How refreshing to pick up a novel and find a good read.
"Captive Heart" is one despite having a number of what could easily be classified as cliche situations; the outlaw who plucks her from her train isn't so much a ruffian as a desperate father; the romance that develops is filled with a series of misunderstandings and missed cues; the little damaged boy who needs her help is adorable; the wicked ex-wife returns to the scene of the crime; all of these and more could throw the book into the simply-to-be-endured category.
But Utah author Michele Holmes tells the story so well and with such color that instead this is a book that's interesting and easy to enjoy.
The trials that befall these two after they literally fall off the train are many (and in a couple of instances, stretch reality just a bit — since when does a strong snake oil really save one from a rattle snake bite?) but they keep the story moving.
The characters throughout are sketched out well.
The backstory of each one has some heart although each one could be developed into a full-scale novel on its own especially the story of Thayne's encounters with the Lakota Indian tribe hidden in the Black Hills.
"Takes An Arrow" gives up a gold mine for the Lakota and leaves his little boy with them for a lengthy stretch of time. He pushes hard for Native American rights yet it's all just a minor part of the ultimate love story.
Holmes has a talent for her storytelling, a gift for laying out believable dialogue and plot movement. Readers care about the people in this tale and live in the wild west with them for a time.
This is almost a chick flick kind of romance novel with none of the lust that would put it on the tacky list.
For a quick, pleasant read, consider picking this one up.
Sharon Haddock is a professional freelance writer with 30 years experience, 17 of those at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.