I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by CelebrateLit. I was not compensated for this review and all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I was not required to write a positive review.This Treacherous Journey by Misty M. Beller
Series: Heart of the Mountains #1
Published by Misty M. Beller Books, Incorporated on August 2nd 2017
Genres: Fiction, Westerns
A Christian Historical Romance novel.
Widowed and with child, Emma Malcom is fleeing from the reward offered for her arrest. She’s innocent of the dirty dealings her deceased husband orchestrated, but the angry townspeople didn’t stop to listen to her defense before she narrowly escaped with her life. Now, she and her twin brother, Joseph, must battle the mountain wilderness of the Rockies to reach Canada and the clean start she craves. But when a fall from the rocky cliff leaves Joseph wounded and weak, could the strange mountain man they encounter be God’s gift to see them to safety?
Simeon Grant makes bad choices. His deceased wife and twin babies are lost to him now because of his reckless decisions, and the penance he pays by living alone in this mountain wilderness is only a small piece of what he thinks he deserves. When a city woman, heavy with child, appears on his doorstep with her injured brother, her presence resurrects the memories he’s worked so hard to forget. And when she asks for his help to travel deeper into the mountain country, he can’t help wonder why God would force him to relive the same mistakes he’s already suffered through. Or maybe taking these two to safety could be the way to redeem himself.
But when their travels prove more treacherous than he imagined, Simeon finds himself pressing the limits of his ability to keep Emma and her brother safe. Can he overcome the past that haunts him to be the man she needs? Will Emma break through the walls around Simeon’s heart before it’s too late, or will the dangers of these mountains be the end of them all?
I read the bulk of this book during a very rough week. I actually had to postpone the reading and review of this book due to the loss of someone so very close to my heart. Maybe because of this I identified with Simeon a bit too much. Probably I didn’t identify with him enough if the truth be told. Simeon Grant and his newlywed wife Nora left their home in South Carolina for a homestead he had purchased in the Rocky Mountains of Montana Territory. They didn’t know when they left that Nora was pregnant. They thought they had plenty of time to reach their home before the baby came. They didn’t. She gave birth to their twins just a five-ish day ride from their homestead. She passed away and in his grief he allowed the couple that had helped them out to raise his children as their own. All of that made him bitter. All of that pulled him into his isolated mountain man existence. All of that made him who he was when Emma Malcom and her twin brother Joseph come across his homestead after a terrible accident that leaves Joseph with a broken arm. When Simeon realizes that Emma is pregnant his inner battle is heartrending. Is Emma his chance to do things right or is Emma added punishment for what happened to Nora?
Emma is a strong character with a lot of heart and a lot of gumption. While society bred she’s running from the things her husband did to the others in their small Texas community. Things that caused his death and put a bounty on her head. She doesn’t care what she has to do to make it to her aunt’s home in the Canadian Rockies. She doesn’t care who she has to bulldoze to do it. Even the hard shell of Simeon. I liked Emma, she was so very well-rounded and relate-able. Simeon drove me batty. I mean I understand why he made the choices he made. I felt his fears surrounding Emma and her brother. They were society, nearing winter in the heart of the mountains and he was hardened and experienced and knew that what they wanted was going to be hard even for someone experienced. Even though I spent so much time wanting to Gibbs’ smack him I also respected him and his reasons.
This book was very well written. I was drawn into the story and tagging along on their journey. I felt much like them, lost in time. Trying to remember how long they had been climbing mountains. Trying to figure out how much farther they had to go. Have we crossed into Canada yet? I was there with Simeon when he was not only learning to trust himself and his judgement again but learning to trust God again. There was enough action to keep me engaged. There was enough conflict to draw me in. At times I felt like the conflict and drama were too glossed over, too simplified. I also felt like there were times where it was just too easy. I mean we are in the depth of winter, in the elements with boatloads of snow, there are injuries and Indians but it was too simple. Really, that’s my only drawback with this amazing novel.