Adelle Laudan is an author with a mission: Since she loves "riding the wind" on her motorcycle, her ambition is to introduce mainstream readers to the biking world as she lives it--a world where people enjoy the feel of the wind on their faces--and the many good men and women who inhabit that world. Some are rough around the edges, to be sure, but they are family-oriented, just like you and me.
Iron Horse Rider is the first book in a series and, even though short, it kept me glued to my seat, wondering what would happen to Shane after he loses his beloved wife Kelly. My heart breaks for Shane because before he meets Kelly he has no family, only a group of bikers who adopt him into their family.
When Shane was a child, his father had ridden off and never returned, leaving his mother to cope alone. She developed her own problems, thus leaving Shane to fend for himself. Shane is determined to remain a bachelor, so can't believe his good fortune when he falls head over heels for Kelly and she agrees to marry him.
Ten years into a happy, ideal marriage, tragedy strikes and Kelly is killed in a motorcycle accident. Her death hits him so hard he can't remain in their home where everything reminds him of her. So, like his father before him, he rides off "into the wind" on his "iron horse" that he fondly calls Belle.
Who is the mysterious, ghostly stranger who just "happens" to be everywhere that Shane camps along the way? What happens to Shane when he is "directed" to an Indian Camp and meets Chief Gray Owl and his beautiful daughter Tia? What connection does the mystery man have with Chief Gray Owl and what valuable life lessons are both trying to teach Shane?
What circumstances in Tia's life obligate him to help her escape the camp and her only known way of life?
But the most eagerly anticipated question that this book answers is: Will Shane get over Kelly's death and embrace a future with Tia? Well, I can't answer any of these questions without spoiling the plot, so you will have to RFY (read for yourself).
As you can see, this is a love story of loss, redemption and hope. It packs a huge wallop into 122 short pages. Author Adelle Laudan's pacing is so spot on, I couldn't wait to see what happened next.
There is some profanity in this book, as expected of our hero who vents his frustration over his tragic loss, but it's believable and the book is very well-written. Iron Horse Rider is a smooth, easy read with a satisfying ending that leaves it open for a sequel.
I understand that Ms. Laudan has written a sequel and I can't wait to read it.
Reviewed by: Betty Dravis, June 2009
Author of "Dream Reachers" (with Chase Von)