Title: The Lady and the Mountain Man
Genre: Christian historical romance
Author: Misty Beller
Series: The Mountain Series, Book 1
When a murder plot forces a Southern belle onto a ranch in the wild Montana mountains, love is the last thing she expects to find.

Leah Townsend, a recently orphaned heiress, flees Richmond after discovering her fiancé’s plot to kill her after their wedding. She needs a safe place to hide, and finds herself accepting a newspaper marriage proposal from a God-fearing young rancher in the Montana Territory. But when Leah arrives at the mountain ranch, she learns her intended husband was killed by a grizzly, leaving behind a bitter older brother and a spunky younger sister.


When Gideon Bryant finds an eastern lady standing in his log cabin, his first thought is to send her back where she came from. He’s lost too many people to the wild elements of these mountains––his parents, his wife, and now his brother. His love for this untamed land lives on, but he’s determined not to open his heart to another person.


But when an accident forces Leah to stay at the ranch for seven more months, can Gideon protect his heart from a love he doesn’t want? Has Leah really escaped the men who seek her life?


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Author Bio:

Misty M. Beller is a USA Today bestselling author of romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.


She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and children now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.


God has placed a desire in Misty's heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God's abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters. 


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My Review:
As someone who grew up reading pioneer stories, I have a familiarity with the Oregon Trail and prairie life, but it wasn’t until I started reading Misty Beller’s work that I came to appreciate life in the Montana territory. I had never realized the harshness of the conditions there due to the isolation and especially the weather, with winter setting in during September and having snow around until June. Such an environment would be difficult today, and it’s hard to fathom how challenging it would be to simply survive there back in 1874. It certainly makes excellent fodder for novels!

“The Lady and the Mountain Man” seems different to me than the other novels I’ve read by Beller, although I have loved all of them. This one seems more character-driven, perhaps because much of the action occurs in one location, after Leah Townsend makes her way to Montana and the Bryant ranch. Her journey and the shocking revelation that triggers it pull the reader in immediately, though! I found this story to be relaxing enough to be refreshing but still with enough action to keep things interesting Likewise, I think that there are enough tragedies and obstacles to keep readers engaged and sympathetic while also containing snippets of humor.

Choosing faith over fear and trusting that God is in control of every circumstance encompass the main message of the book. In a time when people could easily die from such a multiplicity of threats, faith and family were true lifelines. Hence why Leah’s story is so intriguing, because while she trades her upper-class life for that of a backwoods settler, she maintains a quiet reserve of strength. When we surrender ourselves and our plans to God, He will use them to bring us to the safety of His sweet shelter: right where we belonged all along.

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.