Five Star, Jul 2004, 26.95
In 1849 East Texas, Indians attack the home of seventeen years old Rose Donahue and her parents, leaving the daughter as the sole survivor. Trapper Travis Caldwell sees the smoke from the burning cabin and goes to help. Stunned and distraught Rose informs Travis that her Uncle Douglas and Aunt Joanna live in Galveston. He agrees to take her to her relatives.
During the raid, Broken Bear saw the red haired Rose; he decides this white woman belongs to him. He trails Travis and Rose to Galveston, but waits for their return with plans to kill the noted trapper and steal the woman.
In Galveston, Rose learns that her relatives moved on to California. Travis agrees to escort her there by pretending to be her husband. They join a wagon train heading west as an angry frustrated Broken Bear follows. When Indians destroy the wagon train, Travis saves Rose, but now they must journey alone. As they fall in love, the obsessed Broken Bear follows, frustrated by his failures to snatch the woman that he believes belongs to him.
This entertaining historical romance brings to life some of the dangers confronting intrepid travelers journeying to California during the Gold Rush fever. Travis is a heroic individual, but perhaps too perfect while Rose is a courageous person whose adaptability while mourning displays her inner strength. However, broken bear is the fascinating antagonist whose fatal attraction and self-flagellation make him dangerous to anyone nearby including himself. Nancy Stahl furbishes a fine look at a bygone time in which life could accidentally end in a flash for even the most experienced person.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner