Wednesday, June 10, 2009
McShannon's Chance by Jennie Marsland
Publisher: Mystic Moon Press
To Purchase: Mystic Moon Press Bookstore
Beth Underhill is a city girl in the highest sense. The niece of a famous racehorse breeder, she was raised with a lofty upbringing by her Aunt and never asked to do a chore. Her dresses are fancy, and her manners are impeccable. When her Aunt passes away, the estate falls to her cousin, who wishes to sell it immediately, putting Beth in a precarious situation. With enough money to get her through five months and no more, she is desperate. But she is also strong willed. Instead of waiting for her cousin to select his idea of a respectable husband for her, she applies to Trey McShannon’s add for a wife and travels out west to meet her destiny.
Trey McShannon is a practical frontiersman. Having fought for the union at a young age, he’s seen war and death, and his life experiences have changed him into a quiet, mysterious man. He needs a sturdy wife to help him run his household, someone that is not afraid to do hard work and get dirty. When he sees Beth Underhill, and learns of her famous lineage, he fears he has made a mistake. But he is also drawn to her, and realizes that there is more to her pretty face and high pedigree than meets the eye. She’s also a talented artist, a dutiful worker, and shares his love of horses.
McShannon’s Chance has a wonderful historical flavor to it with picturesque writing and scenes right out of a western. Marsland captures the image of a lonesome frontier that is both beautiful and dangerous. Her writing is realistic, but at the same time it has a grand sense of adventure and romance. The pacing is steady and sure, allowing the reader to savor each scene.
Marsland takes her time to tell the tale, setting up a sweeping historical romance with characters that have so much detail and depth they could be anyone’s own ancestors. It reminded me of my favorite series growing up, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. Like Dr. Quinn, Beth is a strong female character with honor, compassion, and patience. She works hard to earn her life beside Trey, and her rewards are immense.
McShannon’s Chance is an ideal historical romance escape! I found my soul soothed and my heart warmed by Marsland’s writing and I recommend this book to anyone that enjoys an excellent historical romance with real life characters and a western flavor.