Wild Rose Pass (Trans-Pecos Series)

Dr. Karen Hulene
WESTERN:  Cadence McShane is an Army post brat, raised on one frontier post or another. She is also free-spirited and chafes under the expectations of 1880 military polite society at Fort Davis, Texas. Although unhappy at the prospect, she is preparing to marry Lt. James West because it is the expected, proper thing to do. Army life for the daughter of the commanding officer is full of social expectations, like tea parties, gossip, and marrying a suitable Army officer like Lt. West. Then Cadence meets Buffalo Lt. Ben Williams. He is exhilarating, unexpected, and everything James is not.
Ben Williams was orphaned, raised by Comanches, and always finds himself on the outside looking in. He is a battlefield-commissioned officer, not a West Point graduate, so he’s not fully accepted in society’s parameters. But lovely Cadence, with her free spirit and warm compassion, speaks to his heart and echoes his own yearnings. Can these two lovers from different worlds find a way to make a life together?
This book gives an enlightening view of frontier Army fort life in 1880 Texas and the frustrations women experienced. It deftly deals with social hierarchy and racial inequality with a compassionate touch. The story line is creative, though it could have had better description details. It has numerous historical inaccuracies that a history-savvy editor or beta reader would catch, however. Conflict and pacing were confusing, and inconsistencies were frequent. A solid editing would correct most of these contradictions, pacing issues, and mixed POV/ run-together dialogue.  Characterization is handled nicely. The subtle threads of Christianity woven through the storyline are refreshing and well done. The connection between Cadence and Ben is sweet, encouraging readers to want more of them.
Emerson Matthews