Saturday, February 6, 2021

Waltz In The Wilderness By Kathleen Denly

Waltz in the Wilderness
by Kathleen Denly
Publisher: Wild Heart Books
ISBN: 978-1942265153

Huge thank you to Kathleen for reaching out to me and asking me to review her book! Thankful to this introduction to her writing. She sent me her book for this review.

Summary:

She's desperate to find her missing father. His conscience demands he risk all to help. 

Eliza Brooks is haunted by her role in her mother's death, so she'll do anything to find her missing pa—even if it means sneaking aboard a southbound ship. When those meant to protect her abandon and betray her instead, a family friend's unexpected assistance is a blessing she can't refuse.

Daniel Clarke came to California to make his fortune, and a stable job as a San Francisco carpenter has earned him more than most have scraped from the local goldfields. But it's been four years since he left Massachusetts and his fiancée is impatient for his return. Bound for home at last, Daniel Clarke finds his heart and plans challenged by a tenacious young woman with haunted eyes. Though every word he utters seems to offend her, he is determined to see her safely returned to her father. Even if that means risking his fragile engagement.

When disaster befalls them in the remote wilderness of the Southern California mountains, true feelings are revealed, and both must face heart-rending decisions. But how to decide when every choice before them leads to someone getting hurt?

My Review:

If you are a fan of the time period of the gold rush, (unexpected) adventure, and strong characters, you'll enjoy Waltz in the Wilderness!

It was so funny when I started the book because at first I thought I was mixed up and the story was about a boy, not a girl. It didn't take long to understand my mixup. What's a dad to do when he's in the wilderness with a teen girl? Make her look like a boy! It gives us good insight into the main character of Eli(za).

Eliza is left with her Uncle Henry and Aunt who is a wretched piece of work. I tell you what, I could not for the life of me figure out WHY he married her or what he ever saw in her. Jeepers. I guess that's a consideration for another day. Anyhow, I could see why Eliza would want to leave them after a few years. That and the fact that her Pa stopped writing her! This is a gal who is extremely independent and was her pa's caretaker for so many years.

Enter Daniel. He works for Uncle Henry, but is heading back to Boston to marry his fiancé. Dear Alice, who he hasn't heard from in months. Of course he meets Eliza just before he's headed out and she decides to go find her Pa. They end up on the same ship and Daniel unwittingly becomes her chaperone. Enter a shipwreck that probably saves Eliza from danger and things are literally uphill from there.

Isn't it funny how we become so involved in these characters lives and their stories? There's a scene towards the end where Daniel and Eliza are almost forced to marry each other and I was all, hold up wait a minute... what about the scene prior to this when we heard about someone else's story that seemed vaguely familiar, huh? lol Thankfully that little misunderstanding makes a bit more sense at the end, but I was seriously annoyed with one of the characters at the time. Ha!

I enjoyed the wilderness of the wee, little towns we now know as sprawling cities. It's easy to forget what it used to be like, but the author sets it up to give us readers a visual of what it must've been like there in that time.

Oh, and I almost forgot, I enjoyed how the author went back and forth between the west coast and the east coast where Alice was. Instead of her just ending up in California we see what the catalyst was for her and her brother to be sailing away. Let's just say that even in 2021 it would've been shocking. Back in mid-1800s I'd have liked to knock some heads. Thank you, Richard for doing that for me. * wink *

An overall enjoyable book for a time period that I love!

About the Author:

Kathleen Denly lives in sunny Southern California with her loving husband, four young children, and two cats. As a member of the adoption and foster community, children in need are a cause dear to her heart and she finds they make frequent appearances in her stories. When she isn’t writing, researching, or caring for children, Kathleen spends her time reading, visiting historical sites, hiking, and crafting.
Kathleen tied for Second Place in the 2017 Badge of Honor Contest and won first place in the historical romance category of the ACFW First Impressions Contest in 2017. She is also a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and the San Diego Christian Writers’ Guild.

1 comments:

Kathleen Denly said...

I literally laughed out loud over your parting comment about Richard. I'm so glad you enjoyed this story. It's tricky writing characters with flaws that make them initially a bit annoying, but I love seeing how God changes people. The same with misunderstandings. Those can make things very frustrating and damage relationships but I love seeing how God uses those circumstances to help people change and grow. That's one of my favorite parts of book two in this series, Sing in the Sunlight. Major misunderstandings have huge consequences. I have a feeling that you'll be glad to know Richard is the hero of that one. ;)

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