WOW. What more can I say but "WOW"? This book was so well written, historically accurate as far as I could tell, perfectly romantic, and had lots of suspense! This is, for sure, going to my "Top Ten" book list for 2012/beginning of 2013!
"Swept Away" is published by Baker Publishing Group and written (very well!) by Mary Connealy. I have never read anything by this author before, but I love stories set in the "wild west", so I thought that I would give this one a try. Once I started it, I could not put it down! The suspense keeps you hanging on the edge of your seat. The romance keeps you hoping for a "happily ever after". The only bad part was, I finished it! I could have stayed in Texas all week :).
So here's the low-down: male character, Luke Stone; female character, Ruthy. Of course, there are more characters, but these are the main two.
Luke lived on a ranch in Texas as a kid and left to fight in the Civil War. His father's deed left Luke the ranch. However, while Luke is gone, a man named Flint Greer had Luke's dad killed and stole the ranch. When Luke comes back he finds this out, and starts working with his friends that he made at Andersonville prison camp during the war to stop Greer. Luke is on his way back from gathering paperwork, as far as I could tell, when he comes across Ruthy.
Ruthy's parent got the flu when it swept through the school and town, and died. Ruthy was taken in by another family, who abused her and made her basically their slave, and hit/slapped her when she stalled or upset them. They had a son named Virgil whom they wanted Ruthy to marry, yet Ruthy wanted nothing to do with him. She began sleeping with a knife because of his "attraction" to her. On a wagon train with this family going west, Ruthy tries to lead the team across a river with the others when it flash floods and wipes everyone out. Miraculously, she survives but is unconscious in the river.
That's where Luke comes across Ruthy. Unfortunately, he cannot turn around and take her to the nearest town because Greer framed him for a robbery and Luke is on the run. Yet, he cannot leave her there either-how rude would that be! So, he picks her up and takes her with him.
Ruthy and Luke must fight to regain Luke's land. What will become of them? Will they survive to nurture their growing relationship?
Thank you so much to Baker Publishing group and Net Galley for letting me read and review this book; it was excellent and well-written. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future!