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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Wagonmaster

The Wagonmaster by Nita Wick
Publisher: Freya's Bower
Genre: Historical (American west)
Length: Full
Heat Level: spicy
Book Rating: 4.5 Books
Reviewed by Lilac

Medical school taught Dr. Adelaide Jennings that there is no cure for her father's consumption. Determined to reach him in Oregon before the disease claims him, Addie will risk anything. Even her own life.

Joshua Reynolds escorts people along the arduous and often dangerous Oregon Trail. He cannot force the members of the train to allow an unwed woman to join them. But the foolish doctor is determined to make the journey, even if she has to go alone. To protect the willful, spoiled young woman, Josh agrees to marry Addie in name only.

Together they embark on a journey that tests their mettle, challenges their beliefs, and inflames their senses.

Can Josh resist the temptation to make the marriage a real one? Can Addie ignore the fascinating attraction she feels for the wagonmaster? And will they make it to Oregon alive?

This wonderful western features the spunky Dr. Adelaide Jennings. Determined to get to her dying father, Addie hopes to join a wagon train headed west, but when they refuse to allow a single woman to travel with them she must come up with a new plan. So she approaches wagonmaster, Joshua Reynolds and asks him to marry her in name only so she can travel west with the wagon train. Once they reach their destination they can legally end the marriage.

Haunted by the death of his first wife, Josh is reluctant to get involved with Addie, but knows the independent young woman needs the protection that the wagon train could provide if she is going to head west so he agrees to her plan.

But as the train travels west, the reluctant couple finds themselves growing closer and Addie wonders if she truly wants her marriage to Josh to end. Josh also wonders the same, but haunted by his past and believing that he doesn’t deserve Addie, Josh is determined to let her go once they reach Oregon.

This touching story featured a wonderful couple that I truly loved. I felt for Josh and Addie as they fought their attraction. Haunted the past, Josh was reluctant to care for Addie and battles his feelings as he comes to know her better and tries to protect her. Addie also struggles with her own feelings for Josh as she fights to maintain her independence while falling for the handsome wagonmaster. I really enjoyed their relationship from the bickering to the passion and believe that they were meant for one another.

In addition to the romance of the story, I felt the book provided an interesting look at a female in a male-dominated profession in the past. As a female doctor, Addie faces prejudice from those on the wagontrain, but because of her experiences in medical school, she is used to the feelings and comments. Still, she earns the respect of those on the wagontrain as well as the respect of Josh as she helps them through illness and injury along the journey. I thought this situation was handled wonderfully and was believable.

The Wagonmaster is a great read for fans of western romances featuring feisty heroines.