The Colonel's Widow
Some books may look ordinary, but hold special surprises. If you love Westerns, you really ought to do yourself a favor and check out The Colonel’s Widow. Amanda Green, a nurse for the Union, was widowed in the Civil War, and soon after her husband’s death she is confronted by angry townspeople. Amanda’s late husband, a banker, invested their money with a man who promptly fled West. Though Amanda’s not responsible, she feels obligated to set things right, and heads out to the Arizona Territory to track the culprit. Sheriff Wade Denton is none too pleased when Amanda announces she’ll be accompanying him into the desert to find the lost money, but she won’t change her mind, so the two set out together. After saving each other’s lives and returning to the town of Mineral Wells, circumstances (and nosy townspeople!) bind them much more closely than they expected.
Amanda and Wade are strongly attracted to each other, but each has reasons for wanting to avoid a romance. Amanda’s first husband was distant, and she’s not anxious to get into another marriage for less than love. After a series of mishaps and accidents, Wade feels defeated, and especially doesn’t want a woman in his life.
Amanda and Wade are very well-developed characters. Amanda is my favorite kind of heroine: she’s smart, compassionate, and driven by her sense of honor. She does make some mistakes, but no one’s perfect. Wade is a man of his times; he’s haunted by losing his family’s plantation in the Civil War as well as several loved ones. He’s committed to doing his job and is just as determined as Amanda. The two have brains as well as libidos; their attraction doesn’t stop them from suspecting each other at first, which was a refreshing reflection of how trust is really built.
There were a few clichés in this book I could have done without – the unhappy first marriage, the overly-obvious mystery. But Butler, in her first book, writes with a true admiration for the rough beauty of the West and a devotion to her characters. In a time when many romance readers complain their favorite authors are phoning it in, Butler is obviously writing for the love. I’m happy to recommend The Colonel’s Widow to any romance reader looking for a breath of fresh air.
|Review Date:||December 30, 2000|
|Book Type:||American Historical Romance | Frontier/Western Hist Romance|
|Review Tags:||Frontier Romance | Frontier/Western Historical Romance | Reconstruction era | Western romance|