About the Book
Book: Waltz in the Wilderness
Author: Kathleen Denly
Genre: Christian Historical Romance
Release Date: February 4, 2020
She’s desperate to find her missing father. His conscience demands he risk all to help.
Eliza Brooks is haunted by her role in her mother’s death, so she’ll do anything to find her missing pa—even if it means sneaking aboard a southbound ship. When those meant to protect her abandon and betray her instead, a family friend’s unexpected assistance is a blessing she can’t refuse.
Daniel Clarke came to California to make his fortune, and a stable job as a San Francisco carpenter has earned him more than most have scraped from the local goldfields. But it’s been four years since he left Massachusetts and his fiancé is impatient for his return. Bound for home at last, Daniel Clarke finds his heart and plans challenged by a tenacious young woman with haunted eyes. Though every word he utters seems to offend her, he is determined to see her safely returned to her father. Even if that means risking his fragile engagement.
When disaster befalls them in the remote wilderness of the Southern California mountains, true feelings are revealed, and both must face heart-rending decisions. But how to decide when every choice before them leads to someone getting hurt?
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About the Author
Kathleen Denly lives in sunny Southern California with her loving husband, four young children, and two cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories. When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, Kathleen spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting.
More from Kathleen
As Valentine’s Day nears, stories of how couples met seem to be everywhere. Many of those stories share a common element: “The second I saw him/her, I just knew I would marry him/her.”
A promising beginning to the Chaparral Hearts series by Kathleen Denly, “Waltz in the Wilderness” combines the best of westerns, adventure and survival stories, and of course romance. This is a story that I think is best enjoyed without reading the synopsis first, which is a practice I always employ to avoid knowing how the story might play out. As I read, I was so glad that I went in blind because the characters and the plot were surprising in ways that they would not have been otherwise.
Historically a fan of solely pioneer fiction, for the past several years or so I have branched out and have been exploring other genres, historical in particular, including Westerns. As soon as I saw the cover for “Waltz in the Wilderness”, coupled with the whimsical yet mysterious title, I knew that I had to request a copy to review. Like others that I have read in recent months, this book manages to inject the story with interesting detail and subplots; there is no lull in the action, but I also did not feel overwhelmed. This is such an important distinction to make, and it can make or break the book. With “Waltz in the Wilderness”, what drew me in the most were the characters.
Far from the fainting heroine waiting for her knight in shining armor, Eliza Brooks has grown accustomed to carrying her own and her pa’s burdens. When he goes missing, however, Eliza must rustle up every bit of her courage as she embarks upon her quest to find him. Although at times I shook my head at her naiveté, for the most part she demonstrates extraordinary strength of character, tempered occasionally by gaffes that make her human.
Daniel Clarke, whose introduction to Eliza gets off on the wrong foot, is preparing to leave California to return to his family and fiancée in Boston. However, crossing paths with Eliza steers him off his course as the two decide to navigate the treacherous Southern California mountains. “She was, without a doubt, the most exasperating woman God had ever created.” It is their tenacity and resilient spirits that urge them on, deepening their faith and their own friendship, but will it be enough?
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
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