Book Review- Wildest Dreams by Rosanne Bittner

Book Review- Wildest Dreams by Rosanne Bittner

Book Review- Wildest Dreams by Rosanne BittnerWildest Dreams by Rosanne Bittner
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on February 1st 2012
Genres: Historical Romance, American West, Saga Romance
Pages: 560
Format: eARC
Source: Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN: 140226769X
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With more than 7 million books in print, RT Book Reviews Career Achievement Award-winning author Roseanne Bittner is beloved by fans for her powerful, epic historical romances.

Lettie MacBride knew that joining a wagon train heading West was her chance to begin anew, far from the devastating memories of the night that had changed her forever. She didn't believe she could escape the pain of innocence lost or feel desire for any man...until she meets Luke Fontaine.

Haunted by his own secrets, Luke could never blame Lettie for what had happened in the past. One glance at the pretty red-haired lass was enough to fill the handsome, hard-driving pioneer with a savage hunger.

Against relentless snows, murderous desperadoes, and raiding Sioux, Luke and Lettie will face a heartrending choice: abandon a lawless land before it destroys them, or fight for their...Wildest Dreams.

My Review

In Wildest Dreams, Originally Published 1994, we have a story that through Sourcebook Casablanca comes back alive with a republishing. We are taken to an era that was full of discovery, danger, and finding one’s full potential through the test of trials, grief, suffering but also love, devotion and passion for life. The story takes us back to the era of the civil war and after the war and reconstruction. This period of America’s history was full of strife and Rosanne Bittner makes these challenges come alive within these 600 pages. I know that amount of numbere of pages sounds daunting, however I savored each moment of this story.

We are taken back to a story that begins with our two main characters….Lettie Mcbride and Luke Fontaine. Lettie along with her parents and siblings are traveling west on a wagon train in search of a new hope. Lettie has suffered from the raids on their home, when in an effort to protect and save her horse, she herself was attacked and raped. She had a son from that horrific night, Nathan. When Lettie meets Luke, Nathan is only a few years old. Luke Fontaine, has recently learned that he is a bastard, and his father favors his brother over Luke. So Luke leaves the only home he has ever known, and is driven to succeed. When he meets Lettie, and they start spending time together while traveling west, they fall in love. Lettie’s family heads to Colorado but when she agrees to marry Luke, she knows that life is going to be full of troubles and trials. Luke and Lettie head to the Montana Territory. A territory that has plenty of land, but is rugged, dangerous and untamed. Luke wants to make an empire and even though Luke and Lettie start in a shack, they make a home together. The first few years wear on Lettie and Luke with battles with indians, rustlers and more. They make friends of neighbors, but one fateful night will test them. They lose their son Nathan to indians, not knowing if he is alive or dead. Luke and Lettie only become stronger, they build up their ranch and the land, they begin building a family with three sons and two daughters. Even though they build up a wondrous dream, they also have their griefs and losses and battles.

What is most wonderful about Rosanne Bittner, is how she handles these love family saga’s. I have never read a author that handles them so well. There were many moments in this story where I want to break down in tears. The emotion that Bittner conveys in this story is truly heart wrenching at times. It really brings home, what trials these men and women—-true pioneers suffered. Luke and Lottie are one of my favorite couples to read, because the one thing that keeps them strong and vibrant is the love they have for each other. We see them grow from newlyweds in their twenties to their forties, with grown children having families of their own. This is not your average romance that we see, and quite frankly sage romances are so rare that its also so delightful to immerse myself into one and boy this one had everything I needed to be a full satisfying romance that I couldn’t get enough of.

There are some tragedies but there are also many great triumphs for Luke and Lettie. We see the joy they find in each other and in each of their children. It was so charming to see the growth of their relationship over the years. And they really get challenged at a certain point that almost tears them apart. But what was most endearing about this pair, was their strength and devotion to each other. Both Luke and Lettie have such courage and stay together no matter what comes their way. The literally learn to fight for one another both physically and emotionally. They learn how important it is to rely on each other; especially in the most challenging times of their marriage because that is when they need each other most. We see the trials their children have to go through, and boy my heart ached for all of them. And those that have read this story already, know which ones I am talking about. But we also see how they overcome the trials they each have been dealt and overcome them to claim a life of love and fulfillment just like their own parents.

Wildest Hearts is a love story that will endear you forever to Luke and Lettie, will take you back through the time of the reconstruction era of America’s history, introduce you to the beauty of the Montana land and this poignant love story to remember forever!!! SIMPLY MAJESTIC!!

Just as a seed can sprout new life after being tossed aside, forgotten and left to die; So can love buried by pride and guilt come to bloom again…Stronger, Healthier and even more beautiful.

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About Rosanne Bittner

For those of you who have not yet read my books, my stories are generally set in the American West of the 1800's and feature vividly-described, historically accurate settings that span the US from Missouri to California, from Canada to Mexico. Many of my books portray the poignant history of our Native Americans, and though the characters are my own, I use real historical locations and events in all my novels. I must be doing something right, because more and more men are writing to tell me how much they enjoy my westerns, too. Louis L'Amour has always been one of my favorite writers, and I am very flattered that my male readers compare my books favorably with his!

As many of you already know, I was selected as the September 2013 Spotlight Author on fellow romance- writer Winnie Griggs' website, "Small Towns, Big Hearts, Amazing Grace." Winnie writes inspirational historicals for Love Inspired, and she conducted a very extensive interview with me about my life and my writing. If you missed it, you can still read the interview here!

Recently we lost an icon of TV westerns, James Arness, better known as Matt Dillon of the longest-running TV western ever, GUNSMOKE. I was very saddened to hear this, partly because Matt Dillon was my hero in my teens, and also because there are so few TV heroes left — actually, none that I can think of. TV sets no good examples of a strong line between "good" and "bad" any more. The old westerns did that. Cheesy sometimes, but kids understood that if you did something "bad" you had to pay for it. Respect, honor, manners — very little of any of that on TV any more. GUNSMOKE survived as long as it did because it had several characters with whom one could identify and empathize — like Doc Adams, Chester Good, Festus, and Matt Dillon's long-time "girlfriend" Kitty. The only western hero left as far as I can see is Clint Eastwood. When he is gone it will be a HUGE loss for quality movies as well as another icon of western movies and also TV (remember Rowdy Yates of RAWHIDE?). I always wanted to be able to meet James Arness in person, but now that will never happen. Still, he remains "alive" to me through continued re-runs of GUNSMOKE, which I watch every evening.