GENRE: Historical Romance
SERIES: The Soul Mate Tree (Multi-author) – Book 4
About the Book
Jack Billabard, mourning the loss of his wife and baby in childbirth, vows to never to love again. After their funeral at Fort Laramie, he rides into the Wyoming hills beyond the ranch he built for his wife. Through his grieving tears, an ancient tree appears, giving him the hope he doesn’t believe is possible. For the next four years, he acts as a guide on the Oregon Trail, taking families to a new life while his looms lonely and stagnant.
The night before her abusive husband’s death, an ancient tree appears in Sarah Nickelson’s yard as she agonizes over how to survive her marriage. The tree gives her hope she can’t help but reject. After all, a tree doesn’t just appear out of nowhere. After her husband ‘s death, and with no options as a widow in Independence, Missouri, Sarah decides to travel to Oregon City as a Mail Order Bride.
During their trek west on the Oregon Trail, Jack and Sarah encounter one another, each afraid of being hurt again. Can they survive dogs and puppies, wind and rainstorms, Indians and unfavorable fellow passengers, while their love blossoms? Will the tree fulfill its promise?
Read an Excerpt
Since Peter had heard Tommy singing one afternoon, his pure, clear voice filling their house, he had the lamebrained idea of having him literally singing for their supper. The last thing she wanted was for Tommy to spend another night learning the ways of men and women in Independence’s taverns. And with their booming town of three thousand people, there were plenty dens of iniquity to choose from.
In a few months, the city would swell as people wishing to start a new life in the west swarmed in with wagons, oxen, horses, and families. Taverns would explode with men’s last opportunities to get drunk, which meant more crime, fights, and guns going off. Things a young boy didn’t need to see.
Despite her disappointing marriage to Peter, she was content to stay in the two-bedroom log home she’d inherited from her parents when they’d died of the fever. Every once in a while, her husband talked of heading west to Oregon City. Lately, more often than not, she dreamed of him leaving her and Tommy alone and free from his outbursts.
“Darn it, woman, give me the boy. You’re coddling him.”
Behind her, Tommy whimpered against her back. “Shh, Tommy. It’ll be all right.” Her hand brushed against the fireplace poker. Could she hold Peter off with it? He was older, stronger, and angrier. Maybe she could reason with him. She huffed out a breath. As if that had ever worked before.
The Trail to Love is another well-written book in the Soul Mate Tree series from Soul Mate Publishing.
Jack, our hero is, as you’d expect, tough as nails…except when it comes to the memory of his late wife and child. He fights his attraction to the heroine out of determination to avoid another heartbreak.
Sarah, the heroine, is a survivor of an abusive husband and now struggles with the chore of making a new life for herself and her son, Tommy, going so far as to agree to become a mail order bride in exchange for stability. She, too, has no intention of ever risking her heart again.
So much for their plans for a love-less life. As Jack, Sarah, Tommy and an assortment of other travelers work their way along the Oregon Trail, Jack and Sarah find attraction and, eventually, love.
The characters are believable and draw you into their lives. Tommy is adorable, as any four-year-old should be. Sarah’s friends, Mary and Greta, add a lovely dimension to the story as supporting characters.
I had two minor criticisms, the first being the somewhat over-used trope of swearing off love because of a past hurt. Just once, I’d love to see a character purposely look for love again because they believe it’s out there and waiting for them. Secondly, I didn’t like the character of Horace at all. I understood he was there for a purpose, a villain of sorts, but he was way too over the top to be believable. In the real old west, someone would have shot him long before the end of the book.
Neither of these quirks (of mine) should deter you from reading this engaging story, especially if you like steamy love scenes … something Tina does very well!
About the Author
Tina Susedik is an award-winning, multi-published author with books in both fiction and non-fiction, including history, children’s, military books and romances. Her favorite is writing romance stories where her characters live happily ever after. She lives in Northwestern Wisconsin and is a member of Romance Writers of America, Wisconsin Romance Writer’s of America, Wisconsin Writer’s Association, and Sisters In crime. Her twentieth book will be released in November with her Chandler County book, Missing My Heart. Tina also writes spicier romances as Anita Kidesu.
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Tina Susedik will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.
Follow the Tour
This is a four-week review tour. You are welcome to visit as many of the stops as you’d like for even more chances to enter the drawing.
May 2: Locks, Hooks and Books
May 2: Kit ‘N Kabookle
May 9: Long and Short Reviews
May 16: Notes From a Romantic’s Heart
May 16: Bookaholic
May 16: T’s Stuff
May 23: More Books Than Livros
May 23: Andi’s Book Reviews
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It’s been my pleasure hosting fellow Soul Mate author, Tina Susedik for this stop on her tour. Please come back again later in the week for more authors, books and giveaways.