12 April 2012

Dawn Comes Early by Margaret Brownley

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Looking for a woman of good character and pleasant disposition willing to learn the ranching business in Arizona territory. Must be SINGLE and prepared to remain so now and forever more. Will be given ownership of ranch. –Eleanor Walker

Disgraced dime novelist Kate Tenney fled the city that banned her latest book for a fresh start at a cattle ranch in the Arizona Territory. She hopes ranching turns out to be as romantic as she portrayed it in her novels.

But what awaits her is a much harder life. There is no room for mistakes on a working cattle ranch in 1895, and Kate is ill-prepared for her new life. She quickly learns that dawn comes early… every day. But she is tenacious.

Having been abandoned by a string of men, Kate has no intention of ever marrying. But she didn’t expect to meet Luke Adams either. Luke awakens feelings inside Kate she doesn’t recognize, and his steady presence is a constant distraction. She has only written about love in the past, never known it herself. But her feelings for Luke stand in the way of all she has to gain if she is chosen as the heir.

Perhaps God brought Kate to the barrenness of the desert to give new life to her jaded heart.

Throughout the novel, Brownley does a beautiful job of developing the conflict Kate feels about her two choices. Though I had a pretty good guess about what was going to happen in the end, I remained on the edge of my seat until the final pages. It was not a complicated read by any means, but I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of this novel – the western setting, the characters, the adventure, the romance. Brownley provided me with a much-needed break from present-day suburbia and taught me a bit about living on a ranch, allowing me to learn along with Kate. I would recommend this book to anyone with an interest in romantic historical fiction, particularly in the West, and I truly appreciate BookSneeze for providing me with a free copy of this novel and the opportunity to review it.