Book Review: A Place to Belong by Lorraine Snelling

I was really excited to read this book when I received it from Bethany House Publishers to review.  I mean, I loved the second book in this series (Wild West Wind) about Cassie Lockwood and her merry band of misfits.  There was romance and adventure in the air…who could resist that?

The conclusion of this series, A Place to Belong, really left me wanting more…and not in a good way.

I couldn’t really get into this book.  It was slow and plodding, and at times tedious.  I understand that Cassie had to recover a lot after she was shot but…Oh.My.Word…could this book be any more boring?  A lot of it has to do with Cassie, Lucas and just everyday life.  And while normally, I would love to read about everyday life…I kind of live everyday life…so when I read, I want a little bit of escapism…not more drudgery.  And if my kids are reading this…I don’t mean you. 😉

So, my other issue with this book is the relationship or lack there of between the male protagonist, Ransom Engstrom and Cassie.  We are just supposed to believe that after all the NOT talking she and Ransom are going to declare their love for one another?  Um…yeah, right.  Seriously, I don’t think they have any meaningful conversation until the very end.  I mean, maybe things happened like that in the old days.  Maybe…but I don’t think so.

What I enjoyed about this book was the descriptions of life in South Dakota for the time period.  It’s a hard land…heck, I live in Minnesota and the winters are brutal, so I can totally commiserate.  Especially when they had snowfall in May.  Yup.  Been there, done that.

All in all, the writing is exceptional.  The story itself though…leaves much to be desired.



Review: Taming the Wind by Tracie Peterson

Tracie Peterson delivers another great story in “Taming the Wind” the third book in the Land of the Lone Star Series.

We meet up with Carrisa Lowe, sister to Laura Reid. Laura married Brandon from the second book in the series, “Touching the Sky”. Carrisa is a widow with a little girl named Gloria. She comes out to be with her sister Laura to stay with her on her ranch while her parents are on a European Tour. Carissa has grown up a lot since the second book in the series. She is more thoughtful, more introspective and filled with more faith than before. She is also less spoiled than she originally was.

Carissa meets up again with Tyler Atherton, the man who saves her from death. Tyler has never forgotten Carissa since he saved her life. He has wondered about her and when he sees her again, he knows he is smitten. Carrisa’s daughter Gloria latches on right away to Tyler, whom she calls “Tyer” and wants him to be her daddy. Carissa cannot trust herself when it comes to men since her previous choice was a bad one.

Tyler has his own demons that he is facing with the horrific death of his father at the hands of Indians, the loss of his ranch due to his Confederate ties and his undying hatred to all Indians. Will his love for Carissa overcome that hate or will it doom both of them before they can ever have a start.

Tyler, Brandon and William (from the first book in the series) decide to take their cattle and horses to Kansas on a cattle drive. This will take them away from the women they love, but the pay off could potentially be big. Their women all come together at William’s and Hannah’s ranch and learn to live and work together. Carissa comes more into her faith because of the move but can she trust God that Tyler is the one for her?

An unexpected complication back home, the threat of Indian attacks and an old foe add to the mix to make this book a very satisfying read. Each of the books in this series can stand on it’s own, and I have to say that my favorite from the series was the second book, Laura and Brandon’s story. I enjoyed catching up with William and Hannah and how their lives have progressed from the first book. I liked how Tracie Peterson brought all the characters back and tied it all together. All in all, this was a very satisfying read for me.