Saturday, March 20, 2010

Two Lips Review of RTWW -- a RECOMMENDED READ

RIDE THE WILD WIND by Kimberly Ivey

Review by Merrylee, Two Lips Reviews

Saturday, 27 February 2010

Title: Ride the Wild Wind
Author: Kimberly Ivey
Publisher: Red Rose Publishing
Genre: Time Travel, Historical Western, Interracial/Multicultural
Publication date: September 17, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-60435-416-4
Pages: 486
Series: N/A
Reviewer: Merrylee
Heat Level:  1.5  Violence, Strong Sexual Situations

Rating:   5 Lips        RECOMMENDED READ

Ride the Wild Wind is one of the most dramatic and emotionally charged novels I’ve ever read. The plot is long and involved, jam-packed with action, suspense, twists and turns, sultry passion, emotional angst and even humor, along with the historical fact encompassing Gen James Carleton’s scorched earth policy against the Navajo Nation.

In the beginning, despite his instant and intense attraction to Halle, Antonio is determined to keep the secrets of his past and present, even his name, from her. Sometimes his desire for her holds dark overtones, his base needs more than the virginal Halle can handle. Other times, he’s so gentle and tender with her, it brought tears to my eyes. But each time they’re together, the warmth of his touch is followed quickly by the brush of his cold shoulder. For a woman with Halle’s abandonment issues, this emotional seesaw is so anguishing I wanted to grab Antonio and shake him until his teeth rattled. Yet I understood and sympathized with the grief and guilt that drove him. And like Halle, I couldn’t help but fall in love with him. He isn’t just strikingly handsome. Throughout the book, he projects such a powerful presence he absolutely took my breath away.

I really liked Halle’s character as well. She’s a mix of silk over steel. Sweetness and spice. Fear and courage. When Antonio pushes her too far, she doesn’t hesitate to get in his face and let him know, in her own snarky style. It doesn’t take long for him to figure out that beneath all that bluster and bravado lies a damaged but resilient woman with a soft heart and so much capacity to love that it surprises even Halle herself.

From the moment Halle arrives in 1863, you can tell how much author Kimberly Ivey loves the history and the people of this time period. She powerfully draws the reader into the hopelessness of Antonio’s mission to save his people, sketching a picture of a land and people so vividly I can still close my eyes and see the red rock canyons of the Southwest. Feel the dusty grit of the high, windblown desert on my skin. Smell the pungent smoke of Navajo campfires and hear the whinny of their horses. I can even imagine the hopelessness of an illiterate whore caught in the clutches of a heartless Madame and then feel sorry for the Madame for all she’s endured. Ms. Ivey brings all this and so much more to life in Ride the Wild Wind, authentically portraying the dirty underbelly of the time, with all its warts and pockmarks. And indeed, with all its primal beauty.

Ride the Wild Wind is a story I won’t soon forget.

Read The Entire Review at:


Theatrical prop designer Halle Brooks has spent most of her 22 years hiding her insecurity, biracial heritage and the lingering pain of childhood abandonment behind sassy comebacks, cherry-red hair dye and one steadfast rule – never love anybody, because people either die or leave you. The only man in her life is Max, her Chihuahua, and that’s just fine with her. Then a car wreck in an odd thunderstorm and a spirit guide who raises more questions than she answers sends them both back to the New Mexico Territory of 1863. She’s been told that her presence in the midst of the U.S. government’s war against the Navajo will somehow result in just retribution for the murderer of a woman who’d looked uncannily like Halle. Besides, there’s supposed to be someone there who needs her.

For months now, half-Navajo outlaw Antonio Whitehorse has been dreaming about a beautiful red-haired woman. A white woman his medicine-man cousin calls the Star Woman. A woman who’s supposed to come from another place to save The People of Dinetah. And perhaps even him as well. That thought almost made him laugh, because he had no idea what she could do to save him, not with the price he had on his head. The U.S. Cavalry wanted him at the end of a rope or bullet for running guns and supplies to the renegade Navajo. He wanted the soldiers gone from the land of his mother’s people so they could live in peace. Or perhaps he just wanted them as dead as the wife and baby daughter he’d lost to their guns and bayonets. Getting all tangled up with the red-haired woman he found near-dead in the desert wasn’t going to bring about either one of those outcomes. Then he ran across her picture on a wanted poster that declared her missing in Indian territory. It promised a large reward for her return to her uncle, money he could use to buy more food and better guns for The People.

Halle woke up from her journey back in time to the most beautiful man she’d ever seen. He was a mass of taut muscle, with long sun-kissed brown hair, a dreamy deep voice and turbulent gray eyes, all wrapped up in luscious brown skin as smooth as silk. She couldn’t take her eyes off him. Until she realized he’d taken her clothes off! Antonio had never known a woman who had more to say and made so little sense in all his 30 years. She was odd, and he didn’t just mean because of the purple paint in her hair or her outlandish clothing. She was the most obstinate and opinionated, not to mention sarcastic, woman he’d ever met. Yet, she turned him as hard as ironwood with just a look. A pity he was going to have to turn her over to her uncle.

Frank Cole was the last man Halle ever wanted to lay eyes on. He’d killed her look-alike and would probably do the same to her. Right after he raped and tortured her for a while. Unfortunately, Whitehorse was bound and determined to get his blood money, leaving her with only one option. To run, as fast and as far as she can, which wouldn’t be easy since the blasted man had taken her shoes!

Privately, Antonio wasn’t as set on handing her over to Cole as she thought. He was fighting his own demons, not the least of which was the fact that he hadn’t been with a woman in over a year. And this one had his libido tied in knots. Plus, she’d stolen his heart as no woman ever had. When she claims to be from the future and to know The People’s ill-fated destiny…when she’s captured by the army and Antonio must risk all to get her back…when he’s forced to turn his back on her to save her life and Cole manipulates a friend to spill Halle’s blood, Antonio knows he must make a choice. Abandon his people to save his Navajo family and the woman he loves. Or abide by his vow to fight for The People to the very end of the horrors to come.

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