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Sep 30, 2014
A Land to Call Home (Red River of the North, #3)A Land to Call Home by Lauraine Snelling
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Ingeborg's youngest brother-in-law, Hjelmer Bjorklund, beat a hasty retreat from their North Dakota homestead in front of an angry father with a shotgun. Confessing his innocence the entire time, he pledges to come home to the girl he loves, Penny Sjornson. But after months without a single letter, the entire family is left wondering if Hjelmer is alive or dead.

Kaaren gives birth to premature twin girls. Her sister, Solveig, is due to arrive, but instead of being helpful with the twins, Solveig is seriously injured in a railroad accident. Everyday life becomes a struggle to survive.

If the railroad would map it's expansion through the Bjorklund's land, life would be so much easier. But will it? And who can find out? Will their tiny corner of the prairie become a real town... or not?
Sep 15, 2014
Love's Fortune (The Ballantyne Legacy #3)Love's Fortune by Laura Frantz
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

She has a way with a story, does Ms. Frantz. Love's Fortune doesn't disappoint. This is the third in a series and I haven't read the first two, but it reads just fine as a stand alone story. (Although I will be purchasing those first two books - soon!)

Wren Ballantyne grew up in rustic, pre-Civil War Kentucky. After her mother's death and mourning period, Wren and her father move to Pennsylvania with his relatives. His very wealthy relatives. Wren finds herself thrust into a world and a life she never wanted.

James Sackett may be Silas Ballantyne's right-hand man, and the best river captain of the Ballantyne fleet, but he has no business falling in love with his boss's granddaughter... and he knows it. Not only was he not born to nobility, he has a price on his head.

The characters are deep, believable, and soon become the reader's friends. Struggles, twists, villains, danger, love... plenty to keep the pages turning. I highly recommend this book!

This is the third book I've read by Laura Frantz and this is the third one I've given 5 stars. Here are my reviews of The Colonel's Lady and Courting Marrow Little.
Sep 3, 2014
A Light in the WildernessA Light in the Wilderness by Jane Kirkpatrick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

While reading through this I kept thinking how "real" the story was. Well researched and plausible, the characters fleshed out, with strengths and weaknesses, and understandable motivations. Then I read the epilogue and learned that it is based on a true story. Well. Duh.

Jane Kirkpatrick brings to life the story of Letitia Carson. Born a slave and later freed, Letitia navigates the unsettled landscape of pre-Civil War America. Moved from Kentucky to Missouri, she finds a place with Davey Carson. Together they make the trek westward to the Oregon Territory. At each point along the way, Letitia struggles to overcome not only physical hardship, but deep-seated prejudice. Yet she also finds friendship - and love - on the raw frontier.

Not a cozy read, this book takes us deeper into the growing pains of our nation. It also unleashes the hardships faced by women on the frontier. This is not a romance white-wash of the journey. This is gritty, sometimes ugly, but also inspiring as we watch the characters grow and change with the rugged countryside.