Monday, November 10, 2014

#BookReview: Glorious Montana Sky by Debra Holland - 4 Wine Glasses!

22401131Title: Glorious Montana Sky 
Series: Montana Sky #4
Author: Debra Holland 
Format: eBook/Paperback
Published: October 28th 2014 by Montlake Romance
ISBN: 1477826025 
Links: Goodreads | Kindle | B&N | Amazon | Audible 
Source: Netgalley
Reviewer: Linda
Rating: 4/5

After spending nine years as a missionary in Africa and losing his wife to illness, Joshua Norton is exhausted, emotionally and physically. He returns home to the frontier Montana town of Sweetwater Springs with his estranged nine-year-old son in tow, hoping to rebuild his relationship with the boy.

Meanwhile, New Orleans resident Delia Fortier plots to escape the terrible fate her mother has planned for her: becoming the mistress of a cruel, powerful politician. The mixed-race secret daughter of a wealthy Creole businessman, Delia boldly seeks help from her father’s family. Although the rest of the family spurns her, her father is delighted to learn of Delia’s existence and offers her an opportunity: travel west with him, pretending to be his legitimate daughter.

When Joshua and Delia meet, their intense attraction is undeniable. But will Delia’s secret stand in the way of their love? Or will prejudice destroy their future…and their lives?

A stirring, sweeping frontier romance, Glorious Montana Sky is the fourth title in the bestselling series that has enchanted readers. 

Linda's Thoughts:
Micah lifted his head. "I can make nsesene. Kisozi showed me how."
Joshua choked and turned the sound into a cough.
"How interesting, Micah." She beamed at the boy. "Perhaps you can prepare it for us sometime."
The boy shrugged and started to read again.
Perhaps I shouldn't tell Mother that nsesene are grasshoppers.

GLORIOUS MONTANA SKY by Debra Holland is a sweet romance with a refreshing dose of diversity!  This tale is the fourth book in the Montana Sky series and has interconnected characters with the rest of the series. Each of the stories can be enjoyed as a standalone but I highly recommend all the books in this series as they've all been very enjoyable reads. The books in this series are all characterized as clean, western, historical romances. If you are seeking a romance with heat, you should look elsewhere.

GLORIOUS MONTANA SKY is the story of Reverend Joshua Norton and Delia Fortier and is primarily set in Sweetwater Springs, Montana.

The hero of this book is the son of Sweetwater Spring's long-time minister and his wife.  As the story begins, we are introduced to Joshua and his son, Micah, who have returned to the States after residing in Uganda for the last nine years. Joshua is burned out and emotionally reeling from the loss of his deceased wife. Their marriage had been strained for years and Joshua feels guilty for not making Esther happy in their union.  Another issue on Joshua's mind is that Micah is going through a rebellious period, angry that they had left Africa and his friends as it is all he has ever known.  

After first visiting with the Maynards, his wife's rigid ministerial family, Joshua and Micah resume their journey to reconnect with Joshua's parents in Sweetwater Springs.  As Joshua and Micah prepare to board the train, Joshua glimpses an attractive, spirited woman on the arm of an older man, who stirs his blood... 

We meet Delia, a young illegitimate woman of mixed heritage, as she learns that her mother has sold her to Dupuy, a ruthless, wealthy mafia boss in New Orleans, to be his mistress.  When she meets him, she quickly learns that he wants her to fight him as he thrives on cruelty. Fate intervenes when she meets her father for the first time. Andre Bellaire had no idea he even had a child.  After being apprised of the plight Delia is in, Andre devises a plan for them both to go west and establish a new life as a father with a legitimate, white daughter. 

As they were preparing to board the train, Delia sees a young minister with his son on the train platform and senses that he is attracted to her.  When her father collapses with a heart attack on the train as it nears Sweetwater Springs, the same minister comes to her aid. Her father's ill health requires that they stay in Sweetwater Springs while he recovers.  Delia finds it increasingly difficult to ignore her attraction to Joshua, but Delia has secrets that she must never divulge.

Joshua was a tortured soul determined to make things right with his son.  He had so much to give but needed to accept his imperfections and humanity first. Delia was tenacious and spirited. Her escape from New Orleans had so much promise for a new life.  Could they find happiness together or would trouble find Delia first?  

I am a fan of this series and it was heartwarming to catch up with favorite characters including John and Pamela Carter and their brood; and Nick and Elizabeth Sanders who have had a new addition since their book (WILD MONTANA SKY, Montana Sky #1).  I enjoyed watching Joshua re-discover his relationships with long-time residents who remembered him before he left for the seminary.  Note to author:  Sheriff K.C. Granger is such a unique character; She deserves to get her own story told :-).

The villains were despicable from Isadora Fortier, Delia's mercenary mother, who sold Delia twice to a man Delia feared; to Marcel Dupuy, the cruel, wealthy villain who obsessively desired Delia as his mistress.  They were both reprehensible.  Dupuy made my skin crawl.

Following please find a few of my favorite quotes (I had to include one with the news about Nick & Elizabeth's baby!):

Andre was propped in bed, reading by the light of the lamp. He looked up when she entered. "You look beautiful, my dear. I predict the local swains will find you more delectable than the ice cream."

Nick laughed. "We'll have a celebration, all right. It's called Christmas."
"She's a Christmas baby? On the actual day?"
"Came a month earlier than we expected. Elizabeth had organized the children into a Christmas choir and planned a big party after the service on Christmas Eve." Nick chuckled. "She was not pleased when her pains started beforehand."

As they reached the steps to the house, the door opened. A woman in a gray dress and white apron glared at them.
Taken aback, Delia faltered.
Mr. Livingston leaned over. "Don't mind Mrs. Graves, my housekeeper," he said in a low voice full of humor, obviously meant to reassure her. "That's her normal expression. She only smiles once a year on Christmas."

I appreciated the manner in which the author addressed the pervasiveness of racism throughout all levels of society.  It did not take away from the book's entertainment. The diversity in this book was primarily exemplified by Delia, who was an octoroon, which meant that she had 1/8th Negro ancestry; and the poor and the African natives.  Bigotry existed throughout all levels of society from Delia's Creole grandmother to the Maynards to banker Caleb Livingston and his sister to the town's storekeepers and both villains.

I had numerous favorite scenes.  Young Micah showed his mettle when he shot Dupuy with his slingshot as he leapt to the defense of Delia. He certainly put a smile on my face with his heroic act.  I would also like to mention that, as an avid reader, I loved that Micah was often seen reading Tom Sawyer. 

Another memorable scene occurred during a death watch when Reverend Joshua, who had been questioning his calling to the ministry, was summoned to give comfort but in doing so, the family he was supporting actually served as the medium to renew his own spirit.  It was a warm fuzzies moment.

The author's writing is, as always, first rate!  The plot is well-crafted and the characters are well-defined, genuine and relatable.  

If you are looking for a clean western romance with beautiful vistas, characters that will steal your heart and a happy ever after that will leave you with a smile, look no further than GLORIOUS MONTANA SKY!

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