She’s been shunned. He’s been exiled. Will two outcasts find love in the winter freeze?
What’s it About?
Colorado, 1853. Samantha Foley is cold, alone, and scared. After being rejected from her wagon train for refusing to marry a man she didn’t love, she must find a way to survive the merciless Colorado winter on her own. When she stumbles into a handsome mountain man, she might be saved… if she can convince him to take her in.
Patrick McCrery knows what it’s like to feel unwanted. Half white and half Indian, he fits in neither world and has built a solitary life as a trapper. Caring for the beautiful woman he finds in the snow is the right thing to do, but it means risking the sting of another rejection come spring.
As winter bites and the two wait out the thaw, an unexpected attraction heats up. But with trust in short supply, will Samantha and Patrick open their hearts to love, or will past hurts and discrimination freeze romance in its tracks?
Love So Deep is a sweet Western romance. If you like heartwarming stories, complex characters, and raw emotions, then you’ll love Kathleen Ball’s gorgeous novel.
I know what you’re thinking. Rugged mountain man rescues traveling damsel in distress. He takes her to his secluded cabin to recover from her hardships, and they’re stuck there for the rest of the grueling winter. With just the one bed. Heck yeah, let’s get this party started!! Well…not so fast. Patrick and Samantha practically only have two solitary seconds alone together before another unexpected lost traveler finds his way to this safe haven of shelter. Young and rambunctious Brian certainly knows how to make an entrance, and kill any potential chance of our two leads sharing that bed any time soon. Especially when yet another surprise guest is dropped off at Patrick’s doorstep in the form of a woman from a local indigenous tribe who is due to give birth any day now, and insists that she belongs with him.
Again, we’ve got a bit of a mood killer happening here when another woman is staring daggers, and sometimes even wielding daggers, at Samantha. And that’s before the scoundrel who kidnapped and abused the young Brian finds his way into this bevy of characters who have become so tense with cabin fever that a trek through the harsh winter wilds of the Colorado mountains is starting to seem like a bright idea. For a secluded cabin this place is certainly getting a bit crowded! And yet, in between each new surprising arrival there’s the tedious repetition of daily chores, from laundry to cooking, fur trapping and whittling. Even we as the reader can’t help but feel a little stir crazy for something to break up the monotony of frontier living.
From One Extreme to the Next
This is a novel of extremes. From overreactions to unsupported judgments, everything is done to the n’th degree and then some. The perfect example of this is when Patrick first rescues Samantha as she is trudging through the mountains in the middle of winter, at immediate risk of frostbite, or even death. When she relays her story to Patrick of how her parents both died on a wagon train, and she was thrown out to fend for herself, he scoffs at her wild tale which must obviously be fabricated. When Samantha repeatedly insists that she’s telling the truth, Patrick gives her an “oh sure whatever you say” kind of roll of the eyes that I’m sure we’ve all experienced at some point in our lives. Then when young Brian comes on the scene, Patrick insists that he must be her son since they share the same coloring, and she must have abandoned him on the trail to save her own skin. Again, we’re going from zero to sixty here in less time than it takes to blink. I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t necessarily the best way to be introduced to our leading man, and although many of his later actions prove he is indeed a decent man, there was always a part of me that didn’t fully warm up to him considering his initial harsh judgement of Samantha.
This theme continues throughout the rest of the book with almost every character we see. We’ve already discussed the pregnant woman who is dropped off and takes an immediate dislike to Samantha, even going so far as to threaten her with a knife not too long after first meeting. There are multiple villains who try to kill our characters at some point, all of whom are the purest representations of evil. When Samantha, Brian and Patrick eventually get to town we see how the townsfolk are the most racist, high and mighty bunch of quick-to-judge dimwits we’ve ever had the misfortune of meeting. They look down on Patrick for being half-Indian, and while they initially pity Samantha for the harsh time she was forced to spend with such a “beast”, they instantaneously switch to thinking she’s a harlot when she deigns to defend him. Throughout all of these crazy shenanigans Samantha and Patrick are slowly starting to warm to each other, but any time they allow themselves to feel something they are quick to convince themselves that the other really isn’t all that interested. Even if they’ve just shared a passionate kiss or embrace out in the barn. Honestly, it was kind of exhausting to be presented with so many irrational and exaggerated responses.
Would I befriend the heroine? Considering how the men of the cabin always relied on her to do the cooking, I feel like she and I would kick some serious butt if we did some kind of team cooking TV show competition together.
Would I date the hero? Can’t really say that I would. I wanted to like him, but talk about a negative first impression. It was even more disappointing later on when we find out how much unfair judgement he received by the townsfolk throughout his entire life, but he was still quick to judge Samantha on her arrival.
Final Impressions: There were several aspects of this novel which needed to be either toned down or amplified. Everyone was quick to think the worst of everyone else, to the point where it’s frustrating to see these characters interact with one another. We would go through bouts of text where not much was happening in the seclusion of the cabin, and then boom! Villains come out of the shadows and are squandered in about a page, to the point where you think, wait, was that really it? There was one other feature of the novel which held the most promise, but ultimately kind of fizzled in execution, which was how the slow build of Samantha and Patrick’s relationship was impacted by his Indian heritage. Any time Patrick started to feel something for Samantha he would immediately try to push it aside by insisting that she didn’t feel the same way, or that he couldn’t put her in a situation where she would be ostracized by the town, but now he’s willing to give their relationship a chance, actually never mind, wait actually he’s going to propose, oh but their kids would be ostracized so really never mind. What could have been such a fascinating exploration of Patrick’s inner turmoil at his insistence on sacrificing this deep love for Samantha in an attempt to protect her from scandal instead came across as a guy who just couldn’t make up his mind over what he wanted. The pieces were there for a truly emotional moment of sacrifice and eventual acceptance, but they never fully came together in a compelling way.
Smut Level: This is a low-heat read. A few stolen kisses in the barn, but nothing too steamy.
Get it on Amazon: Click Here. $4.99 Kindle Price. 194 Pages.
I love your analyses of the books you review.