Friday, September 11, 2009

Rocky Mountain Oasis, by Lynnette Bonner (OakTara)

(Click cover for more information)
Confession: At first, I was fearful this was going to be just another Wild West saga nestled into the dusty piles of rustic romances filling the shelves at the local bookstore. Then I read the first chapter. Many thanks, Ms. Bonner, for allaying my fear.

In Rocky Mountain Oasis, Lynnette spins a tale with a unique twist that keeps your attention from the front cover to the back. Brooke Baker is on her way west, a mail-order bride escaping an abusive past, but with little hope of a less abusive future. And her lack of hope would have been justified, but for Divine intervention through the initiative of one Skylar Jordan of Pierce City, Idaho.

Sky discovers the slovenly Jason Jordan has bought himself a bride. Pricked at the thought of any woman left at the hands of his sot of a cousin, Sky buys the rights to her during one of Jason’s drunken stupors. He meets his unseen, newly betrothed with the chivalrous intention of protecting her from local men less genteel than himself through the coming winter, then granting her the freedom to return east in the spring. But the moment the beautiful girl alights from the stagecoach, his world changes.

Brooke holds the ruggedly handsome Sky—and her own heart—at arm’s length, convinced that all men are like her cruel Uncle Jackson and brutal ex-fiancĂ©, Hank. Fighting her own emotions, and the draw of the kind and thoughtful Sky, she struggles to escape a past that refuses to let her go. The question is, can Sky’s patience and prayers heal the wounds on Brooke’s heart? It’s slow going, and, at times, becomes as agonizing for the reader, it seems, as it is for Sky. But the story is worth the agony.

Ms. Bonner captures the smell of the towering pines and the chill of the mountain air on every page of Rocky Mountain Oasis. She also brings home the power of righteous prayer in purging the dregs of human tragedy. The story is well conceived, and will linger with you long after you’ve read the last line and began researching when Lynnette’s next book is scheduled for release.

By the way, Rocky Mountain Oasis is based upon actual events, people and places. As an added treat, pull up Google Maps on your computer and type in “Pierce, ID” as a keyword. Select the satellite view, zoom out, and you’ll get a great visual of what Ms. Bonner does such a fine job of describing. You can feel the trip from Pierce City westward to Lewiston almost as Sky and Brooke did as they wound down mountain paths and forded rocky river beds. Neat story!


Lynnette Bonner said...

Thanks for such a nice review, Bruce. I'm glad you enjoyed the story. :) And I really appreciate the fact that you took time to blog about it. :)

Incidentally, the courthouse mentioned in my book is still standing in Pierce today. It has been renovated into a museum, but what a neat feeling to stand in a building that has seen so much time, so much of the critical history of our country, pass. Oh, how this historical fiction writer wishes wood could talk! :)

Bruce Judisch said...

It would be interesting to visit Pierce. I like novels that take place in actual settings; it gives me the desire to go there and imagine the story taking place.

Cheers! Bruce

Anonymous said...

This one I'll be picking up soon. I really enjoy the mail order bride stuff...along with the orphan trains that went out west. Very interesting stuff.

Bruce Judisch said...

Enjoy, Jennifer. It's a good story; even more interesting in that the backdrop comprises actual historical events.

Cheers! Bruce