This review may contain spoilers, so fair warning, upon reading the review.
About The Book
This first book in Rosanne Bittner’s popular Savage Destiny series tells the powerful love story of 15-year-old Abigail Trent, who is traveling west with her family; and a very rugged plainsman, Zeke Monroe, the half-Cheyenne guide who wins Abbie’s heart as they journey through an untamed land beset with Indians, outlaws and nature’s harsh challenges. Although Zeke and Abbie come from very different worlds, violence and personal loss bring them together in unexpected ways, including a very poignant situation that involves Abbie’s little brother. By journey’s end, Abbie has changed from an innocent young girl to a strong woman whose courage and determination to survive make her the perfect woman for the sometimes violent Zeke, whose past and upbringing make him a challenge only Abbie’s love and personal faith can overcome. Sweet Prairie Passion is the beginning of many more stories about this unforgettable couple and their life together as they face the perils of settling…
Sweet Prairie Passion is the first book in the “Savage Destiny” series. This is a series that is an epic love series. So if you enjoyed what we received with her Outlaw Hearts series, I would recommend this highly. This series is also one of her most well-loved series other than the Outlaw Hearts series. I was honored to be able to buddy read with a good friend of mine Brianna Nichols (she has been a book blogger so some of you oldie bloggers might remember her). We both had wanted to read more westerns and had decided this week that we wanted to read this together as neither of us had read this series yet. I was really intrigued because the hero is biracial (of Native American descent) and this is an interracial romance. I was so eager for this because I know how well this author does representation, I have been impressed in the past with the other books that she has had nonwhite characters and she did just a tremendous job with it here. And fair warning this book is a PAGE TURNER (the type of book that will tempt you to call in sick-to-work type of reading) and I guarantee if you are a fan of this author or westerns in general, this book will definitely work for you.
If a woman stifles those dreams, she stifles him, and their marriage isn’t any good anymore. But if she lets him grow and stretch out and be free, he’ll always be at her side. If a woman is clever enough, she can have a man tied to her apron strings without his even knowing it.”
This story begins with a family, the Trents, who with a group of other families and individuals are heading out west to Oregon and are looking for a guide, the guide that they find is Zeke Monroe, who is half-Cheyenne. From the first moment that 15-year-old Abbie Trent meets Zeke, there is an instant connection between them, Zeke is in his mid-twenties, and he knows that focusing on Abbie would be a mistake. He is still haunted by the loss of his wife and son who were murdered because she was white and fell in love with him. And he knows how cruel man can be and would never do anything to put Abbie in danger but sometimes life doesn’t go according to plans. As the group journey on the wagon trail together, they have to face up to loss and death and the gritty horror of the wild west, and a fierce love breaks free between Zeke and Abbie but can they find their way to a happy ever after? Will Zeke’s fear prevent him from embracing a future with Abbie or will they have to embrace what they have now and lose each other forever?
What I Loved
There are so many good things about this book and honestly, it would have been a higher rating except for one aspect (see below for what I had issues with). This was such a solid read and I just fell so hard for this couple. I just knew it would be a rough ride but this author in her typical manner, tore my heart in two but also put it back together. There was so many emotions that are packed in this story and some rough things happened to this pair. But what I loved the most, is seeing them connect so well and fight for each other. There is such a deep intimacy that builds between them and I really respect how this author doesn’t sugarcoat the gritty wild west, she gives it to you real and I admire that. We see the harsh realities of what human beings as a whole had to suffer but most especially the Native Americans and the horrors they had to face and deal with due to racism that was so heavily present back then. I really respected how Rosanne Bittner handled the representation here and you can definitely tell she researched this well to give honor to this story. I really admired Zeke, he is definitely my favorite I just wanted to cheer this man on to his HEA because he deserves it so much. You see how he is tormented but I love how objective he is despite what he has gone through and doesn’t have hate in his heart for those that are innocent. We see the friendships that he builds and how people really have his back when he needs it the most. The romance that builds between Zeke and Abbie, is so sweet and poignant. When we see the intimate moments between them, I just wanted to stay there forever right along side with them. I was also fascinated by the way the author built the plot of the story and it does end with a HFN feeling. The series does feature the couple or really the whole family (I think their kids have a couple of books later in the series). But I was impressed with how this author had me so hooked into the story and I never wanted to let go of it here.
