Desert Isle Keeper
How far would a man go for honor? What if the last words to your husband were said in anger? How do you reveal a secret that will shatter a person’s life? In asking these questions this romance created more heart and soul than I found in any other romance this year. There were no extraneous subplots to be found here – the hero and heroine focus only on each other and the tangled ties that weave their destiny together.
Della Ward lost her husband, Clarence, in the Civil War. She was young, pregnant and at the mercy of her husband’s unkind mother when she wrote her last letter to her husband, telling him she hated him for leaving her alone. Clarence fought for the South, and by birth, Della was a Yankee. His mother could never forgive Della for that. Della lost everything as a result of Clarence’s death, including her child, and can never forgive herself knowing that her husband believed she hated him when he died. She has eked out an existence for herself in Texas since leaving Georgia, but she is utterly alone with no family and no real friends.
James Cameron has been carrying Della Ward’s wedding picture for 10 years. He has information regarding her husband’s death that must be given to her, although he cannot bring himself to tell her. Cameron is a western legend, a lawman/bounty hunter who always gets his man. It is a perilous existence as he is challenged everywhere he goes, but Cameron has no one to live for and nothing to lose. He has had dreams over the years about Della and what kind of person she might be, but those are nothing more than wisps of fantasy, because he knows they can never have a future.
Della assumes Cameron was her husband’s friend and allows him into her life. It seems only natural that he will accompany her on horseback to Atlanta where she can see her daughter, now nine years old. Much of the book is told during their journey; Osborne writes road romances with great skill, allowing the two to grow closer together even as the burdens of their pasts almost tears them apart. Osborne also excels at creating women characters who seem more three dimensional than most, and that’s certainly the case here. What’s even better is that her heroes love these women even though they don’t fit the mold.
The author skillfully brings Cameron and Della closer together throughout their journey. These two talk, laugh, cry, and share throughout the book. When the story ends, the reader doesn’t have to wonder if their relationship will last because they work through their hardships, even when the obstacles are monstrous and ugly. This story is all about an emotional relationship. I felt as if I knew Cameron and Della well, and more importantly, liked them.
Prairie Moon suffers one misstep. At the end of their journey together into Della’s past, there is one heart-wrenching and horrible twist that I truly felt was unnecessary. These two have worked hard to overcome their heartache, but the final resolution to a search they have undertaken together seemed somewhat unbelievable. However, I was still able to enjoy the remainder of this totally character-driven novel, knowing Della and Cameron truly deserved their happy ending. This splendid story is a pleasure to read and I recommend it whole-heartedly, regardless of whether or not you typically read Westerns.
|Review Date:||December 11, 2002|
|Book Type:||Frontier/Western Hist Romance|
|Review Tags:||Frontier Romance | Frontier/Western Historical Romance | Frontiers of the Heart series | Reconstruction era | road romance|