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The Trail to Love (The Soul Mate Tree Book 4) Kindle Edition
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Venture back to the old west with The Trail To Love and fall in love, just like Sarah did. Most of the story takes place during a wagon train to Oregon and poor Sarah is determined to be independent on her way to marry a man she’s never met. Her son, Tommy, is cute as a bug and mostly written in an age appropriate manner. He’s only four, but in those days kids were expected to carry more responsibility than they do now, so some of his behavior may have felt a little older than I’m used to, but didn’t feel out of place in the time.
Jack is a great hero. Devastated by the loss of a wife he loved deeply, and imprisoned by the promise he made to her, he struggles to keep his feelings for Sarah from growing. Thankfully, this is a romance novel, and he fails. Sarah is promised to another mail as a mail order bride, so also needs to deny what she feels. They’re a cute couple and the addition of Tommy made their growing relationship fun, sweet and believable. There is also a wonderful cast of secondary characters as well. Lucky Sarah had a couple great female friends. Mary, from her home town, who helped her figure out what to do when Sarah’s husband died. And Greta who was part of the wagon train and supported, mentored and just cared about Sarah on the trip. I really, really liked Greta.
The author did a good job with the setting, and the descriptions were thorough, but I have to admit that I was so wrapped up in the characters themselves I didn’t really care about where they were. It’s true that the situation couldn’t have happened in another time, but really the story was very much character-centric and, for me anyway, that’s a good thing. I love it when I’m so crazy about the characters I’d read about them doing just about anything.
Only two little things niggled for me. Horace was so evil. All stories should have a good villain, but he was almost a caricature and had literally nothing good. It made me wonder why they even hired him as a guide if his predilections toward women were so well known. His behavior was a bit over the top and didn’t feel as believable as I would have liked. Also, the way she was able to resolve her conundrum with the man in Oregon felt a little too easy, but I have a feeling the tree might have helped a bit with that. *G*
I keep calling this book “sweet”, but know that doesn’t extend to the love scenes. They aren’t numerous, but they are hot and descriptive. Sarah had an abusive marriage so had never been honestly “made love” to before. Jack is definitely up to the job and shows her what real lovemaking is all about.
All in all, a satisfying romance. The Soul Mate Tree is an interesting idea, and I’m enjoying reading how each author incorporates it into their stories and makes it work for them. A great idea and thus far handled in really awesome ways!
originally posted at long and short reviews
The Trail to Love is a beautiful historical love story. Both Jack and Sara feel real with fleshed out backstories and personalities. I especially loved Sarah’s relationship with her son. The mother-child bond was so strong and heartwarming.
The Soul Mate Tree played some truly awesome parts in this story. I love how it showed both Jack and Sarah one another before they ever met. Having read the previous books in this series, I like how each author does something different with the tree. This is the most versatile plant I’ve ever seen. The way the tree was used during love-making scenes in The Trail to Love was great.
Jack, Sarah, and Sarah’s son, weren’t the only characters worth loving. Some of the other traveling along the trail are kind and funny, especially Greta. I appreciate books that give secondary characters as much attention as the main folks. On that note, I really disliked Horace. Not only was he a scumbag, but his character felt a bit overdone—the violent man who takes advantage of women. I think I would have found his character more realistic if he’d hit on other women, but he just obsessed on Sarah, which felt off. I also thought the resolution of Sarah’s arranged marriage came a bit too easily, but these were my only two issues with the book. The rest of it is slow-burning romance, strong characters, and fun from start to finish.