From the publisher:
Cadence McShane, free-spirited nonconformist, yearns to escape the rigid code, clothes, and sidesaddles of 1880’s military society in Fort Davis, Texas. She finds the daring new lieutenant exhilarating, but as the daughter of the commanding officer, she is expected to keep with family tradition and marry West Point graduate James West.
Orphaned, Comanche-raised, and always the outsider looking in, Ben Williams yearns to belong. Cadence embodies everything he craves, but as a battlefield-commissioned officer with the Buffalo Soldiers instead of a West Point graduate, he is neither accepted into military society nor considered marriageable.
Can two people of different worlds, drawn together by conflicting needs, flout society and forge a life together on the frontier?
I really enjoyed this book! I’m a little disappointed in how the publisher chose to sell the book. It is about so much more than two star-crossed lovers who society frowns upon.
The author gives us a rich look into what the West was like following the Civil War. We get views into the restrictions women faced when they lived within the military society, from having limited access to peers, or any other function outside of “marrying well”.
We get a view of how dangerous the West really was for people to immigrate to and try to live on in the Rodriguez family, whose plight is a central part of what I believe truly highlights the morality of Cadence and Ben. It is their mutual belief in doing what is right – and tending to those in need – that first draws them together. Not that Ben isn’t “that handsome, mysterious man”, but that wasn’t what drew Cadence towards him. It was his honesty and willingness to help others.
I actually found the “love triangle” they try to hint at rather interesting as it was the furthest thing from one. It really highlighted how society can force expectations on us to marry “the right one” in their views, even though in the background, that person is showing their true nature in ways that made my lips curl back in revulsion.
There is an undercurrent of how deep the affection is between Cadence and her parents. Though her father tries to deny her from “having a job”, she and her mother finds way to organize a compromise. The love between the three of them was one of my favorite aspects of this book.
I won’t get into too many other details, other than to say I really enjoyed this book. I was in yet another one of my “book funks” and ended up finding this one a page turner I could not put down. I was actually disappointed it ended when it did. I would’ve enjoyed quite a few more chapters.
I rate this book a 4.5/5. It’s just reaching for a 5, but I think since it ended so abruptly, it doesn’t quite hit that sweet spot for me. Would definitely be interested in reading more from this author.
My professional background in biotechnology as a research chemist and as a veterinary technician has allowed me to have experienced two vastly different fields and for that I am thankful. In both careers, I have mentored, encouraged, and developed talent.
As a mother of two (a daughter and a son), I’m a self-proclaimed backyard chicken guru and someone who has “foster failed” nearly all the animals currently running the household. Oh, and I maintain a husband in my spare time.