My Rating: 3 1/2 Stars
Title: Rescued From The River
Author: Stephy Smith
Genre: Historical Romance
Length: 78 Pages
Darkness engulfs Emma Donley as she sits on the banks of the Cache La Poudre River near Fort Collins, Colorado. Harvey Morgan, a trapper, kidnaps her with plans to keep her on the mountain as his woman for the winter. Morgan’s embittered rage turns deadly when her strong-minded escape thwarted his plans.
Kale Tucker hears the gunshot. He fears the worst for the next victim of Morgan. His anger grows persistent when he pulls the blood-soaked body of a beautiful woman from the river.
Doubts of her survival weighs heavy on his shoulders. However, he has to try to save the woman he rescued from the river.
This review is long past due. I should have this one done months ago and I apologize to the author. Several months ago, when I was reviewing books on the Examiner.com website, I reviewed Ms. Smith's other book titled "Lizzie and the Rebel". With that book, while I loved the characters, I felt the pacing was off. Things happened too fast to be realistic and there wasn't really much sense of time passing to make it seem believable. So, to be honest, I was little reluctant to read this one. And when I first sat down to read it, the first few pages, once again, didn't seem realistic to me. Feeling like perhaps I wasn't in the right frame of mind to read it, I decided to put it aside to come back to later. I'm glad I did, though I wish I hadn't waited quite so long.
While Emma may not react in the same way that I would in the very beginning, she redeems herself later. She is a very strong character that will fight when pushed far enough. She may want to be a school teacher, but she is not some timid little mouse that will be pushed around. She fights to escape from the creepy mountain man, Morgan, and she fights to live.
With the first book, pacing was an issue for me. This book handles it much better. You get the sense of time passing and as the two main characters begin to develop feelings for each other it's not necessarily an instant thing the way it seemed in the other one. This is much more realistic to me, and thus more believable. This may be a personal bias on my part but I tend to have issues with pacing in most of the short length novelettes that I read and Ms. Smith did an admirable job with it. There was a couple parts that felt rushed and one part in particular that it would have been nice to know more about what happened, but over all it was nicely handled.
I loved the character of Sally, Kale's mother. She was kind and caring, with a backbone of steel. She made me laugh aloud a couple of times and by the end I just adored her. I also liked Kale's father but he doesn't make many appearances. When he is in there, though, he is memorable. The story of these two, with the background that we got a peak at, would make a fabulous book.
The plot itself is believable and interesting. Without giving too much away, the part with the plague was ingenious, I thought. Again, as I say with most short length books, I would have enjoyed seeing it as a full length novel. There is enough of a plot here to handle it and the details that could have been included with a full length would have been great. I found a couple of mis-spellings/punctuation issues but it was minimal and, honestly, I was enjoying the book enough that I really didn't care.
One thing that I, personally, love about this author is the way she blends in the Native American aspects in her books. It's not in your face. It's not stereotypical. It's not even the main focus of the story. But it's there and it's blended and weaved into the story in a way that is very well done.
I look forward to checking out the next book by this author.