On the Mountain by Peggy Ann Craig
Publication Date: July 18th 2014
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On a cold and still night, a frightened woman makes a frenzied escape down a wooded mountainside. Fear is her only companion. Silence is her only salvation.
Anna Nicholson had lived all her life under the shadow of prejudice in the remote village high on Mount Louis whose reclusive people were considered as wild and primitive as the wilderness from which they lived. So when she awakes one morning to find herself in a stranger’s barn with a rifle to her face and no memory of how she got there, she is overcome with a gripping fear. Yet, instinctively knew it did not arise from the big and burly cowboy standing directly behind the Winchester rifle or the other nine fierce cowboys who called the ranch home, but instead from a memory she could not recall. One, she feared, in which she was the source. Mistaken for a mute teenage boy, Anna is able to hide unseen and unheard from an evil she could not recall.
Wade Haddock is the rough and tough but lonely cowboy who finds a frightened Anna in his barn. Convinced the isolated wilderness was no place for a woman, he allows Anna to hide away on his sprawling Rocky Mountain ranch believing her to be a mute teenage boy. While gradually succumbing to the bond growing between them, the wall around his guarded heart begins to slowly crumble. Only to discover Anna’s deception. And a memory that could destroy their love.
Anna is frightened of something, but she has no idea what. She knows who she is and she gets glimpses of memories of her family, but has no idea how she ended up on Wade Haddock’s farm or what she’s running from. She instinctively knows that there is something evil that is still hunting her so when Wade offers to let her stay on his homestead she agrees.
Wade thinks that Anna is a boy. Wade’s brother, Prescott, names her Peter so that they don’t have to keep calling her boy and Wade finds that he has a bond with the boy. He thinks of him kind of like a son, in a way, and tries to protect him at every turn.
It is eventually discovered that Anna is a girl and what her true name is. She has never been able to tell anyone because due to the trauma she suffered she’s been mute for almost a year. She finds herself falling deeper in love with Wade every day but feels he can never lover her the way she loves him. He’s not thrilled at her deception and tries to push her away emotionally. He’s not sure what to do with Anna, and his feelings for her confuse him.
This was a darned good book. I really liked the whole premise of the story and very much liked the characters. Anna was pretty fearful of everything so I couldn’t necessarily get a bead on who exactly she was when she wasn’t living in fear. I wanted to see Anna’s true self but unfortunately we never got to see that.
Wade was definitely the epitome of the strong, silent type. He kept his thoughts and feelings close to his vest and even up until almost the very end of the book I was wondering what his true feelings for Anna were. I figured he loved her but he had quite the odd way of showing it, I must say.
The secondary characters in the story were wonderful. Wade’s brother Prescott and their sister, Katherine were both lovely people who truly cared about both Wade and Anna. Prescott’s girlfriend, Elizabeth, and the ranch hands also added to the story quite well and were definitely needed to round it all out.
My issues with story were twofold. I felt that there were large parts of the story that seemed to be filler. I think that the book would have been a stronger, tighter, more satisfying read if I hadn’t had to wade through that excess. The other issue – and this was the biggest – was the constantly misspelled words in the story. For the most part there were no typos in the story but then I’d get to a word and it would be completely wrong. A few examples:
Shutter when it was supposed to be shudder.
Bare when it was supposed to be bear.
Patients when it was supposed to be patience.
Through when it was supposed to threw.
That only names a few. This happened consistently in the story and drove me more than a little batty. I guess I was frustrated because the rest of the book was well written and when these words popped up it threw me out of the story completely.
Despite my issues with the book I did find it quite enjoyable and would definitely recommend it if you are a fan of western historical romance.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5