All Christina Astle wants is to reach Oregon before her baby is born, but the wagon train is attacked, and her husband killed, stranding her in a mountain labyrinth. Raised in the East, within civilization’s embrace, survival is not a skill she’s learned. Neither is evading the lone warrior dogging her trail.
Disgusted by the greed and cruelty of men like his white father, Towan has turned to the simpler existence of his mother’s tribal people. He is not prepared for the fiery woman who threatens to upturn his entire life … and his heart.
Disclaimer: Although I received an electronic copy of this book from the publisher and JustRead Publicity Tours, the words and opinions below are my own.
I realize it’s probably wrong to speak ill of the dead, but my first thought about this book was: who makes his wife travel across country while she’s pregnant? In a covered wagon? In 1859? I mean, we’re not talking speedy air travel here, or a luxury car. And then he leaves her in an attempt to play hero, alone with only a shotgun. Some things just don’t make sense. But Astle’s exit makes room for Towan’s entrance, so there is that.
Heart of a Warrior is a story about trusting the “other,” even when everything you’ve been taught suggests otherwise. The notion that there are white bad guys and Indian good guys upends 19th century normalcy. Yet that’s what happens to Christina. She’s the fish out of water as she spends time in Towan’s world, in a role reversal that had previously seen him feeling equally at odds in the white world. It’s a story that’s part romance and part tragedy. And my only real complaint is that I feel it ended too abruptly.
I don’t want to give too much away, obviously, but I felt that the last part of the book was rushed. I’d have liked more of a look at Towan’s thought processes as he came to a rather major decision at the end. There’s mention of an important conversation he has, but we readers don’t get to witness it. And, while all readers want to see a Happily Ever After (except maybe in Bronte and Dickens novels) in anything with a whiff of romance, I’m certain there would’ve been difficulties along the way. So, I’d have liked an epilogue at least, something that looked at Christina and Towan later in life. Or maybe I’d take a sequel, focusing on Christina’s child. Yeah, a generational series, I could go with that. Instead, I found myself disappointed as this story could’ve been so much more.
Publisher: Pelican Book Group
Publication Date: 01 September 2020
To keep from freezing in the Great White North, Angela K Couch cuddles under quilts with her laptop. Winning short story contests, being a semi-finalist in ACFW’s Genesis Contest, and a finalist in the International Digital Awards also helped warm her up. As a passionate believer in Christ, her faith permeates the stories she tells. Her martial arts training, experience with horses, and appreciation for good romance sneak in there, as well. When not writing, she stays fit (and warm) by chasing after four munchkins.
Angela K Couch’s Website https://angelakcouch.com/