I think I did mention in my last column that my TBR stack is taller than my roof? Well, that goes for my print book stack, as well. I thought that this e-book sounded extremely familiar when I bought it from Ellora's Cave. Of course I have loved Madeline Baker for many years, and as I began to read The Spirit Path, I realized that I already owned the out of print paperback, (from 1993) that I had read it before, and the re-read was as stunning as the original read had been.
Madeline Baker is my hero. Her old west romances are filled to the brim with a vast (and real) knowledge of her subject, and she writes with energy, beauty, and a breathless flair for romance.
The Spirit Path is a sumptuous feast, well-written with a fine hand by a master storyteller. Ms. Baker's breathtaking romance takes the reader on a wild ride through history and her research is faultless. Many of Ms. Baker's finest Native American romances that were out of print after long, successful runs as paperbacks have been brought back to scintillating life by Ellora's Cave, in their Blush" genre of mainstream, historical, and gently seductive romances.
Her deliciously hot hero Shadow Hawk begins the story at the time Red Cloud was visiting the great Grandfather in Washington...a period of time that remains one of the saddest in our country's history. While Red Cloud was speaking to the president of the United States, American cavalry rode into Lakota villages, killing and maiming and burning and raping, with orders to subdue the savages. With his village under attack, Shadow Hawk rushes to save an old medicine man hobbling away from the bloody battle, and is swept into events that take him far into the future...to a time and place where a proud 19th century Sioux warrior finds that his people have declined into sad caricatures of what they once were...their freedoms restricted by the white man's reservations.
Why was he brought here? What had the spirits intended for him to do here? Was he drawn here by the Spirit Woman who has called to him so many times since he first saw her in his dream walk as a youth? The same black-haired beauty who comes to him and sadly calls to him? Because she's here...in this strange place...and she seems to know him, too.
I adore time travel stories, but this one shuffles back and forth over a hundred years of bloody American history, weaving a tale that leaves the reader at once excited to be watching, and sick at heart to be the witness of so much brutality and lack of understanding.
A 20th century woman finds the man of her dreams in a 19th century warrior, and learns that to be with him, she would brave the past and all its heartaches to be his woman. Sigh. Quite a shift from my usual reading matter that leans toward the hot and sexy and erotic...but this one is a long-term keeper. Heart-pounding romance and delicious storytelling winds the reader up in a silken web, and makes it impossible to put the book down.
You can find Ms. Baker on the web here: http://www.madelinebaker.net/
You can purchase this book here: http://www.ellorascave.com/the-spirit-path.html