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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ethan's Flight

Ethan's Flight by Victoria Trout and Penelope West
Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Historical; Suspense/Mystery
Length: Full
Heat: Sweet
Rating: 4.5 books
Reviewed by Snapdragon

After being falsely convicted of murder, young Bostonian Ethan Adams is freed by his brother’s daring rescue. The brothers pause their flight in St. Jo, MO, where, homesick and saddle-sore, they plan their future. Changing their names, they barely knock the dust from their clothes before they become involved with a beautiful pair of sisters—who have their own hidden dangers. Living with their aunt, due to their father’s impending insanity, the girls aid their conductor uncle on the Underground Railroad.

Will ETHAN'S FLIGHT garner them all a future, or will the danger drawing nigh and pre-Civil War strife tear their lives, and hearts, apart forever?

Witty dialogue introduces an indeed witty, charming, and oh-so irrepressible main character in Victoria Trout and Penelope West's Ethan's Flight. Nineteenth century America provides the backdrop and, in the early stages, Boston; it's coffee shops, "Old State House Buildings," and other notable places offer a real feel of the environment and times. Descriptions manage to convey not only a strong sense of place, but echo an aura of the emotions of the characters at the time. Later, travels westward will be equally descriptive.

The genuine attachment of the two brothers, Ethan and Edward, gives this work an undercurrent of warmth and hope. Friends and fancies alike seem infected by their humor and mutual regard, and it is clearly demonstrated by their constant teasing. From the first, the reader cannot help but enjoy the brothers' verbal dueling, and we find ourselves hoping that nothing disturb their friendship! It is into the midst of these moments - when we are being completely charmed, that a complete (although plausible) shock arrives, and the desperate mystery of this tale is introduced.

The intrigue is compelling. Trout and West have managed, in the first few pages, to so engage reader sympathy that the very moment disaster strikes, you will read on a terrific panic, as desperate as the characters themselves to see what happens! This is a real mystery, and to say much more about it would be to risk adding spoilers - so, mystery lovers will be thoroughly engaged!

Romance enthusiasts will not be disappointed either. Two lovely sisters, Stephanie and Debora and their (very!) involved family not only turn heads but will effect the direction of the brothers lives. Suddenly, everyone can see issues that are bigger than one single person, and their dedication to helping people will take the brothers, and this story, in a completely unforseen direction.

Beautifully written, engaging storyline and thoroughly admirable characters give this story a 4.5.