Running for her life after being attacked in an alley by two men, Camille finds herself caught fast in the arms of former confederate soldier Jake Garrett. After protecting her from her pursuing attackers, Jake agrees to travel with Camille as her bodyguard on an upcoming trip. He couldn’t know that soon he would owe his own life to her.
Brought together by chance, they became bound to one another by duty, or at least that’s what they told themselves. It wasn’t until they began to make a life with one another that the world came rushing in to tear them.
Favorite quote from the book: None.
The story is set around the 1860s (Confederation time) before the first 13 states of the USA were ratified and united.
Camille was kidnapped while her mother was murdered and since then, she has been living the life of a reclose until she finds her family camped at a place and is on her way to join them. Being a half Black and half Native American woman, she attracts attention and is attacked by the Turners. She gives them a good fight. Nevertheless, she is whipped and her back is ripped.
Jacob Garrett a renowned white soldier of ranks enters and saves the damsel in distress. She requests him to escort her until she reaches her family. He realizes she is the daughter of Chief Great Hawk, his enemy and still obliges. May be because he was unable to resist the attraction he felt for her.
Nevertheless, they reach the camp of Great Hawk and within no time the two are married. In my mind the story finished here. The book drags on from here with some unnecessary twists and turns and ends with a happy climax.
What worked for me: The lean mean twists were more than adequate for the genre and the story (However, the characters needed flushing out).
Jake was running away from his past and the gore of war, while Camille is moving closer to her family after six years of yearning for them. Nice. There was beautiful conflict and the consistency in Jake’s character is admirable.
However, the other characters lacked depth. Some of them were utterly unnecessary. For example Susan – There was enough conflict without her with senior Mr. Garrett in the scene.
What didn’t work for me: I wasn’t convinced that Great Hawk without a doubt would agree to Camille marrying a white man. There was no confrontation between the two. It was too smooth in the story and it irked me (Keep track of ‘the times’ and the mindsets please I screamed in frustration many times, while reading).
This is more an observation – Underwear was something that came into existence (for women) in the late 19th century and in the story there is reference to them time and again and it took me away from the story and the time. Also, the use of ‘tea bags’ threw me off (Thomas Sullivan is credited with inventing tea bags in 1908).
When writing a historical story one needs to be extra cautious of the dialogue and characters and the mindset of people then. This story feels grossly inadequate there.
Levi Strauss and Co. Wholesale house was instituted in 1872 which means jeans were just coming in the market when our story took place. And it bothered me that Camille, a Native American woman would be wearing them especially when she is on the run and has no stable life or family to support (It’s not like she could walk into Walmart and pick up a pair! Also, her social status makes it even more difficult to acquire one, don’t you think?).
When medicine was not advanced, would a woman that is 6 months pregnant be allowed to ride her horse (even if it was to find and bring her husband back to safety) and would her family who had lost her for 6 years allow her to do it? And mind you her family is not ordinary! Her father is the chief Great Hawk! Wouldn’t he think of an alternative than allow his daughter to ride on a horse and put her and her child’s life at risk?
The other thing that bothered me was how everyone speaks well in perfect sentences and grammar, even the Native American characters. Very unreal.
Too many to list them all, here. Another round of editing is definitely reasonable.
Conclusion: The genre historical fiction comes with the territory of research, without which a book falls short of being a good read.
** I received an ARC e-book copy from the author in exchange for an honest review. Thanks for the read. Appreciated. 🙂