- File Size: 658 KB
- Print Length: 308 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: The Wild Rose Press, Inc; Cactus Rose 1st edition (May 6, 2014)
- Publication Date: May 6, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00K63QO5G
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #721,611 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$16.99|
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Under Starry Skies Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Destitute, the orphaned O’Donnell sisters, Maria and Abigail, are determined to find a new home with their Uncle. Only when they arrive in Golden, Colorado, its to find their uncle murdered and his widow unwelcoming. Abigail continues with her plan to manager the local hotel/bar as planned and shy Maria takes up her duties as the new schoolteacher.
Both women face problems. Maria is frightened by their the wild surroundings and reluctant to lose her position by falling in love with Tye, a local rancher. Abigail can’t accept the help of Brett after she learns he stole the mail although she is drawn to him.
Judy Ann Davis writes a complicated story that kept me reading to find the answers.
Abigail and Maria O’Donnell have hit on some hard times. Their father’s death left them in great debt and have few options other than to head to Colorado to live with an uncle. All well and good until they discovered he was murdered.
I have to be honest and say I didn’t read the blurb to this story before I picked it up, and I honestly believed the heroine was Abigail. The first few chapters are from her point of view and from Tye’s and Maria is barely a blip on the radar (and it was a rather unfavorable blip for me … she came across as weak and whiny). Imagine my surprise when the story veered off from my expectations, and Maria was our heroine! Thankfully, as time passes, Maria grows a spine and by the end of the book is a woman to be admired.
There is a secondary story with Abigail and a potential beau, and I suspect she will be the lead in the next story of this series. Speaking of which, this is apparently the second book in a series, but I had no problem at all sorting things out. Honestly, had I not checked (and had Abigail’s story not been so open-ended), I might not have realized it was part of a series at all, so fear not if you worry about reading it on its own.
The mystery in this story is fairly weak, so if you’re a mystery buff this might not be the best choice. There was never any real doubt as to who killed Uncle Henry, so it’s mostly about trying to prove it and understand why it happened.
I enjoyed the secondary characters, especially Two Bears and Millie, and I also appreciated how relatively independent so many women in this story were (which made it harder for me to believe Maria was that worried about losing her job if she married Tye). Honestly, the conflicts here weren’t that strong, but my fondness for the characters and the writer’s skill at writing kept me turning pages. Yes, the author has remarkable talent with her words. Plot blips aside, her talent for characterization, description, etc., kept me well engaged.
I might not have picked up Under Starry Skies on my own, but I really enjoyed it. More, I really liked Abigail and do hope the author selects her as the heroine for the next book. I’d truly like to see how things turn out for her!
originally posted at long and short reviews
I really enjoyed this book. The characters were relatable and well developed and the plot had plenty of twists and turns to hold my attention, bringing me back to read on my Kindle each night when I went to bed, until I finally finished it. The book is set in the late 1860’s and I liked that the author wove the customs of the time into the story.
Abigail and Maria O’Donnell are sisters who find themselves in desperate circumstances when their father dies in Utah, leaving then in unexpected financial ruin. Finding themselves destitute, they decide to go to the Colorado Territory where their only living relative resides.
It is 1875 and most women are protected from the crasser unpleasantries of the world, but now they have to face life on their own. The sisters are very different in character. In the beginning, one is shy and fearful of the new world they face. The other is a strong woman, who focuses only on what must be done, and negotiates however she must to get them money to travel to Colorado. A few of the choices she makes are downright dangerous, but she does what she feels she has too.
That is how they meet Tye (Tydall) Ashmore, who is willing to take her up on an offer that everyone else has turned down because he has an agenda of his own. Later, he realizes that he has taken on more than he could possibly have imagined and as a consequence, his real agenda might cost all of them their lives.
Tye is actually a rancher. He also speaks many native Indian languages and is often sought out to help the US Army or settlers pass through Indian Territory. He is a kind, honest man and loyal friend and he finds himself in the situation he is in when he first meets the O’Donnell sisters because he is helping a friend, Brett Trumble, commit a nefarious act, in the interest of preserving the man’s reputation and his army record.
When they finally arrive safe and sound in Colorado, the girls discover that the uncle they have traveled to meet has been murdered, and their aunt is not welcoming. Mystery surrounds the murder, and while the community seems to accept Abigail and Maria, it becomes clear that someone does not want them to stay in town. Tye and Brett are protective, staunch supporters and become constant figures in the sisters’ lives.
There was only one thing that I found disconcerting in this book. The reader is immediately introduced to Abigail, and through her actions, Tye comes into the picture. There was enough conflict between the two of them to imagine that they were the main characters in the book, but later the book became focused on the relationship that grew between Tye and Maria. Maria became an outstanding person, but from my point of view Abigail’s personality out shone her all the way to the end.
Still, I did enjoy the book a great deal. It was a good read and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a historical western with a touch of danger, mystery and romance.
Ebook from Netgalley and publishers with thanks. Did purchase my own copy. Opinions are entirely my own.
Kudos to Ms. Davis for holding my interest.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wish the author would write another in this time period