Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Valley of Dreams by Lauraine Snelling - Review 1st book in Wild West Wind series

Cassie Lockwood grew up in a traveling Wild West Show, she is an amazingly skillful trick rider and sharpshooter. Her parents have both passed away and she has continued to travel with the show with "Uncle" Jason, her father's best friend and partner, continuing to manage it. Too late Cassie finds out that "Uncle" Jason was a very poor manager and he's run the show into debt and it's about to be taken by the bank. All of the money she let him keep out of her pay is also gone, except for a roll of bills he hands her when she confronts him after he announces to everyone that they are on their own, out of a job. Jason does let her keep her horse Wind Dancer and the Wagon as her father had owned those, he also lets her keep some of the animals including George, the old buffalo.

Two of the crew go with her, Chief and Micah, in search of the valley of her father's dreams. He talked about the valley in Argus, SD all of the time. They leave very early the morning after the announcement and find themselves in the middle of a blizzard and staying in one spot for several days, they get robbed, and find an injured Indian woman, Runs Like a Deer, along the way.

They reach Argus and meet with some acceptance and some resistance, the community is experiencing some cattle rustling which hasn't occurred for years. Will they be blamed for this, after all they are new in town and their group includes two Indians? Some people are friendly and a few try to chase them out of town because of the Chief and Runs Like a Deer.

Oh Lauraine! You really did leave me hanging at the end of this book. I got the second book in the series, Whispers in the Wind, to review for Bethany House but did not want to read it until I read the first one so I bought it, and boy am I glad I did. I had a hard time getting into the book, it took me until about the 8th chapter, but was so glad I continued, and people, DON'T read this series out of sequence! The way Lauraine ends Valley of Dreams, you absolutely have to continue reading.

I've read so many Lauraine Snelling's books, all of the Red River of the North, Return to Red River, Daughters of Blessing, Home to Blessing and Dakotah Treasures series and have loved them all. I think this series will be worth my time also, she has not let me down. Keep up the good work Lauraine and I would suggest if you like her writing, do NOT pass this series up.