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Saturday, February 20, 2016

Review: Wildest Dreams by Rosanne Bittner


Print Length: 640 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca (January 05, 2016)

From Goodreads.com: A sweeping saga of passion, excitement, and danger...as a beautiful young woman and a rugged ex-soldier struggle against all odds to carve out an empire-and to forge a magnificent love."Lettie McBride knows that joining a wagon train heading West is her chance to begin anew, far from the devastating memories of the night that changed her forever. She doesn't believe she can escape the pain of innocence lost, or feel desire for any man...until she meets Luke Fontaine.

Haunted by his own secrets, Luke would never blame Lettie for what happened in the past. One glance at the pretty redhead is enough to fill the handsome, hard-driving pioneer with a savage hunger.

Against relentless snows, murderous desperadoes, and raiding Sioux, Luke and Lettie will face a heartrending choice: abandon a lawless land before it destroys them, or fight for their Wildest Dreams.



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My Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Overall, the writing is solid as is the concept. The author has a brilliant way with words that allows the reader to become fully immersed in the story, essentially going through the joys and sorrows of these characters. You are able to visualize the land as it must have been back then, from the desperately lonely winters, to the dangers that are hidden everywhere - Wildest Dreams takes you on a wild journey. 

However - as one might expect from a story centered on such an unsettled time in such dangerous territory, this story is not without its tragedies. And there were times when I couldn't help but wonder how one family could endure so much sadness and loss. There almost seemed to be a curse hanging over their heads as just when things seemed to be going well for them, another tragedy would strike them down. 

Don't get me wrong though, even with the depressing topics this story covers, there are also joys. I just wish there had been more time spent on the happier times. 

Which brings me to my biggest issue with this book. It is my opinion that this story would have been better off if it had been broken down into two or three (or maybe even four) shorter stories. Yes - I know I'm usually the first person to complain that I didn't get to spend enough time with characters, however in this case, I feel as though it was a bit too long. And I feel like there were other details that I would have enjoyed reading that were skipped over because they didn't directly involve Luke and Lettie. 

Without giving too much detail away that would spoil it for future readers, I can say that you do spend an entire lifetime with these characters. You watch their children be born and grow to find their own lives and loves, and I wish there had been more details there. Instead of Katie enduring the trauma that she did, and then finding love two years later in a sort of "fast forward" kind of way, I would have enjoyed reading a story that focused on Katie herself - one where although Luke and Lettie were present and we could check in on them, more attention would be spent on Katie herself. The same can be said for their other children as well. 

Even with that, I still very much enjoyed this story and would recommend it to others. Especially those who enjoy a well thought out story that focuses on tough times and even tougher people. 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

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Wildest Dreams is available from Amazon.com

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