Monday, October 28, 2013

Runaway Brides all Found

bride of the high country On Sunday, I started the last book in Kaki Warner’s Runaway Brides trilogy.  On Monday, I finished it.  The final book, Bride of the High Country, is a wonderful read, back in Mrs. Warner’s original style of Heartbreak Creek and Pieces of Sky.   As you can tell, I had a hard time putting it down.

Bride of the High Country does have its sex scenes, but they’re far more romantic and less raunchy than those in Colorado DawnBride of the High Country is first and foremost a love story, and then a romance novel.  It’s also the story of strength, softening and survival.

The final novel in the Runaway Brides trilogy tells the story of Lucinda Hathaway, the New York society woman first introduced in Heartbreak Creek as a fellow train-passenger headed West with Maddie, Edwina and Pru.  The first novel was Edwina’s story; the second, Maddie’s.  Now it’s Lucinda’s turn, and the story starts back several years with Lucinda as a 12 year-old orphan in New York’s Five Points area.

Much like Jessica in Pieces of Sky, Lucinda is running from painful memories in her past.  Running towards an unknown destination that takes her to America’s post-Civil War Wild West.  Of course, one can never out-run the past and Lucinda is forced to face hers.  The story is well-told and beautiful – though I do have some qualms with the author’s decision to have Lucinda reveal her painful past to her friends on her wedding night.  She could have waited a day!

As the novel progresses from the heartbreaking beginnings in Five Points to the beautiful ending in Heartbreak Creek, it crosses over events from the other novels.  These events are often summed up quickly.  What took pages of suspense and agony in the prior novels are covered by the new main character as if they were rather inconsequential.  Having read the other novels recently, I found myself skimming these passages, “yeah, yeah, I know what happens here, let’s get back to the new story.”  Yet I can see these portions being important for keeping the three novels together as one story. 

Because the trilogy novels overlap in time somewhat, it’d be really neat to read all three of them put together into one book with the perspectives switching around.  Perhaps a bit confusing, but still neat.

Of the three Heartbreak Creek novels, Bride of the High Country is the best-written and most engaging.  It keeps the love story high, the sex scenes tasteful and the death to a minimum.  I’m glad I didn’t let my disappoint with Colorado Dawn dissuade me from reading this book.   And even though this book contains some spoilers for the other novels, I’d actually recommend reading this one first.

Now, what Kaki Warner series to explore next…

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