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My Heart Belongs in Fort Bliss, Texas: Priscilla's Reveille Kindle Edition
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Although the novel is only 256 pages, it is packed with a lot of substantive writing. The characters are interesting, and the dialogue absorbed my attention. There were historically pertinent incidents that were inserted into the story. I thought the author did a great job with the descriptions and frustrations of battlefield medicine- nine years post-Civil War. A very well thought out story. I would recommend it.
Priscilla is an artist for a women’s clothing mail order catalog where she has a good career and buys the latest fashions at a discount. Upon learning of her brother and sister-in-law’s deaths, she travels from Ohio to West Texas. She plans to bring her twin niece and nephew, Tessa and Timothy, back to Ohio. It never occurs to her to communicate her plans with the Army post.
On the last day of the trip, another passenger is heading to Ft. Bliss to marry her sweetheart. Priscilla would never consider a man in the military after losing her father to the army. She won’t come second to the army again.
Upon arrival, Priscilla learns that her sister-in-law’s brother, the twin’s uncle, made a deathbed promise to his sister to raise the twins. As a Major and post doctor, Elliot has his own quarters where they live with him. At least until the stubborn lady wearing useless fripperies came to the Fort. Priscilla plans to stay until he lets her take the twins, even though she had never even met them. Priscilla now stays in his quarters with the twins and he bunks in with another officer.
Elliot is determined that Timothy and Tessa will stay with him. He has known the children since Priscilla’s brother, Chris, was transferred to Texas. They were his family. Tessa had her own, different plan. She has thought for a while that Uncle Elliot should marry as did one of his friends, Kennekuk, a medicine man of the nearby Kickapoo tribe. Tessa, in all of her seven-year-old wisdom, thought that Elliot and Priscilla should get married and be a real family. But both adults stay committed to their individual choices.
Priscilla and Elliot are three-dimensional people. Either could step into 1874 America and function in their respective positions. Other characters, such as Colonel and Mrs. Bracken, Fern and her lieutenant hubby, Samson and Kennekuk are defined as well as needed for their roles. I like Priscilla, and laughed at her description of Texas as I have felt that way at times about the SW desert. I also like Elliot; he is a Christian man living as he believes he should, including honoring the twins’ parents’ ways of raising them. I enjoyed Priscilla even more when troubles begin to arise in the camp and she finds herself working above and beyond her ‘comfort zone’, growing beyond what I could imagine. The twins are adorable. I appreciated Elliot’s view of the local Kickapoo tribesmen.
The plot has twists and turns that make it anything but a predictable romance. Lives of those at the fort, including Priscilla and the children, are at times at stake. Rich descriptions of the desert, the river, and everything from clothing – styled or tattered – to the faith and strength of the characters lends to the intensity of the story. The author is to be applauded for her excellent dialog, descriptions, profound but not preachy faith, and historic research that brings this novel from good to great. I highly recommend ‘My Heart Belongs in Ft. Bliss, Texas’ to women of all ages, and older teens, who enjoy well-written Christian, Historical fiction.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review.
Priscilla Hutchens takes leave from her job as an artist for the Carterson Ladies' Emporium Catalog in Cincinnati, Ohio to go to Fort Bliss in Texas. The book description tells you what she finds when she gets there so I won't repeat it. I will tell you that Priscilla detests Army life. Army first, always. Her father died while out on patrol her mother became estranged from her son, Priscilla’s only sibling when he joined the army. Priscilla has no intention of staying more than a few days to retrieve the twins. But those days turn into weeks and her heart begins to change toward their uncle. She is stronger than Major Dr. Elliot Ryder ever thought she would be. The author does an amazing job of describing normal everyday life in the Fort. There is some action with local and other Indian Tribes. Humorous moments are woven into the story very nicely too. It is the romance slowly develops between Priscilla and Elliot and what was going to happen to the twins that kept my attention.
I loved this book from the first line to the last.
By Erica Vetsch
When Priscilla Hutchens receives word that her brother and his wife have died, she hurries to the rugged and dangerous army post they called home. She's determined to save the young niece and nephew she's never met from the horrors of army life.
To Priscilla's dismay, she can't just whisk the children away to her home in Cincinnati. Culture and refinement are put on hold by the arrogant post surgeon Major Elliot Ryder who shockingly lays claim to the very children she wishes to rescue. He's the uncle she never knew the children had thanks to the estrangement that had divided her family with her brother's enlistment.
Elliot sees no reason for Priscilla to take Tessa and Timothy from the life they've known and he is determined to keep his promise to his sister regarding her children. Unfortunately, Priscilla is as determined as he is when it comes to the children, but he has a history with the children, unlike Priscilla.
Can these two come to an understanding that allows Tessa and Timothy to have what their hearts most desire ~ a family? Or will someone win this battle of wills making sure everyone loses in the end?
This is a sweet book that will leave the reader feeling satisfied when the last page is turned. If you are looking for a gentle, clean read you've found it hidden among the stark openness of Fort Bliss, Texas. Fans of historical romance fiction will enjoy this book that is set in 1874. And there is no need to worry you won't be blushing as you read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a review. All opinions expressed here are my own.