I have been looking forward to seeing what’s become of Sophia after reading the first book. Although I was glad she could leave the ranch and find herself, it was sad to see that move broke up the relationship between her and Tony, the ranch foreman. After five years, Tony calls and tells her that her brothers need her. It’s nice to see that Matt and Cass are still going strong and raising their daughter, but the brothers aren’t getting along and might lose the ranch. Sophia pushes her idea of taking in guests, but instead of pulling together as a family, though, they pull apart. During the family drama, the love that Sophia and Tony had resurfaced. When someone takes matters into their own hands, it starts a reaction where help comes from an unexpected person. I was rooting for not only Sophia and Tony, but the entire family. A wonderful addition to the Shaughnessy family story. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book.
“Hold ‘Em” was a fun romance that I read in one night. Matt spent his time gambling instead of helping with the family ranch. He won a hand from a man who offered up his daughter, Cass, to play his fiancé for a week, to cancel the debt to Matt. She went along with the scheme to make Matt’s grandmother believe he had found happiness before she died. At first, I didn’t like Cass’s father or Matt. I never changed my mind about the father, but Matt grew on me as the story went along. Cass was already engaged to be married in two weeks but never showed a great love for the man who she believed was perfect. So, it was entertaining watching her fight off her growing feelings for Matt and how he went from playing around to developing some serious emotions in a short time frame. The setting was amazing, and I could picture living in the small cabin nestled in the valley. A charming romantic tale, and I will be reading the rest of the series to see what happens next on the ranch.
by Andrew Joyce
Jacob and his family go on the treacherous journey of the Oregon Trail. It was a trail riddled with accidents and death. There is a brief history of each family to understand why they went. None of them seemed prepared for the reality of it. A young woman from the Dakota tribe rescues Jacob on the verge of death. His name changes to Yellow Hair, and he finds a new home. The story follows his journey filled with detailed historical content. Both sides are evenly presented, and the facts and history are well researched, while the story of Yellow Hair was interesting. I found myself heartbroken at the cruelty shown to another human being because of hate, greed, or fear. I was grateful many of those parts were told over shown. That would have made it harder for me to read. This was a unique way to tell the comprehensive history and a story through a white man’s eyes living in a Dakota tribe in Minnesota. It made me think deeply about how difficult it was to cross over the plains into Oregon and California and, on the other side, how greedy and cruel many officials were. Getting to know and appreciate people and their differences is a lesson we can take away from our history, which I found in this story. A powerful and, at times, painful read.
I only post my 4 & 5-star reviews. If I don’t like a book, I won’t finish it. It doesn’t feel right leaving a review in that case, but I have been known to email the author:) Life is too short not to enjoy every book you read!
Embrace your inner child with a huge hug by reading a great book! D. L. Finn