Tumbleweed Letters by Vonnie Davis

LETTER
Tumbleweed Letters by Vonnie Davis
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical
Length: Short Story (95 pgs)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Fern

When rancher and single father Cam McBride finds a letter tucked in a strip of cloth tied to a tumbleweed, he is captivated by the mysterious author. Finding a second tumbleweed letter further pulls him under the lonely writer’s spell. He needs a mother for his little boy and a wife to warm his bed. Could this mysterious woman fill his needs?

Sophie Flannigan is alone, scared, and on the run from a rogue Pinkerton agent. She spends her days as a scrub lady at Madame Dora’s brothel and her nights writing notes to the four winds. Her life holds little hope until a small boy lays claim to her and his handsome father proposes an advantageous arrangement.

Can these three benefit from a marriage of convenience, or will a determined Pinkerton agent destroy their fragile, newly formed bond?

One day, while horseback riding around their ranch, Cam and his young son, Eli stop for some water by a river. Cam discovers a note tied into a tumbleweed. The poignant scrap of paper speaks to his heart, full of longing, yearning and a quiet sort of desperation he understands all too well.

Sophie Flannigan’s job is keeping the local whorehourse spotless – though many believe she works there, Sophie has her pride and merely cleans. Terrified of her past and willing to do her best to outrun it, only her secret letters help ease the helplessness she feels almost every minute. When Cam and Sophie meet they can clearly help with what the other is lacking, and Eli makes his toddler views on the matter plain in a whimsical and lovely manner. Both Sophie and Cam are prisoners to their own pasts. Needing each other far more than they first thought, all too soon they’ll need to make some hard decisions, or live with regret for the rest of their lives.

I really enjoyed when Cam and Eli first meet Sophie in the store. It made me laugh and was a fantastically set scene, showcasing perfectly how the author has managed to blend humour, passion, real-life absurdities and mingled them all into a historical setting. The instant chemistry between Cam and Sophie was lovely – and racy for a Western novel – but it still managed to click together perfectly for me. Despite the amazing attraction and the clarity of how a marriage of convenience would work for both Sophie and Cam I felt that part of the story was a little rushed. The explanation Cam gives Sophie as to why it’s so fast is logical, but as a reader I still would have preferred even just a few scenes with them getting to know each other before getting married. I’d have enjoyed a bit more time between them in this initial stage – maybe even something funny like their first meeting – and think it could have gotten rid of the rushed feel.

The author does an amazing job of filling the story with all the romance, loneliness and history of the Old West. There were a number of plots interwoven and the storyline felt full, gratifying and dense enough I became really engaged in the book as a whole. I read this slowly, relishing each page and thoroughly enjoying the characters and world the author has created. Many of the images painted were wonderful and took my breath away. I really felt that taste of dust on my tongue, and felt the hardships faced by the characters. With complex, three dimensional characters, a solid plot and vibrant setting this is a lovely book and one I’d strongly recommend.

Comments

  1. Thank you for a lovely and indepth review of Tumbleweed Letters. This was my first attempt at writing anything historical, so I was especially nervous my extensive research would read like an info dump. This series has a maximum allowed length of 25,000 words and I thought it a personal challenge to develop indepth characters within this boundary, being the wordy soul that I am. When reviewing a story, you perform an invaluable service to both readers and the author. Thank you for your insight, your honesty and the care with which you compose your reviews.

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