I received Whispers in the Wind by Lauraine Snelling as part of my review gig for Bethany House Publishers.
I have never read any of Ms. Snelling’s works before and I was presently surprised. Even though I have not read the first in this series, Wild West Wind, this second installment stands on its own.
Whispers in the Wind is the continuation of Cassie Lockwood’s story. She grew up in a traveling Wild West Show and was one of the main attractions. She is a trick rider, crack shot and owner of several buffalo that she’s raised since they were babes. Along with Cassie are three Native Americans, Chief, Micah and Runs Like a Deer. (I simply cannot wait to get my hands on the first book so I can read how they came upon her and what her story is!)
Cassie discovers that her father (deceased) owns half of a ranch in South Dakota. This is where we find her at the beginning of this book. There is another family already living on the ranch, the Engstrom’s. The Engstrom’s consist of Mavis, the matriarch, and her children Ransom, Lucas, Jesse and Gretchen.
Ransom is the brooding hero. You know, the still waters run deep sort of man. He’s interested in keeping his ranch in his family…plus there’s a vein of gold running through the ranch that his father and Cassie’s panned out and almost died for. Ransom is angry at his mother for not telling him that half the ranch belonged to someone else. He’s also a man of deep faith and he’s trying to listen to his mother that God know’s best.
Lucas is the free spirit. He falls in love every other day, but he is instantly smitten with Cassie. This creates tension not just for the brother’s but also for some of the townsfolk since Lucas was stepping out with another girl from a prominent family.
Jesse is the unknown at this point for me. He’s off at medical school and while he may have been a part of the former book…all I know of him is that he usually has his head in medical books.
Gretchen is a sweet girl who is a bit high-spirited but she has a very good heart and is the apple of her families eye.
Cassie is trying valiantly to get her “family” settled before winter comes. They are logging, taking care of their neighbors, hunting and trying to survive off the land. I love that sort of thing! And, f you live in the Upper Midwest you can totally relate to getting everything ready for winter. Winters, even with our modern conveniences, are tough! She hardly has any money…and has the weight of the world on her shoulders. The Engstrom’s are supportive and kind, helping her out and creating a home life for her that she never had with the Wild West Show. But, not everyone in their community is so welcoming of Cassie and her “family”. There is trouble brewing and it comes to a head at the end of the book.
Cassie is both sweet, gentle and strong. She wants a deeper relationship with God, but with a few mishaps, that faith has been shaken. It’s nice to see her question her status and relationship with Him. It’s also nice to see that Cassie is not swayed by Lucas’ pursuit of her…in fact she is a bit oblivious to the whole thing until later on in the book.
Personally, I enjoyed this book. The writing was excellent and well put together. The character development, even though this is a second in a trilogy, is very defined and I did not have to question why this person does what they do. It gets explained in a reasonable amount of time. I appreciate that. I simply cannot wait for the third segment so I can know how the story ends. I hope Cassie and Ransom end up together! 🙂