Forge, Apr 2002, 23.95, 285 pp.
As the French and Indian War breaks out in North America, hunter and English spy Noah Barnes happens upon a small group of Iroquois trying to abduct teenage Jessica Matthews near her parents cabin in the Pennsylvania Allegheny Mountains. Though the fight is fierce and Jessica's savior is outnumbered Noah wins the battle but is wounded. Perhaps its hero worship or puppy love, but not long afterward Jess decides she wants to marry Noah.
A widower, Noah falls in love with Jess, but he has a mission to complete before they can wed. While he is on his adventures, Indians kill Jess parents and capture her and her sibling. When he learns what happened to his beloved, Jess leaves George Washington on his own personal quest.
In terms of Colonial romance, INTO THE WILDERNESS is similar to most works in the genre. However, what makes this tale superior is that it is more of a historical fiction novel providing the audience a deep account of 1750s America. The story line is loaded with interesting tidbits that cleverly blends and enhances the action especially since the two lead protagonists spend much of the time in separate, but vividly described subplots. Romance readers will enjoy Roseanne Bittner's latest novel while historical fiction fans will welcome a new find.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner