Tuesday, July 5, 2016

5 Wine Glass #Review of Mystic Montana Sky by Debra Holland

Series: Montana Sky #6
Author: Debra Holland
Format: Kindle, 290 Pages
Published: Montlake Romance (June 28, 2016)
Links: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N
Reviewer: Linda
Source: NetGalley
Rating: 5 out of 5 Wine Glasses

A caravan driven at breakneck speed through the hills of Montana is the least of Magdalena Baxter’s concerns. Evicted from their home, and due to soon give birth, the Gypsy woman is forced to follow her husband, Oswald, a drunk and abusive miner who hopes to find work in a neighboring town.

Despite calling Sweetwater Springs home, wealthy banker Caleb Livingston clings to his elitist East Coast ways. While this may have brought him prestige, he’s missed out on romance at every turn.

When Caleb’s buggy collides with the Baxters’ caravan, Oswald is instantly killed and Maggie goes into labor. Caleb manages to keep his guilt and terror at bay long enough to make her comfortable and deliver her baby, a harrowing and ultimately endearing experience. Can Maggie—now stranded with her newborn child—learn to trust again? Will Caleb overcome his sense of obligation and highbrow conceit to open his heart to lasting love?

Linda's Thoughts:
"You cannot go into labor," Caleb ordered, anxiety clenching his innards.
"The baby is coming!" She enunciated every word.
"The doctor is a long day's ride away in Sweetwater Springs, and there's no woman for miles. You'll just have to wait."
As the contraction eased, the tightness in her body relaxed, and she gave him a wan smile. "Does everyone always do what you say?"
'Is that levity in her voice? At a time like this?' "They comply if I know what best, and I usually do."

Debra Holland takes readers back to historic Sweetwater Springs, Montana in a colossal way for the town's pompous banker's story in MYSTIC MONTANA SKY. Caleb Livingston has been a snobby presence in the series since its inception. I've been patiently waiting with bated breath for him to receive his comeuppance and, happily, that time has officially arrived. I have to admit that I mistakenly thought it would be impossible for the author to remake Caleb into a likable character as he's been villainized for so long. (Debra - I beg your forgiveness for my lack of faith.) I am amazed and delighted to report that Debra Holland pulled off a miracle as I can now commiserate with not only Caleb, but also his equally snooty sister, Edith, and her cocky son, Ben. In their defense, all three had been raised under the influence of the privileged and racist beliefs of a wealthy Bostonian family. MYSTIC MONTANA SKY is the long-time-coming story of Caleb Charles Victor Livingston and part gypsy Magdalena 'Maggie' Baxter.

As the story opens, Maggie is uncomfortable riding in her vardo with her abusive husband pushing their horses and conveyance at breakneck speeds. Nearing time for the birth of their child, she pleads with her husband to slow down, but her appeal only makes him madder than he already is after losing his job at the mine and being evicted from their home in Morgan's Crossing for his brutality. As they careen around a bend, she is thrown from their vardo as her husband loses control...

Caleb's mind has wandered as he approaches a bend in the road on his way to Morgan's Crossing on banking business. He is quickly jolted back to his present day circumstances to see a vehicle barely miss his carriage and collide into a tree. He hurriedly secures his wagon and finds one female survivor. His relief is short-lived as he finds himself way out of his comfort level when he is forced to act as the woman's midwife as she goes into labor.

It was going to take a strong woman to tangle with Caleb - and Maggie is just what fate ordered ably assisted by a precious little bundle named Charlotte Victoria. The baby certainly turns the Livingston household topsy turvy with her magical cuteness. Caleb had always expected to marry a woman of his same breeding, but love may re-order his intentions.

Attending the wedding of two previous favorite characters was an unexpected twist to Caleb's story. AND the celebratory event gave readers the opportunity of catching up with even more previous favorites making MYSTIC MONTANA SKY an unqualified must-read for fans.

Following please find a few of my favorite quotes from this very enjoyable read:

Playfully, he tapped her nose. "If men were the ones to have babies, the human population would die out within a generation."

"Caleb rocked back on his heels, surprised by how good her husky laughter and their repartee made him feel. He wasn’t a man given to bantering with women—with anyone for that matter. Out here in the wilderness, with a woman about to give birth, he wasn’t the banker or the hotel owner. I’m just a man trying to hold his guilt and terror at bay and make sure this mother and child survive."

"The tiny body was slippery, and he held her tightly, afraid she’d slither out of his grip. He rotated the infant face-up, holding her about ten inches away from his face. The top of her head had a slight cone shape. Her blue-tinged hands pinked. The baby’s eyes were open, alert and seemingly amazed.
They connected with his.
A jolt of intense feeling, of recognition, flowed between them. As he gazed on the scrunched features of the infant, love surged through him. He’d never felt such a feeling before, and his chest ached with the joyful pressure. Caleb wanted to curl her to his chest and keep her safe. He pressed a kiss to her forehead, inhaling a scent that surprised him with its sweetness.
“My baby?” Maggie asked.
The infant broke eye contact with Caleb and turned her face toward the sound of her mother’s voice. He blinked back moisture from his eyes and grinned. “You have a beautiful daughter.”

MYSTIC MONTANA SKY is the sixth installment in Debra's Montana Sky series, but it can be enjoyed as a stand-alone if that is your preference. That said, this series features interconnected characters with ongoing storylines of their own. Your pleasure would be exponentially enriched if the previous books - which are all fabulous reads - are read first.

Debra is one of my favorite authors. Her books are always well-written and solidly plotted with strong, endearing characters. Her stories have never once disappointed me. I tremendously enjoyed every minute of this tale. I highly recommend MYSTIC MONTANA SKY to anyone who enjoys sweet and heartwarming historical western romances.

Suggested Reading Order: 

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