Desert Isle Keeper
Historical western romances used to make up a large part of my reading quota, but in recent years, I’ve found myself gravitating toward other types of romance. However, when I read the blurb for Wild Rain, book two in Beverly Jenkins’ Women Who Dare series, I knew I had to return to the subgenre, even if only temporarily.
Wild Rain seems to have very little to do with Rebel, the first installment in this series. Rebel takes place in New Orleans while Wild Rain is set in the Wyoming territory. Both feature strong, independent women who find love after the Civil War, but that is their only apparent link. Wild Rain works perfectly well as a standalone, but you will encounter a few characters from Temptress, a book in the author’s Old West series.
Most pioneers don’t know what to make of a woman like Spring. Determined never to marry, she lives alone on a ranch, doing all the work herself. She gets along well enough with most of the people living nearby, but she enjoys her own company, rarely seeking others out for more than a short period of time. Spring has experienced a great deal of hardship in her life, but it hasn’t broken her spirit. Instead, it’s made her strong and resilient, the kind of person who refuses to buckle under pressure.
Garrett, a reporter for a black newspaper in Washington D.C., has journeyed to Wyoming in hopes of interviewing Dr. Colton Lee, a Black doctor who has set up practice in a small Wyoming town. Garrett’s father, the owner of the paper, is desperate for readership to keep the newspaper afloat, and Garrett thinks Colt is exactly the kind of successful man their readers will want to learn more about. Unfortunately, Garrett gets caught in a snowstorm on his way to find Dr. Lee, and is rescued by none other than Spring, the doctor’s younger sister.
From the moment Spring and Garrett meet, it’s clear they’re attracted to one another, but fans of the genre know their road to happiness won’t be an easy one. Spring doesn’t want to sacrifice her independence and Garrett’s father wants him to marry a classy society girl back east. Still, the more time these two spend together, the more enamored of each other they become. Their relationship feels so natural and authentic; nothing about their interactions feels forced or fake. Ms. Jenkins has created two headstrong protagonists who practically leap off the page, and if you love cinnamon roll heroes, get ready to fall for Garrett right along with Spring. He’s my favorite type of guy, one who doesn’t hesitate to show his true feelings.
The supporting cast is quirky and interesting, providing the perfect backdrop for the relationship between Garrett and Spring. Not everyone is a fan of Spring’s, and certain people go out of their way to cause trouble, but the villain is dealt with in the perfect way, and although he does create some complications for our hero and heroine, I never doubted their love for one another would triumph in the end.
There’s so much more I could say about this lovely novel, but I’d rather let you discover its magic for yourself. It’s a quick and engaging read, the perfect companion for a cold, snowy afternoon, and I urge you to grab a copy of Wild Rain just as soon as you can.