Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Vigilante's Bride by Yvonne Harris

The year is 1884.  The nation is in the midst of a severe depression, jobs are scarce and young Emily McCarthy is being forced to leave Aldersgate Home for Girls, the only home she has ever known.  The wealthy widower, Bartholomew Axel, has advertised for a wife in the Chicago Daily Tribune and the board of directors of Aldersgate has accepted his offer on Emily's behalf.   Young Emily, at the age of 18, with no other prospects in sight, reluctantly agrees to accept the marriage proposal and sets off for the Montana Territory.   
Meanwhile, Luke Sullivan, a handsome young cowboy, who has a personal score to settle with the rich land-owner, Bart Axel, decides to intercept a shipment headed for Axel, unaware that the shipment includes the beautiful Emily, en route to her wedding.   Thus the stage is set for an exciting, sometimes humorous, ofttimes dangerous adventure which includes all the elements of a good Western - cattle rustling, Indian battles, and  gunfights.   Although events that occurred early in his childhood had convinced Luke that God doesn't listen or even hear his prayers,  throughout the pages of this book Luke learns how wrong he was as the writer skillfully brings him to a place of spiritual renewal and a new life.

The Vigilante's Bride is not the kind of book that is normally found on my reading table.  I tend to gravitate more toward contemporary fiction and usually avoid books that take place before 1950.  However, when I first heard about this book, I was intrigued by the sound of it and decided to give it a try.  I was not sorry.  Yvonne Harris has written a truly engaging account that seems more like fact than fiction.  She quickly transports us to a time in our history when the difference between life and death was often measured by who had the fastest reflexes.  The book is historically accurate and the landscape descriptions are so spectacular that it is easy to form a vivid picture of the era.  The characters are not just some two dimensional figures, but are realistic and extremely true-to-life in their dialogue and actions.  The plot is well developed and the pace does not lag but continually builds to the very satisfying finale.  I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Vigilante's Bride and look forward to more books in this genre by Yvonne Harris.  

About the author:

Yvonne Harris earned a BS in Education from the University of Hartford and has taught throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic. Unofficially retired from teaching, she teaches writing at Burlington County College in southern New Jersey, where she resides. She is a three-time finalist for the Golden Heart, once for The Vigilante’s Bride, which is her debut historical romance novel.

A copy of this book  was provided to me by Bethany House Publishers for review purposes.  I received no compensation for this review nor was I under any obligation to provide a favorable review.  All comments are the true and unsolicited observations of this writer.

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