Widowed and with child, Emma Malcom is fleeing from the reward offered for her arrest. She’s innocent of the dirty dealings her deceased husband orchestrated, but the angry townspeople didn’t stop to listen to her defense before she narrowly escaped with her life. Now, she and her twin brother, Joseph, must battle the mountain wilderness of the Rockies to reach Canada and the clean start she craves. But when a fall from the rocky cliff leaves Joseph wounded and weak, could the strange mountain man they encounter be God’s gift to see them to safety?
Simeon Grant makes bad choices. His deceased wife and twin babies are lost to him now because of his reckless decisions, and the penance he pays by living alone in this mountain wilderness is only a small piece of what he thinks he deserves. When a city woman, heavy with child, appears on his doorstep with her injured brother, her presence resurrects the memories he’s worked so hard to forget. And when she asks for his help to travel deeper into the mountain country, he can’t help wonder why God would force him to relive the same mistakes he’s already suffered through. Or maybe taking these two to safety could be the way to redeem himself.
But when their travels prove more treacherous than he imagined, Simeon finds himself pressing the limits of his ability to keep Emma and her brother safe. Can he overcome the past that haunts him to be the man she needs? Will Emma break through the walls around Simeon’s heart before it’s too late, or will the dangers of these mountains be the end of them all?
Why This Book:
The ultimate clincher was that I had previously read and enjoyed the first two books in Misty M. Belle’s Mountain Dreams series. However, when I saw the opportunity to review this book for a Celebrate Lit tour I didn’t make the connection until I looked up the author. I didn’t realize there were more books in that series or I would have read them by now. Guess what got added to my To Be Read list? 😉
Opening Line (from Chapter 1):
Rocky Mountains, Montana Territory
Simeon Grant glanced at his wife as another moan slipped from her lips.
Let me start by saying that I always have, always will, read the Prologue. If you don’t… there are no word for how sorry I am for your loss. Thus, I of course, will give my first impression based on the prologue – in this case the first part of a two part prologue. (Yes, you need to read both!)
By the second paragraph of this novel you know we’re dealing with a caring husband watching his very pregnant wife riding a horse and suffering some sort of unexpected, intense pain. By the end of the third paragraph you know they’re in the middle of nowhere and he is very worried about finding help. That right there was enough to hook me. Between the content and the writing, I knew I was in for a good story.
Simeon Grant – If you read the prologue, you can’t help but feel Simeon’s pain and deeply understand his struggle throughout the rest of the book. The choices he makes are believable – even down to his desperate decisions at the peak of the book’s crisis. (I’ll talk more about this below.) Without repeating what has already been stated about him in the book’s blurb, I can only add that it doesn’t take long for the reader to feel convinced he is exactly the person Emma needs and she is exactly the person he needs.
Emma (Carter) Malcom – Emma is a woman whose past choices have shaped her present, but who won’t allow them to dictate her future. It is clear in a way that isn’t remotely preachy that Emma’s admirable strength and resilience derives from her faith in God.
Joseph Malcom – Emma’s twin brother gives up everything in the blink of an eye to see his sister to safety. He is responsible, loyal, trustworthy, and tough as nails. The poor guy does not have it easy in this book, but I think I like him better for it. My only real quibble with him is that at one point he doesn’t reveal a very important piece of information for reasons that are never explained in the book. That said, my first thought about Joseph when I sat down to describe him was that I hope the author has another book planned with him as the lead, because I would want to read it. He doesn’t steal the show, but he is definitely a fully developed and likable character.
Emotional Engagement & Pacing of the Story:
From the first page, I was drawn into Simeon’s world and held captive by the depth of his love, his loss, and eventually, his journey toward healing. At no time did I find the story dragging and there was only one, short-lived issue which distanced me from the story (more on that below). Still, I always wanted to know what happened next. I wanted to continue this treacherous journey and see what became of these characters.
Elements I especially liked/disliked:
I’ll begin with what I especially liked. I am always excited when adoption, fostering, orphans, or other children in need are included in a story. That said, as an adoptive mother and former foster parent, I am especially sensitive to how members of the adoption triad are portrayed. Thus, without giving too much away, I want to say that I very much appreciated the way the author handled this subject in the story.
