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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New Historical, 21 Feb 2011
By 
Mrs. Leanne A. Lingwood (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Beneath The Shining Mountains (Kindle Edition)
Moon Hawk wants Winter Man to notice her so with the advice of her mother they start a game for him to notice her but with all games they don't always follow the rules and people get hurt. Winter Man needs to make amends and make things right between the family and him.

This was an interesting read as it was completely different to all the other romances I have read and it was a nice change. It was a good book and in some parts it really made you feel for the characters and just wish that everything would out between the pair.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pacey and fascinating - a refreshing change., 25 April 2012
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This review is from: Beneath The Shining Mountains (Kindle Edition)
I was unsure as to whether or not Linda Acaster's Beneath the Shining Mountains would be my kind of story but I was curious to dip my toe into something different, and I embarked upon the novel with an open mind.

What an eye-opener! Linda's excellent research has culminated in a story with believable characters cleverly brought to life by her descriptions and the exciting development of the storyline. It opens up a new world revealing the culture of the Native Americans, their spiritual beliefs and their customs, the likes of which, in my experience, has rarely been portrayed in previous books or films.

The story tells of the developing romance between two young members of the Apsaroke tribe, Moon Hawk and Winter Man, each character having a reputation to maintain, Winter Man to prove he is an excellent warrior, and Moon Hawk to remain chaste and maintain her innocence. Throughout the story, within the face of adversity, they encounter both joy and elation but not without setbacks created mainly through the jealousy of other members of the tribe.

I found the story pacey and fascinating and the hooks kept me driving on until the novel was complete. If you're looking for a refreshing change from the traditional romance or the vampire/paranormal genres, Beneath the Shining Mountains is something different. Give it a whirl. You won't be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Love Story with Depth and Intelligence., 26 April 2011
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This review is from: Beneath The Shining Mountains (Kindle Edition)
In `Beneath the Shining Mountains, Linda Acaster brings to life a tribal myth of the Native Americans in a way that thoroughly engages the reader. Always meticulous and comprehensive in her research, Linda has managed to catch the attitudes, beliefs and customs of these proud and ancient peoples, employing a love story to bring alive a tradition now sadly lost. Her heroine is drawn with such empathy that the reader feels every doubt, every triumph, every sorrow and every passion as she strives to understand her world and her place within it.

That this is a book Linda wrote early in her career is evident from minor faults that she would avoid now. But these are both few and almost inconsequential when compared with the quality of most of the writing.

All the stereotypes we learnt as children, crowding round the TV or visiting the cinema to watch the westerns we embraced, are utterly destroyed as she clothes her characters with the flesh of real human beings. With a subtlety that permits her people to worm their way into our affections, she undermines our prejudices and reveals those we were told were savages as civilised, complex and spiritually profound individuals.

Reading this novel, I was transported to a different world, where priorities changed according the seasons and the needs of the tribe. I felt the anxieties of the hero, his great desire to be the man his peers and followers wished him to become, his confusion as he experienced love for the first time and slowly recognised that this was what it was.

The antagonists are drawn with equal understanding; the pressure to succeed and become respected figures, within a society that demands a great deal from its heroes, is tangible. Failure is so absolute in its consequences that those who desert honour for personal gain are rewarded with a fate worse than death.

This tale of love amongst a tribe that once freely roamed the plains and mountain passes of the great American west is vibrant, funny, poignant, occasionally erotic, moving, illuminating and romantic.

