cover image Rescue in the Wilderness

Rescue in the Wilderness

Andrea Byrd. Wild Heart, $2.99 e-book (196p) ASIN BOBWK9XJXK

Byrd (Smoky Mountain Temper) sets up a slow-burning romance between two wounded souls in this atmospheric late 18th-century series opener. After his sister’s death from smallpox, heartbroken William Cole fled Boston to live a hermetic life in Virginia. One night at a tavern, William overhears a boorish man seeking to wed his daughter, Lucinda, to the winner of a card game. Determined to save her, William finds her before she can be married off and convinces her to escape with him to Kentucky. Lucinda sees William’s offer as an opportunity from God to abandon a miserable life, but also fears she’s unlovable due to her unsightly scars from years of her father’s abuse. William bears his own emotional wounds—he blames himself for his sister’s death—and is drawn to Lucinda because of her beauty and steadfast faith in God. William guides Lucinda and a group of travelers on a perilous trek through the Appalachian Mountains, during which they encounter harsh terrain and an iced-over river crossing. Just as things heat up between Lucinda and William, an attack from a band of Native Americans leaves William’s life in the balance. While the characters feel a bit flat, the fast-paced narrative and fine-grained setting bring this tale of romantic adventure to life. It’s perfect for readers seeking a high-energy, faith-filled escape. (June)