That said, there is another topic I have always been sensitive to: issues of race. While I appreciate the tough position this author bravely put herself in by taking the story in the direction she did, I am uncomfortable with the way the Native Americans were portrayed in this story at the peak of the book’s crisis. To some degree, I can see the historical basis for what was written, however, I feel it could have been handled better. Perhaps I’m being too picky. I don’t know. I don’t expect history to be portrayed in a white-washed manner (no pun intended at all) that sugarcoats what happened back then. Historically, both sides made some seriously bad choices – I won’t get into the pointless argument of which was worse or why. I guess I was just hoping the author would leave a comment at the end explaining the historical basis for the choices she made in this part of her story. I think that would have helped. As it was, the scenes where the Native Americans featured prominently pulled me a bit out of the story because I wondered if this sort of thing really happened. I am aware of situations like this occurring in other parts of the country, involving other tribes, and under different circumstances, but I had not ever read of this sort of thing happening in this way and involving this particular tribe. Granted, I have not done an extensive amount of research on this particular topic, but prior to writing this review I spent about an hour trying to find any online record of a similar occurrence involving this tribe at any point in history, but was unsuccessful in my search. If someone knows of one, please leave a link below! Just be careful to warn others if you mention spoilers in your comment.
But I don’t want to conclude on this note because, although important, it really is only a small part of this otherwise marvelous story that captured my imagination and took me along on a journey I won’t soon forget.
Another element I especially liked was how the author made conscious choices that kept this story from crossing the bounds of plausibility. This is difficult to explain without revealing spoilers, but let me say as an example that even when a character attempted something outrageous, it was brought back to earth by the way in which he/she went about it and the consequences of it.
Lastly, I think this story does any excellent job of demonstrating how God uses even the tragedies in our life for our good. I’d give specific examples, but of course that would require spoilers.
The grave and rippling consequence of decisions made.
In all things God works for the good of those who love Him.
Even when we are lost, we aren’t lost from God.
The ending of this novel gave me just about everything I could have asked for. Events unfolded and relationships changed in ways that were thoroughly satisfying as a conclusion to the journey the author had taken us on through these characters.
4 out of 5 stars
Available at Amazon: Pre Order for just $0.99! RELEASES FEBRUARY 6, 2018!!!
How do you feel about characters who attempt outrageous feats? Let me know in the comments below!
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About the Author
Misty M. Beller writes romantic mountain stories, set on the 1800s frontier and woven with the truth of God’s love.
She was raised on a farm in South Carolina, so her Southern roots run deep. Growing up, her family was close, and they continue to keep that priority today. Her husband and daughters now add another dimension to her life, keeping her both grounded and crazy.
God has placed a desire in Misty’s heart to combine her love for Christian fiction and the simpler ranch life, writing historical novels that display God’s abundant love through the twists and turns in the lives of her characters.
Writing is a dream come true for Misty. Her family–both immediate and extended–is the foundation that holds her secure in that dream. Learn more at www.MistyMBeller.com.
Guest post from Misty M. Beller
The Treasure of Family
I’m an old-fashioned girl. Always have been. And growing up on the family farm, with grandparents in the old farmhouse next door and cousins living all around us, I can’t imagine my life without family. Now that I’m married with three daughters of my own, I treasure my family even more—both immediate and extended!
In my books, I tend to weave the importance of family into each story somewhere, and This Treacherous Journey is no exception! I first wrote the prologue as a standalone short story, the account of the birth of the hero from another of my books (Reuben Scott from The Lady and the Mountain Call).
It was the story of a father, grieving the loss of his wife and feeling as if he has no choice but to give his newborn twins to another family to raise. I wrote this part of the story a week after my third daughter was born, and I cried buckets through the writing! The story has an even stronger emotional connection for me, because my younger brother and sister were both adopted into our family. I can’t imagine their birth parents having the courage to give them up for adoption unless they knew without a doubt it was the best choice for those sweet babies.
So, as you read This Treacherous Journey, it’s my prayer that you’ll take a moment to cherish your own family. Remember all the special moments. Spend extra time with those you love. Relish the treasures God placed in your life!
Bibliophile Reviews, February 3
Christian Author, J.E.Grace, February 3
History, Mystery & Faith, February 4
A Greater Yes, February 4
margaret kazmierczak, February 4 (Interview)
Kathleen Denly, February 5
Blogging With Carol, February 5
Faithfully Bookish, February 6
Books n baubles, February 6
Mommynificent, February 7
Connie’s History Classroom, February 7
Reading Is My SuperPower, February 8
The Fizzy Pop Collection, February 8
proud to be an autism mom, February 9
Locks, Hooks and Books, February 9
Mary Hake, February 9
Blossoms and Blessings, February 10
Debbie’s Dusty Deliberations, February 10
Texas Book-aholic, February 11
D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, February 11
Zerina Blossom’s Books, February 12
Bigreadersite, February 12
Kat’s Corner Books, February 13
Janices book reviews, February 13
Jeanette’s Thoughts, February 14
Carpe Diem, February 14
A Baker’s Perspective, February 15
Karen Sue Hadley, February 15
Pursuing Stacie, February 16
Simple Harvest Reads, February 16 (Guest post from Mindy)
To celebrate her tour, Misty is giving away a grand prize of a $50 Amazon gift card!!
Click below to enter. Be sure to comment on this post before you enter to claim 9 extra entries!