Wildest Dreams by Rosanne Bittner #Review

Wildest Dreams by Rosanne Bittner #ReviewWildest Dreams by Rosanne Bittner

Genres: Historical Romance
Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on January 5, 2016
Pages: 640
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
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four-half-stars      four-flames

And I took up my next historical western romance saga from an author that is one of my all time favorites. Anticipation and eagerness built for this story of a young pioneering couple who have dreams and hope for what they can have in the wilds of Montana. They share a love that carries them through tragedy and tough hardships and sustains them through the years. Emotionally engaging, historically accurate, flawed and deep characters, colorful settings, and a surrounding cast of characters and plot threads that made this a pleasure from cover to cover.

The story is a standalone and is in itself a series all in one as it follows the story of a couple and their children’s lives.

The story opens with the encounter of Lettie McBride and Luke Fontaine on a wagon train journey to parts west out of St. Louis. Lettie and her family are escaping the troubles and awkwardness brought on by her rape and subsequent birth to a son. They want a new start and so does she though she thinks that she will never deserve or want another man. Luke was cut off from his family when his father announced that he isn’t the man’s son, but a bastard and he will never share in the family business. He is out to prove that he has worth and can make it on his own in Montana where he hopes to ranch.

Luke develops feelings for Lettie and soon proves to her that he is strong enough to love her no matter what. They leave her family at the fork in the trail and head off to make their dreams come true. A hard first winter, outlaws, loneliness, set backs, indian troubles, personal loss, estrangement, and doubt are there as they work their land and build a ranch and home. With each disaster they wonder if their dream is worth it. But Luke is strong and Lettie’s love gives him the strength to do anything. Lettie finds that supporting Luke and having his love is all she needs to sustain her.

Alright, so this one is a long drawn-out story of a young couple who start with a small stake and work to turn it into something big. They are confronted by a lot of challenges and most of them were horrific and heartbreaking. This is not a cozy or easy story nor does it resolve quickly. The courtship and marriage are only the beginning with this being the story that comes after that. The romance is passionate between Luke and Lettie, but it is hard fought.

This one was a blend of passive and active voice along with summary and narration. I did find it distracting at first as the author swiftly worked through the meet up, courtship, and marriage, but then it made sense when I realized that the real story was their settling in Montana and raising a home and family. It was a refreshing take on romance and I liked that. This is also a saga so it doesn’t end with Luke and Lettie making it after a few years, but continues on with their children growing up and starting their lives.

Saying this, I love that the author writes them as a passionate pair who have an active physical love and need each other. Their relationship is the foundation of so many lives and stories around them.

The characters are fascinating in that they are flawed and make mistakes. They are strong, handsome people that everyone sees heroic qualities in, but they have their weak moments and make mistakes. I filled a couple of tissues for these two and all they went through.

My only niggle was the ending. Things were going along and then it just stopped. I can’t say that any story threads were left dangling, but the feel of the story was of ongoing life and plans for the future. And maybe that is exactly why the author chose that point. I think an epilogue scene of a later reunion of the extended family or something like that would have been better for me. But, this was a small concern against the greater enjoyment of the book.

All in all, this author continues to give me wonderful, riveting, emotional stories. I will attack her backlist at some point and continue to snatch up any new or re-releases. Those who enjoy sweeping historical western sagas really need to read her stuff.

My thanks to Sourcebooks Casablanca for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

About Rosanne Bittner

Rosanne Bittner is an award-winning novelist who is highly acclaimed for her thrilling love stories and historical authenticity. Her epic romances span the West—from Canada to Mexico, Missouri to California—and are often based on personal visits to each setting. She lives in Michigan with her husband and two sons.

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
  • I’m not a fan of abrupt endings but as long as there weren’t any cliffhangers then I guess it alright.

    • Yeah, I was startled when it just stopped. But after I thought about it, I realized there wasn’t really any threads to pursue. A smoother ending would have been nice.

  • I have read a few Bittner, and liked them 🙂

  • Great review. I am reading this one as soon as I finish my library books that are due soon. I love how emotional and poignant this author gets, and she sure knows how to write epic love romances.

    • Oh good! You’re my Bittner Reading Buddy (we can call it the BRB club) and I look forward to what you think about this one. It’s not quite as good as Thunder on the Plains or the Outlaw duology, but it still grabs all the emotions and keeps you in it.

  • I will try to read at least one western this year. I got Anson Mount on my mind as my permanent MC/Hero so that should help. lol

    Happy weekend!

    • I think you would probably enjoy her Thunder on the Plains then b/c that’s about the railroad. 🙂

  • I saw one of her books discounted lately, but the price had gone up again when I got around to buying it. Maybe next time one of her books is discounted I grab it. Not sure if I will enjoy them, but you always make them sound so good. I have to admit that page number scares me, I am not used to reading long books. I usually prefer my books to be 400 pages max, else it takes me so long to read one book.

    I do like the sound of this book. And I liked flawed characters, as flaws always makes characters so much more interesting. I usually like an epilogue in romance books to wrap things, even if things aren’t left dangling an epilogue still feels like a nice way to end a book. Great review!

    • I know what you mean about how long some of hers are. I think Paradise Valley or Desperate Hearts might by about that in page count. They aren’t the big sagas like this one. Sometimes her older books that aren’t re-releases are less expensive. I thought I saw one for Kindle that’s $.99 right now.

      I usually don’t fall deeply in love with every book I’ve read by an author, but this gal’s books get me with her flawed characters and emotion-action packed stories.

  • Honestly, I would have passed this one straight because of the cover. *bad Alyssa* However, I am so happy to see that you enjoyed this one, Sophia! I love an especially passionate couple in a romance novel. 😀 Lovely review!

    Have a fabulous weekend. 🙂

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • And you are not the only one. I have read enough books that definitely surprise me compared to their cover, but I still am influenced by a cover giving me a first impression of a book. These are re-releases and the older covers look very western and focus on scenery which changes the whole impression. 🙂

      but yes, I love her romantic couples and their passion.

  • Whew that is a chunky one! I’ve enjoyed her too and so want to read this one. I always enjoy her covers too. They’ve got a nice pop to them 😀

    • Yeah, I have that moment where I take a deep breath when I see the page count, but dive in and find that I barely notice. I like that the passion from her characters seems to show through. And, so far, the pairings do superficially match the book descriptions of the characters.