Desert Isle Keeper
This is the first book in Rachel Lee’s popular Conard County series. I thought that Ms Lee got the series off to a wonderful start with this book. I love wounded warrior heroes and the hero of Exile’s End, Ransom Laird, is the wounded warrior at his most sympathetic.
The whole Conard County series is about wounded warriors. All of the heroes in the series have fought in Vietnam; this aspect of the books interested me very much. Though I came of age during this period, I really know little about it. Rachel Lee has done a superior job in writing about some of the forgotten victims of that war.
Before I put anybody off, I’ll tell you that the books in the Conard County series do not dwell on the Vietnam war. They are set in contemporary times and the books in the series tell about the after effects of the war on the men who fought and suffered in it.
Ransom Laird is a man who has been in prison for four years. He had been in the Army Special Forces with Nate Tate, Sheriff of Conard County. After the war, Ransom joined the CIA and took an assignment that put him so far underground that most people, including a number of government officials thought he was dead. Ransom had been betrayed by somebody in the Special Services and ended up in jail.
Sick, tortured and almost broken in spirit, Ransom needs a place to recover from his time in prison. He contacts his old friend Sheriff Nate Tate, who invites Ransom to come spend time in Conard County and give himself time to adjust to real life again and recuperate from his wounds, both physical and mental. Feeling the need to work out his problems and give himself a reason to live, Ransom takes Nate’s advice and goes out to Mandy Grant’s farm to work as her handyman.
Mandy is a widow who’s a writer of fantasy fiction. Mandy has lost her husband, as well as her baby and now she is just existing in her own little world. Mandy is afraid of loving again because every time she has loved, she has lost her loved ones. Ransom Laird, the Knight Errant meets Mandy, the wounded Princess and together they begin to heal each other.
I loved this book. Ransom is kind and decent and everything a woman looks for in a hero. He has had to struggle for everything he has, and his experiences have taught him to take life one day at a time and live it to the fullest. Mandy can learn a lot from this man.
This book has a little bit of everything I love in a story; including a great mystery to try and work out. Exile’s End will keep you reading from the first page to the last and you’ll look forward to every word. There is not much mentioned in this book about Vietnam, but I found that, as you progress through the Conard County series, you learn more and more about the war and the men who were forced to go and deal with circumstances beyond their skills.
A great big thumbs up to Rachel Lee for writing this series. Once you read Exile’s End, you will want to find and read all of her books about Conard County.