Prairie Moon (Beeler Large Print Series) Hardcover – Large Print, 1 May 2003
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The beautiful, young widow has been haunted by her husband's death for years, and by the mistake of giving up her child to her in laws to raise. When Cameron convinces her to go and just see her daughter, even if only from a distance, they set out on a perilous cross country journey that will bring them closer to giving in to the temptation of one another, even though a terrible secret and haunting grief stand between them.
***** A memorable and unique story is told in this novel. Two scarred and troubled individuals find exactly what they need in one another's arms, only to be almost wrenched apart by the truth. The pain they share will touch your heart, and their passion will ignite your blood. *****
Reviewed by Amanda Killgore.
Della lives in Texas and has also had a hard time of things. A Northerner trapped in the South during the War, she marries a young Southern gentleman. His family/mother never accepted her and was abusive towards her. She is young, lost and scared when she writes her husband that she needs him and that she hates him. He dies with that as his last communication from Della and she is racked with guilt about this last correspondence.
James carries around Della's picture for ten years before coming to talk to her. Thus basically STARTS the story. The books centers around their growing feeling for each other and a "quest" for Della to face her in-laws and regain custody of her daughter. James is quiet and does not talk much, but what he does have to say is incredible. My only criticism with the story is that it is a bit slow paced until the end. I like the idea that these two get to spend time together and have their relationship grow slowly, but to me, at points, the story dragged. But, with its wonderful character building and excellent writing, I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Osbourne's newest release.
I like Osborne best when she sticks to Americana, but also when the subject matter is a little more upbeat. This novel dwelled a bit too much on the past (the fate of Della's late husband Clarence), and the fate of her child (Claire), and not on the relationship or current situation of either of the main two characters. Because Claire and James' pasts were not that upbeat, I found it a trifle maudlin and not very romantic. My advice? Skip Prairie Moon, unless you simply MUST read an author's entire backlist.
Ten years earlier, Della was married to Clarence a Confederate soldier. He was killed in battle. She was pregnant and living with Clarence's parents in Atlanta. The parents didn't like her and sent her to live on a small farm in Texas without her daughter. She receives a small amount of money each month to live on. Della still grieves for her husband and her daughter.
James was a soldier in the Civil War. He was there when Clarence died. Clarence wrote a letter to Della which James has been carrying for ten years. Finally he travels to her Texas home and gives her the letter. He stays a while, fixing things like the barn roof. Now he offers to finance a trip taking her to Atlanta to visit her daughter, and they do this. After the war James became a fast-draw-gunslinger-lawman-bounty hunter. Someone wrote a book about him making him famous. Now he is always on the alert for hot shots who want to kill him and show that they're faster.
This was not a fun romance story. The last fifty pages were kind of good, but I'd throw out the first 300 pages. It was sad, vague, too much pondering. The subject matter was a downer with Della grieving for her lost husband, daughter, and her lost life. And then James was troubled with guilt about killing soldiers during the war. I never understood why James waited ten years to give Clarence's letter to Della. He should have visited her sooner. Finally things start happening at the end. But even then I didn't like some of the things in that part of the story. I didn't like the way Della got mad at James and left him. I didn't like the way they planned for Luke to solve James' problem. I would have done it differently. What they did was too risky. I liked James. He was giving, generous, loving. I admired his skills. He was a lawyer and a fast draw lawman. Nothing pulled me in about Della.
Story length: 358 pages. Swearing language: mild, including religious swear words. Sexual language: mild. Number of sex scenes: 3. Total number of sex scene pages: 7. Setting: Around 1875 Texas, Atlanta, and traveling between. copyright: 2002. Genre: western historical romance.
I've read the following Maggie Osborne books. Dates are copyright dates.
3 ½ stars. The Wives of Bowie Stone 1994
4 stars. The Promise of Jenny Jones 1997
3 stars. A Stranger's Wife 1999
4 stars. I Do, I Do, I Do 2000
4 stars. Silver Lining 2000
2 stars. Prairie Moon 2002