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Prairie Moon Mass Market Paperback – October 29, 2002

3.6 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

For ten years, Della Ward has struggled with guilt over the tone of the last letter she sent to her husband, Clarence, before he was killed during the Civil War. Now she is forced to resolve her feelings when gun-slinging lawman James Cameron, who was with her husband when he died, brings her Clarence's last letter and with it an account of his final minutes. But Cameron's calm, cool exterior is deceptive, hiding a guilty secret that he knows he must eventually share, even though it could destroy them both. Set against the stark background of post-Civil War Texas, this well-developed, character-driven Western romance clearly depicts the realities of the times and beautifully describes the developing relationship between Della and James and their reluctance to embrace it. With her classic flair and with great sensitivity, Osborne has penned an intense story of two emotionally fragile people who find healing and hope in their love for each other. Readers will be waiting. Winner of both a RITA Award and the Romance Writers of America's Lifetime Achievement Award, Osborne (The Bride of Willow Creek) lives in Colorado.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.


“One of the best writers in the business.”
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“Wit, style, and class. Maggie Osborne is a storyteller who consistently delivers all three.”


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Ivy Books; Reissue edition (October 29, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804119902
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804119900
  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 0.8 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,281,935 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
Though she has lived a rough and scandalous life, Della Ward has been drilled in the ways of proper society. Despite this, she is drawn to gunslinger Cameron, who appears on her doorstep one day with a last message from her late husband.
The beautiful, young widow has been haunted by her husband's death for years, and by the mistake of giving up her child to her in laws to raise. When Cameron convinces her to go and just see her daughter, even if only from a distance, they set out on a perilous cross country journey that will bring them closer to giving in to the temptation of one another, even though a terrible secret and haunting grief stand between them.
***** A memorable and unique story is told in this novel. Two scarred and troubled individuals find exactly what they need in one another's arms, only to be almost wrenched apart by the truth. The pain they share will touch your heart, and their passion will ignite your blood. *****
Reviewed by Amanda Killgore.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This story of two hurt and broken souls, James Cameron and Della, is an interesting and poignant read. It is hard to actually write a review for this story without giving away too much of the story. James Cameron is a lawman/bounty hunter in the West following the American Civil War in the 1870's. He's running from his past and more importantly, himself. War changes people and after a close up killing during a battle, James is determined not to kill any more and fix things as best as he can by being a lawman and upholding the code of what is right. Unfortunately, this means that he has a lonely existence and really does not care whether he lives or dies (and ironically ends up killing more people because he has such a quick draw and is a legend).
Della lives in Texas and has also had a hard time of things. A Northerner trapped in the South during the War, she marries a young Southern gentleman. His family/mother never accepted her and was abusive towards her. She is young, lost and scared when she writes her husband that she needs him and that she hates him. He dies with that as his last communication from Della and she is racked with guilt about this last correspondence.
James carries around Della's picture for ten years before coming to talk to her. Thus basically STARTS the story. The books centers around their growing feeling for each other and a "quest" for Della to face her in-laws and regain custody of her daughter. James is quiet and does not talk much, but what he does have to say is incredible. My only criticism with the story is that it is a bit slow paced until the end. I like the idea that these two get to spend time together and have their relationship grow slowly, but to me, at points, the story dragged. But, with its wonderful character building and excellent writing, I thoroughly enjoyed Ms. Osbourne's newest release.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I'm a fan of Maggie Osborne's novels. But I found Prairie Moon to be tiresome. Mostly because I just didn't like either Della Ward (the heroine), or James Cameron (the hero.) Della was too self-pitying. Cameron also suffered from his share of overblown angst, but was also a bit cold. The whole 'quest' to find Claire (the daughter Della was forced to give up at 17) was very unsatisfying.

I like Osborne best when she sticks to Americana, but also when the subject matter is a little more upbeat. This novel dwelled a bit too much on the past (the fate of Della's late husband Clarence), and the fate of her child (Claire), and not on the relationship or current situation of either of the main two characters. Because Claire and James' pasts were not that upbeat, I found it a trifle maudlin and not very romantic. My advice? Skip Prairie Moon, unless you simply MUST read an author's entire backlist.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love Maggie Osborne. She has the unique ability of writing flawed characters that worm their way into your heart, and romances that leave you feeling happy and hopeful. I love the way she writes outcasts. Most of her characters live on the edge of society with tortured secrets and pasts that have shaped them into quite complicated people. You get to know her characters on a deep level. And most times you find yourself relating to them in the most unexpected ways. Her writing is always tight and concise and the story moves along beautifully to a happy ending that has always left me with a smile on my face. That wasn't the case with this book.
Prairie Moon is the story of Della, who is living on a farm and mourning a husband she isn't sure she ever loved, but who she was horrible to in a letter she sent to him while he was off fighting. That letter and the words in it haunt her and has shaped the decisions she has made since her husband died. Cameron is a gun slinging lawman who has been made famous in a penny novel that now haunts everything he does. He has a secret he needs to tell Della but he can't bring himself to do it. Instead he tries to find ways to right the wrong he had done to her years ago by helping her find her future. They set off on a journey together that will change and challenge everything they know about themselves and each other.
I found Prairie Moon to be way to long and a bit boring. I honestly didn't like the main characters, Della and Cameron. While they had potential to be really great, I found that they wallowed in their respective miseries through out much of the book and it made reading about them way to painful. The wallowing permeates everything in this book and the romance becomes stale because of it.
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