I thoroughly enjoyed it and recommend it to all who love a good story, regardless of gender. A damn good read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unusual romance, 19 May 2014
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This review is from: Beneath The Shining Mountains (Kindle Edition)
I was fascinated from the start by the breadth and depth of the author's knowledge of such a different culture. This made the journey of the romance unusual and compelling as the obstacles faced by Moon Hawk and Winter Man arise naturally from their surroundings and the traditions and customs of their tribe - and yet I was able to immerse myself in their lives and feel for them. Very impressive.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enthralling, 2 Mar 2014
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This review is from: Beneath The Shining Mountains (Kindle Edition)
Completely absorbing with great depth of understanding and knowledge of the American Indian history,the tribal rituals and personal relationships .
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gem of a Story, 25 Feb 2011
By 
Toni V. Sweeney (Orange County, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beneath The Shining Mountains (Kindle Edition)
The time is the late 1830's; the place what is now Wyoming and Montana; the people the Apsaroke. Moon Hawk is a young woman ready for marriage but she doesn't want to marry just any of the young men of her tribe. She has a special husband in mind...Winter Man, the bravest, most handsome of them all. Unfortunately, Winter Man has many lovers and isn't about to give up his freedom to settle down with just one woman. So Moon Hawk, aided by her mother, Little Face, conspires to make the elusive young man fall in love with her. And so begins a game of give-as-good-as-gets. No matter what she does, no matter to enticements, it doesn't seem to work. Winter Man isn't about to be railroaded into marriage so easily. For every trick Moon Hawk uses, he has some of his own. One backfires, however, when he sends every young man in the village to pretend to court her and leave gifts at her tipi entrance. This not only embarrasses Moon Hawk but shames her family as well, and Winter Man expects retaliation from her brothers and father, to follow. During a buffalo hunt, he's certain Bear on the Flat intends to kill him to avenge the family honor and make it look like an accident. At the last moment, however, Moon Hawk's father discards his plan and both he and Winter Man are injured by the stampeding herd. While they wait for help to arrive, Bear on the Flat informs the younger man that he has decided he will become his son-in-law, and apparently Winter Man has no say-so in it.

As these things work out, Winter Man eventually falls prey to Moon Hawk's beauty and makes her his wife, though he fully expects the passion and joy he finds in the marriage to be transient, and soon to die away as he becomes sated and looses interest in her as he does all the other women he's known. In fact, he's surprised when his happiness continues and wonders why. Moon Hawk is a dutiful wife, he has no argument there. She cooks, she tends the tipi, she cares for him as a good woman should, she reveals a passion quickly awakened by her husband. Still, Winter Man remains aloof because he certain it won't last. He also has other problems to occupy his mind. There was another suitor for his wife's hand, one undeclared, one Moon Hawk secretly refused. Skins the Wolf is another rising young warrior, one who has counted grand coup against his enemies, but an unscrupulous man who doesn't care for the welfare of those he leads and is concerned only with his own glory and rise to power. Skins the Wolf is jealous of Winter Man because he has won Moon Hawk and, unknown to the two lovers, plots his own revenge...seeking a way to shame the warrior, turn the Apsaroke against him, and gain Moon Hawk for his own. The fact that Winter Man is aware that Skins the Wolf has acted dishonorably during a raid on a Shoshone village but kept quiet about it only makes him more determined to rid himself of the man standing in the way of what he wants.

So Skins the Wolf bides his time, watching and waiting, and occasionally making innocuous remarks or doing harmless-seeming acts which Winter Man rightfully interprets in another way, seeing them as unspoken challenges. He is constantly on guard, waiting for Skins the Wolf to declare himself and openly attack yet knowing his enemy is too wily for that. And then, as the tribe moves from one section of the country to another, following the herds of buffalo as the seasons change, Skins the Wolf sees his chance for his revenge...

MY OPINION: This story is a bit of a novelty for two reasons: It was written by a Brit, and it doesn't feature a single White Man in it. There's a mention of the "hairy-faced men from the North," traders, no doubt, but that is all, and that's refreshing, because this is a story of Native Americans on their own, unbothered by conquest by other races, living, loving, and surviving in an era before they were exploited and robbed of their lands and heritage. At first, I just couldn't see why Moon Hawk would want Winter Man, however, because he was clearly conceited, concerned with his own pleasure and satisfaction, and not a man to be tied down to one woman. His reactions to her little intrigues was to turn them back on her with disastrous results, of which he was immediately apologetic. And then she, in turn, would fight back with some other plan which would also end in regret. It was almost like a male Taming of the Shrew, except in some places both Winter Man and Moon Hawk appeared to be playing both Kate and Petruchio's parts. They spent a lot of time arguing and then apologizing. Once I got over this first prejudice against the hero, I enjoyed the story just fine!

From her background and interest in Native Americans, I'm going to accept on faith that the author researched the customs and practices of the Asparoke and the things she describe are authentic and not worry about that. It's a lovely story, interesting in its background of a people who live with Nature, moving with the seasons, following the animals as they migrate, drawing their lives and their loves from the land. The ceremonies the young men go through to be accepted as warriors, going on raids, counting coup, stealing wives, as well as the many aspects of behavior which brings shame and betrayal to not only the perpetrator but his entire family are also explored.

For a fresh look at an old subject, seen through the eyes of Native Americans and not those of the invaders, this novel, previously published in the UK as A Wife for Winter Man is a little gem.
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