“God, I love you, Abbie,” he whispered. “That’s the only thing I know. When you took me inside of you, you took my soul, damn you! I don’t belong to myself anymore. I’ve got no strength to fight when I’m near you. I wanted to go on without you, but I can’t do it. I’m so tired of being alone, Abbie. I want a wife—children again.”
What I Struggled With
The heroine was such a struggle, I tell ya all, I wanted to love her but it took time with this one. I did love how she is with Zeke. But she is so immature and also I didn’t like how jealousy brings out her worst characteristics. I normally don’t mind jealousy, but in this case, it was pretty bad how she treats a certain young woman because she was jealous. I know she is young in this book, and I did try to maintain my objectivity in this one, but she really spoiled the first half of the book for me. She does grow so much in the story and I was able to enjoy her character, but she is the reason this book isn’t a five-star read for me.
I found Sweet Prairie Passion to be a beautiful, heart-wrenching romance that won my heart so deeply. Its a story of loss, struggle and even death but its also a tale of healing, love, and beauty of the soul.
I will stay with you, my love, I will bear the hardships life brings us. For life would be so much more unbearable Without you. We will follow the uncaught wind, And range with the eagle and all wild things— Wild and free … like you, my darling … And like the love we share … wild and free. Wild and free.
Title: Sweet Prairie Passion
Author: Rosanne Bittner
Genre: Historical Western Romance
Source: Library(Libby App)
Length: 456 Pages
Storytelling Quality: 5
Story Itself: 4
Character Development: 3
Writing Style: 5
World Building 5
Feels + The Romantic Heart 4.25
Cover Art 4
Overall Rating of the Book
Simmering—soft warm touches and light intimacy
Warm- a medium level of sexual tension, a balance of sexual and emotional intimacy, lighter on the details in the sexual moments.
Steamin’ up the room -the sexual content is more explicit in the language and tone, heavier amount of sexual scenes.
Blazing fire to the building-The prime focus is the sex scenes, scorching hot, and could burn one. Less focus on the emotional intimacy to the relationship.
Violence, Racism, Mention of the “Trail of Bloody Tears”, Death of a Family Member(s)
Sweet Prairie Passion-Pub 1983 #1 in the Series
Ride the Free Wind-Pub 1984 #2 in the Series
River of Love-Pub 1984 #3 in the Series
Embrace the Wild Land-Pub 1984 #4 in the Series
Climb the Highest Mountain-Pub 1985 #5 in the Series
Meet the New Dawn-Pub 1986 #6 in the Series
Eagles Song-Pub 1996 #7 in the Series
I am a USA-TODAY best-selling author with 40 years, 75 books, and numerous writing awards behind me. I have always written for standard publishers but am now writing strictly for Amazon so I have more freedom to write real history. My most recent publication is JOURNEY TO HIGH LONESOME. It’s the third book in my “Men of the Outlaw Trail” series (each book is an independent story). RIDE THE HIGH LONESOME and LAWMAN IN THE HIGH LONESOME are the first two, and more books are planned. My best sellers are my SAVAGE DESTINY series (7 books) and my OUTLAW HEARTS series (now working on #6 – BLAZE OF GLORY – coming November 2021). See my website (www.rosannebittner.com) for details on all my books – most available for Kindle and in print. I am known for great love stories filled with real history and high emotion. I have also written many Native American stories, all based on real history.
I love American history. For those of you who have not yet read my books, my stories are generally set in the American West of the 1800s 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 have also written about the Civil War, the American Revolution, the war with Mexico (the Alamo), and the war of 1812.
National magazine ROMANTIC TIMES has called me the “Queen of Western Romance” and an “emotional powerhouse.” My husband and I have traveled the west for nearly 40 years and I have visited just about every location mentioned in my books.