Friday, December 30, 2011
Valley of Dreams
VALLEY OF DREAMS
When Cassie Lockwood's mother died, Cassie began traveling with her father's Wild West Show. Along the way, she became an amazingly skillful trick rider and sharpshooter, likened by some to the famous Annie Oakley. When her father passed away, she continued to work with the show, having nowhere else to go.
Now Cassie has discovered that "Uncle" Jason, the shows manager, has driven the show into debt, and he's absconded with what little money was left. Devastated, Cassie decides to try to find the hidden valley in the Black Hills of South Dakota where her father had dreamed of setting down roots. She has only one clue. She needs to find three huge stones that look like fingers on a giant hand. With Chief, a Sioux Indian who's been with the act for twenty years, and Micah, the head wrangler, she leaves the show and a bundle of heartache behind and begins a wild and daring adventure.
A sweeping Western saga fraught with adventure. Loved the mix of unlikely characters who make the treacherous journey, and Cassie's background as a Wild West performer. Her struggle to marry the skills she learned for the show with the skills needed to survive in the wilderness brought depth to her character and an edge to the story. And who can resist an impish dog, magnificent horse and a buffalo named George? I do love a good animal-centered plot.
As the first of the Wild West Wind series, Valley of Dreams reads as a prelude and ends rather abruptly with a cliffhanger. I had the feeling that I was just about to start the real story when it ended. I'm not a fan of series that are totally dependent on each book -- the kind that read like a very long novel in three or four sections -- so the ending disappointed me since I was left with more questions than answers.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".