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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Misty Dreams by Charlotte Parker

Misty Dreams by Charlotte Parker
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical (Time Travel)
Length: Full (319 pages)
Heat: Spicy
Rating: 3.5 Books
Reviewed by Camellia

Dreamer, Elita La Rue, has always romanticized the stories in her great-great-grandmother’s journal and memorized the photographs of two gunfighters--Wild Bill Hickok and Seth Lucan. If only she could turn back the hands of time to 1876! Playing dress up in her father's theme town, Duke's Wild West, is as good as it gets until a handsome gunfighter appears out of nowhere claiming to be Seth Lucan. Elita is willing to believe his outlandish story in hopes he'll make all her fantasies come true.

Seth Lucan is tired. Tired of being mistaken for his outlaw brother, and tired of dodging bullets. When he arrives in Deadwood, his hopes of making enough money to start over are shattered when he discovers the town has not only become a cesspool of thieves and murderers, but the Lucan name and troubles have followed him. Now he’s faced with a new barrage of bullets, a high-strung lady with a wild imagination, and no way out.

A strange mist emanating from the old blacksmith’s shop may answer both their prayers. Will love be enough to save them from the consequences?
When Seth Lucan of the late nineteenth century gets together with Elita La Rue of the twenty-first century, their lives take on a new dimension. The misty fog that takes them from one century to another is conjured up mysteriously with the reader gaining delightful insight late in the story—subtle foreshadowing paves the way.

In 1876, Deadwood, Dakota Territory, Seth Lucan, running for his life, rides into a misty fog and lands in 2008 Tennessee in an Old West reenactment park owned by Matthew La Rue. Matthew’s twenty-year-old daughter Elita recognizes Seth from her great-great-grandmother’s journal. She takes him under her wing and into her heart while he is still agog at what he sees.

Seth and Elita’s adventures start with his exposure to all the modern conveniences and all the hassles of the twenty-first century. He is delighted with some things and aghast at others, but he is disgusted and hostile about the ways Elita’s father treats her.

Elita’s sense of guilt about her mother having died giving Elita life is augmented by Matthew’s actions and attitude toward her. Her Uncle Arlo and Homer are the only two people that have shown her real love.

When Elita, Seth, and Matthew are transported to nineteenth century Deadwood, Elita and Matthew suffer culture shock. The primitive living conditions prove to be a challenge.

The weaving of historical facts, customs, mores, and genealogy in with the fiction gets tangled at times slowing the progress of the story and, occasionally what Elita says seems out of character. However, the interesting characters like Sadie, Homeless Joe, Hickok, White-eye, and Homer add to the enjoyment of the story as Elita and Seth find love across the centuries. The secondary characters also give the reader a glimpse of human nature as people cope with the crude, raw elements of life in the lawless West of the nineteenth century.

Elita and Seth’s love that emerges from all the chaos lets the reader see that even in physically and emotionally violent times, love abides, sustains, and lifts up, regardless of the century.