WILD ROSE PASS
Trans-Pecos Series, Book 1
KAREN HULENE BARTELL
ISBN: Print 978-1-5092-3083-9, Digital 978-1-5092-3084-6/AISN B084ZTC9MR
The Wild Rose Press, Inc.
Western Historical Romance
Rating: 5 Cups
Ben Williams was orphaned and stolen by raiding Indians when he was a mere toddler. Eventually he returns to civilization, but struggles to fit in. Enlisting in the Union Army, he is placed with the Colored troops (African American and Native American) although he is neither. He receives a battlefield commission and continues to serve after the war with Army units in the west involved in the Indian campaigns. Arriving at Fort Davis, he remains odd man out, for all the other officers are West Pointers.
Cadence McShane, whose father commands the remote post, is fascinated with the new officer. Her parents and the rest of the officers and family members; however, expect her to marry James West, an arrogant young lieutenant who is currying favor with Captain McShane. His ‘proposal’ is more like an order, and she refuses, incensed at his attitude. He does not take that well and ugly repercussions erupt. Still, Cadence wants adventure and action, not the tedious routine she sees most officers’ wives endure. But can she achieve that wish?
Although he has misgivings, Ben is drawn to Cadence and the two become friends, causing a bit of scandal and bringing them to the brink of trouble. Can she dare defy tradition and her father’s displeasure to follow her heart? Can Ben leave the Army and make a life for himself and perhaps the woman he is coming to love? With marauding Apaches, outlaw bandits and the dangers posed by wild nature, life is full of risks for them both. Still, one must hope and trust they have the courage, stamina and determination to win through.
Wild Rose Pass is a beautifully crafted story with exceptional historical authenticity in which two delightful and utterly believable characters play out their lives in a vividly painted setting. I was deeply impressed by the author’s skill as a tale weaver and even more with her meticulous adherence to historical accuracy and deft avoidance of allowing modern sensibilities to twist the reality of the period. This is a wonderful beefy novel in the old tradition. I recommend it without reservation.
Reviewer for Coffee Time Romance & More