Travis McMurray is a Texas Ranger who returns home to Whispering Mountain, Texas for a long-awaited visit to his family. Being a Ranger satisfies his wanderlust as that’s who he is. He takes his younger sister to a barn dance and stumbles into Rainey Adams, a green-eyed mysterious woman who kisses him…and then steals his horse. She’s run away from her father who wants to marry her off in a loveless match and is heading to Austin, determined to make it on her own. When Travis becomes gravely wounded, she returns to his side but later disappears again. He’s now determined to find her, convinced that she’s the one.
I’ve had this book on my shelf for years and have wanted to find the time to read something by Jodi Thomas in particular. She’s considered to be the author to read in historical western romance and I can now attest that the hype was well earned. There’s a strong sense of place as the Texas territory feels raw, earthy and just a little bit dangerous. The characters also feel authentic to the era, especially Travis and his two brothers. Even the romance felt dated, as it should have, consistent with relationships in 1854.
There were also a host of secondary characters to round out the story, helping to add context and texture to the primary story. The dangerous element provided a level of suspense and tension I hadn’t expected and it was a wonderful surprise. I enjoyed all aspects of the story, from Travis & Rainey’s developing relationship to the mystery involving outlaws and kidnappings. I’m thankful to the group that chose this series to read as it finally had me dust off this book and read it. If you’re looking for an authentic western story, I highly recommend you give this one a try.
- Release Date: November 7, 2006
- Series: Whispering Mountain #1
- Page Numbers: 384
- Publisher: Berkley