Tainted Dreams


Jake and Kate have just made it into Oregon City, barely, and with little of what they started out with—including her father and little brother. Along with newlyweds William and Margaret, whom they picked up recently, the weary travelers are hoping for a welcoming bed, but Jake’s history in the now-bustling town isn’t going to make that happen, and neither is William’s uncle. Kate has land, and a plan her father outlined, but Jake has plans too.


"Tainted Dreams" is a true taste of the Oregon territory. What the reader should know, however, is that this tale begins at the end. The beginning of the book is an information dump, and not knowing until the end that it was the second in a series, makes the opening scenes even more lacking. It feels as if there is a rush to catch up. Kate is too modern in her behavior. It’s one thing to be strong, against type, yet hold to the time, and another to drop modern attitudes and behavior squarely into the past. She causes many of her own problems, but is quick to blame Jake and push him away. Her behavior makes no sense for a woman who has relied on and trusted someone for months. He earned her trust already, so him losing it for being honest is not believable. Jake, on the other hand, is a flawless representation of a wandering jack-of-all-trades and a man of his time, while still allowing the woman he loves space to be unwomanly. He is the kind of western historical hero readers swoon over—an imperfect man, but a good one who works hard and tries his best.


Julie York