Mira, Sep 2003, 6.50, 400pp.
In 1807, Colonel Pike led a military expedition starting in St. Louis and exploring the Louisiana Territory. The team split in half with one group led Lieutenant James Wilkinson, son of a General, leading four soldiers and two Indian guides southward along the Arkansas River.
The Wilkinson party faces hardships with no chance of turning back as the winter and raiding Indians have caused havoc on them. Rifle Sergeant Daniel Morgan hunts for food while the others rest, but finds an old trapper and his son. Henri Chartier welcomes him into camp and shows him some Viking runes only to have a mountain cat kill him. Daniel buries Henri and goes to take the lad with him only to be shocked that he is a she and now a widow. As Daniel protects the half-breed “Little Louise” from his men and pays the bride price to her uncle, he falls in love with her. However, he is married and soon they will learn her connection through Henri to French royalty removes her even further.
This is an excellent historical romance that shows how great marline Lovelace is. Her latest tale is a delightful story that brings vividly to life the early nineteenth century American frontier. The lead couple is a fine duo while the support cast provides the depth that makes this a strong story worth reading by sub-genre fans.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner