Wonderfully Entertaining: "When You Are Near" by Tracie Peterson
about the book....
Come one, come all to the Brookstone Wild West Extravaganza!
After her father's death, Lizzy Brookstone, a trick rider in the all-female Brookstone Wild West Extravaganza, wants nothing more than to quit her role as the star of the show and live a quiet life on her family's ranch. But returning home would bring Wesley DeShazer, the ranch's foreman and the man who broke her heart, back into her life. In addition, the troupe's new manager fears that Lizzy's departure could doom the already cash-strapped show.
Hope grows in Lizzy during a stopover at Fleming Farm. Ella Fleming not only has a natural talent for trick riding and could easily replace Lizzy, but she's eager to join the show to flee a forced betrothal. However, while there, one of the show's wranglers is killed in a manner Lizzy finds suspicious. And during her escape from the farm, Ella stumbles across a secret that could affect all of their lives, as well as the future of the Brookstone Extravaganza.
I just love a good story of a damsel-in-distress who takes matters into her own hands and with pluck and courage does what she needs to get herself out of trouble (well, maybe with a wee bit of help along the way). And Peterson's latest novel features not just one but a group of such women who simply put us men to shame, and I was fascinated by their trick riding (especially since I can barely ride a horse, myself) and sharp-shooting, and their determination to right the wrongs in their life.
Peterson has succeeded at crafting characters that are well outside the norm of what may be expected of them in that day and age, and I honestly wish I could go back in time and meet these characters, they are just that intriguing. And I will admit it's not just the female characters who inspire, but the male characters as well (though of course there are the villains here too!) Peterson has woven in some mystery and suspense, and done an artful job at wrapping up this story while leaving readers hungry for the next book in the series. For those of you readers hungering for romance, have no fear - she has added just the right touch to please both male and female readers alike, and leave them with a smile on their faces.
When You are Near was entertaining from start to finish and I have no doubt that Tracie Peterson's fans are going to absolutely be held spell-bound by this series if the next two are are interesting as this one! I award this novel a solid rating of 4 out of 5 stars.