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You’ll recall I reviewed a contemporary novel by Miralee Ferrell not too long ago. In that book, her desire to write from the heart, to encourage, to edify, all came through loud and clear. They just did again, only 130 years earlier.
What, you ask? Let me ‘splain.
Love Finds You in Last Chance California—yes, yes, I know; enough about my guy card, okay?—is a recent addition to Summerside’s “Love Finds You” collection, and the first contribution by Ms. Ferrell. Great debut in the genre!
In it, she takes us back to 1877 California, where she’s crafted a well-researched and tightly written novel inspired by a real person of that era and venue. Our heroine, Alexia “Alex” Travers, has unexpectedly inherited her father’s horse ranch at his untimely death. She strives to keep the ranch solvent, encountering along the way all the resistance and bias you might expect of that period regarding a woman running a ranch full of male wranglers. Add to the mix the romantic interest the community’s now most eligible bachelorette draws—including those more ambitious for her land than smitten by her charm—and a hidden conspiracy to drive her into ruin, and you’ve got a fast-paced story that rarely lets up.
Ms. Ferrell celebrates the grit and determination of an independent woman who is determined to make a success of her father’s legacy. However, along the way she discovers independence is not all it’s cracked up to be. For Alex learns true independence includes dependence upon God, family and good friends—not to mention a very special friend; one who enters her story and her life in a rather inauspicious, but singularly intriguing, way.
If you like stories of the Old West where you can hear the creak of well worn saddle leather, smell pungent sage and aromatic fir, and feel the sweat and satisfaction of taming a wild land at every page turn, this is a good bet.
Oh, did I mention there’s romance? Umm, well, yes, there’s that. But take heart, guys. Somebody gets shot at, too.