The Canary (Wings of the West #9)


Dr. Jack Brenner takes a trip into the Painted Desert to locate his missing father and make amends after his mother’s death. At the same time, college student Sarah Ryan goes to assist Dr. Allan Brenner digging for fossils. Sarah’s benefactor, Helen Parks, paid for the expedition but expects Sarah to become a spy. Forced into a quick and fake marriage so Sarah can accompany the expedition, she and Jack encounter a mass of others also looking for Dr. Allan Brenner in the Painted Desert. The race is on to find both the most extraordinary fossils in the Painted Desert and the elder Dr. Brenner. Will Sarah and Jack’s rushed marriage out west work out or will it become extinct? Will the fossil evidence they seek be found or will it be destroyed?

Puzzles, intrigue, danger, twists and turns along with the love story make this book a page turner. The paleontology theme was well explained and not too overwhelming, while the connection between Jack and Sarah takes flight through the pages. Kristy McCaffrey captures the evolution of marrying a stranger well through the process of Jack and Sarah’s becoming acquainted, sharing their love of paleontology, and eventually developing strong feelings for one another. Strong female characters dominated this book although most of the characters are male. The political struggle over fossil hunting is riveting and provides even more intrigue and danger to the story and adds an interesting twist to the tale. All the characters are well developed and lovely to follow through the dirt and dust in the western setting. This book stands well on its own for a series.

Amy Rubottom