Another winner from Lauraine Snelling: My Review of Valley of Dreams (Wild West Wind Book 1)

If you love unique characters and reading about women who refuse to be defined by the societal norm, you're going to love Valley of Dreams.

See below for my latest review:

Publisher: Bethany House (November 1, 2011)

Book Synopsis as provided by publisher:

When Cassie Lockwood's mother died, Cassie began travelling with her father's Wild West Show. Along the way, she became an amazingly skillful trick rider and sharpshooter, likened by some to the famous Annie Oakley. When her father passed away, she continued to work with the show, having nowhere else to go.

Now Cassie has discovered that "Uncle" Jason, the show's manager, has driven the show into debt, and he's absconded with what little money was left. Devastated, Cassie decides to try to find the hidden valley in the Black Hills of South Dakota where her father had dreamed of setting down roots. She has only one clue. She needs to find three huge stones that look like fingers on a giant hand. With Chief, a Sioux Indian who's been with the act for twenty years, and Micah, the head wrangler, she leaves the show and a bundle of heartache behind and begins a wild and daring adventure.

Will they find the valley before winter closes in on them?


Cassie Lockwood is one of those characters that you wish existed in real life. What I wouldn't give to be able to watch someone like her shooting an apple off of a dog's head or shooting the ash off of a cigarette someone is smoking (a talent that might come in handy in convincing someone to give up smoking!). So much about her left a smile on my face, such as her scandalous actions of wearing pants to ride a horse, and her loving relationship with a Buffalo named George.

Lauraine Snelling has absolutely succeeded at creating a host of characters who are entertaining and larger than life. I found myself flying through this book, not because it necessarily had non-stop action or unexpected plot twists (though the book does move at a fairly good pace), but because I simply couldn't wait to see what the characters would do next. I was captivated by all the adventures Cassie was having, which contrasted nicely with the author's portrayal of life on the ranch in the hidden valley Cassie was seeking. The writing was strong, and although some parts were slower than others, I have no doubt that fans of Lauraine Snelling will be utterly pleased with this new series and the promise of more to come in these character's lives. My only complaint is that the end of the story leaves the reader hanging. However am I going to wait for book 2 in the series?

I highly recommend this book and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group.