I have a special place in my heart for historical stories – this week I’m featuring two favorites. The first takes place in the nineteenth century American West – not a setting we see much in MM. The second is set at the turn of the twentieth century, alternating between England and France. Both stories delve into the issues of prejudice and social disparity without becoming soapbox moments.
Blurb: Gideon Makepeace, a young man of twenty, knows who he is and what he likes: decency, men and women too, horse training, and fun… and in Livingston, Montana, in the lush autumn of 1895, he finds he likes a Lakota Sioux Indian better than he might ought to.
Jedediah Buffalo Bird is seriously wounded and seeking medical care, and Gideon helps Jed when some bigoted townsfolk might have done otherwise. Jed, who knows the wild far better than Gideon and feels indebted to him, agrees to repay him by being his guide to San Francisco.
Their trip takes them across thousands of wild miles, through the mountains men mine and the Indian reservations dotting the plains. Facing a majestic West, they learn from each other about white folks and Indians alike. Gideon’s interest in Jed is clear from the start, but will Jed give up the life he knows for a young, brash white man he has perhaps come to love? Or will he push Gideon away in favor of the peace of nature and the personal freedom of having nothing to lose?
Well Traveled is sort of a road trip story through the last of the old west. Instead of traveling by train from Montana to San Francisco as planned, young Gideon finds himself making the trek on horseback with a Lakota Sioux named Jedediah as his guide. They experience not only a journey of miles, but a journey of the heart. This is a wonderful story of comfort blossoming to love. It showcases the best of the human spirit despite the two men being confronted with the worst of it along the way. Unfortunately, other than the lovely short holiday companion piece to this story, we’ve not seen any other work produced by this author.
This excellent review is by our very own blog hostess!
Blurb: At eighteen Dylan Rutledge has one obsession: music. He believes his destiny is to be the greatest composer of the rapidly approaching twentieth century. Only Laurence Northcliff, a young history master at The Venerable Bede School for Young Gentlemen, believes in Dylan’s talent and encourages his dream, not realizing Dylan is in love with him. But Dylan’s passion and belief in his future come at a high price. They will alienate him from his family and lead him on a rocky path fraught with disappointment, rejection, and devastating loss that kills his dream. A forbidden love could bring the dream back to life and rescue Dylan from despair and bitterness, but does he have the courage to reach out and take it? Will he deny the music that rules his soul?
Counterpoint: Dylan’s Story also features another love of mine: music. This story spans many years, is actually composed of two parts, and indeed allows for the full scope of Dylan’s story. Dylan is a young Englishman whose focus in life is to become a famous composer. He knows what he wants – regarding all of his wants – and he goes for it. His life is filled with hard work, disappointments, love, heartbreaks and successes. This is a hugely sweeping, romantic book, and there is a HEA, yet not in the typical sense. Please read the blurb carefully and have tissues handy when you read the book!
Lou Sylvre – another awesome author – really nailed this one in her review: