Barbour Publishing, 2012
Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
Reviewed by Noela Nancarrow
~5 stars *****
This Is A Gem!
This is an intriguing and fascinating historical romance set in the early 1900's, beginning briefly in Pretoria, South Africa, and then travelling to Marshall, Texas where much of the story takes place. This story spotlights two swarthy, handsome, and sometimes cocky treasure hunters; a pretty, young woman leaving home for the first time to work as a governess in Marshall; an unusual and challenging boy of five years; and swindling ruthless villains who get more emboldened and dangerous as the story progresses. These and other various interesting and extremely likeable characters all possess incredible character depth in this story!
I loved experiencing the camaraderie and banter between Pearson Foster and best mate Theo, who are the story's treasure hunters. Pearson, having his heart set on searching for the shipwrecked steamer, Mittie Stephens, and her cargo of gold, ends up travelling to Caddo Lake with Theo to take up their search there.
Not long after arriving, Pearson first encountered Adelina (Addie) McRae upon her arrival in nearby Marshall with her mother, having just arrived there for the position of Cedric's (Ceddy's) governess. And from the very beginning the atmosphere between Pearson and Addie was electric! Addie found Pearson discomforting and yet intriguing, infuriating yet titillating, with odd hair yet handsome! I longed for more encounters between these two and I wasn't disappointed. The captivating and intense energy between these two leading characters continued throughout.
I also absolutely adored Ceddy, Addie's young charge, an unusual boy who was orphaned from his missionary parents and now living with his Aunt Priscilla in Marshall. He is actually autistic but because Autism wasn't a diagnosed condition back then, Ceddy was frightening at times, and his confronting behavior difficult for people to understand and accept. Having an autistic child myself, I was so impressed at how Marcia managed to portray this little autistic boy so insightfully and realistically. And I deeply felt little Ceddy's engulfing fear each time he saw or encountered the villains Denny and Charlie, as they attempted to get to him and his own personal secret treasure.
Hunter's Prize also explores the theme of communication... or lack thereof, and the resulting consequences. But then there's also a gentle but compelling message about finding your way back to God after a terrible tragedy and learning to trust in Him again.
This book is the third in the Backwoods Brides series, but can very much be read as a stand-alone book... although I hasten to add, you'd really be doing yourself a dis-service to miss out on Marcia's other two brilliant stories in the series! Marcia Gruver tells a story that keeps you reading, and even when you're not, it will cause you to think about it... until you give in and pick it up again!!
Marcia's books are available online at Lifeway, CBD, and in Christian book stores as well as other book stores such as Barnes and Noble.
GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment and your email to be entered in this week's contest. Drawing will be late Saturday, your choice of Marcia's books and choice of format*. Void where prohibited by law. *International winners will only receive the book in ebook format, not as a paperback. (Extra bonus count will be done for everyone who also left a comment on Noela's post from this Monday--so if you leave a comment on all three Gruver posts from Sunday/Tuesday/Wednesday this week you will count as 4 entries not 3!)