Damascus to achieve this. Still, everyone ends up in a good place and the UIC finally has a home. B-