Desert Isle Keeper
You know you’re in the hands of a master when you part the covers of a Beverly Jenkins book. Wild Rain is no exception to that rule, providing us with a wonderful romance worth falling into impassioned love with.
Spring Lee is a self-possessed woman who lives on her own terms on her own land, ranching on a plot neighboring that of her doctor brother and his bride (see book three in Jenkins’ Old West series, Tempest). She is perfectly content with her life and sees no need to add a husband or family to it.
Reporter Garrett McCray is hoping to shadow Colton Lee for an article he’s writing on Black doctors practicing out west for the Washington, D.C.-based Washington Wasp. While riding in to interview Colton, he’s thrown from his horse and stuck in the middle of a blizzard with an injured knee. Spring spies him on her way home and offers him a ride to safety in her cabin. She offers him medicinal tea – he heats stew for them to eat. His reporter’s curiosity bemuses her, and he is fascinated by her directness. The banter begins. Spring likes pants, her horses, and plain talk; Garrett has never met a woman like her before. He’s soon as fascinated with Spring as he is with his article’s subject, and Spring begins to warm to Garrett’s honest curiosity and gentle ways.
But as Spring and Garrett get closer, complications arise. Spring must come to grips with her grandfather’s impending death – and the awful and understandable reason why they have been estranged for so many years. Garrett, too, must grapple with the fact that he has a job back east –and that he and Spring might, in the end, want different things from life.
Jenkins never hesitates to give the reader just what they want and Wild Rain is a perfect, touching and romantic tale.
Spring is a wonderful heroine, self-reliant, with a dry sense of wit that is very appealing. Her independence has its basis in a heartbreaking reason, but Garrett helps to heal her heart.
Garrett is sweet, and even more importantly, he has the curiosity and instincts of a reporter. So many authors forget to make their reporter characters sound like actual journalists who are interested in people or places or events, but Jenkins does that brilliantly.
The romance builds slowly and sweetly between them, with Garrett patiently convincing Spring to open up, while Spring’s unique ways charm Garrett utterly. They make adult choices and slowly open up to each other.
You know you’re in for impeccable research when you read a Jenkins romance, and her portrayal of the rise of Jim Crow in Wyoming and the aftermath of native tribes being driven off their land and into reservations is outstanding. The period and flavor of the era is fully intact.
An excellent romance with a wonderful and memorable heroine, Wild Rain gets my highest recommendation.