Book Review: Wild Rose Pass by Karen Hulene Bartell

Wild Rose Pass (Trans-Pecos) by [Hulene Bartell, Karen]

Rating: 5/5

Cadence McShane, free-spirited nonconformist, yearns to escape the rigid code, clothes, and sidesaddles of 1880s military society in Fort Davis, Texas. She finds the daring new lieutenant exhilarating, but as the daughter of the commanding officer, she is expected to keep with family tradition and marry West Point graduate James West.

Orphaned, Comanche-raised, and always the outsider looking in, Ben Williams yearns to belong. Cadence embodies everything he craves, but as a battlefield-commissioned officer with the Buffalo Soldiers instead of a West Point graduate, he is neither accepted into military society nor considered marriageable.

Can two people of different worlds, drawn together by conflicting needs, flout society and forge a life together on the frontier?

Quick Take

Wild Rose Pass is a rip-roaring Western that brings with it exhilarating romance and high-stakes adventure.  It is one of the best Western novels I have read in a long time!

Tell Me More

Western novels – particularly Western romances – are my guilty pleasure, and I couldn’t resist picking up Wild Rose Pass due to its frontier appeal.  But this novel was so much more than I expected it to be.  Karen Hulene Bartell pours her heart and soul into her writing, and I could feel the story surrounding me as I read.

Cadence McShane, the novel’s female protagonist, is a brave, independent woman who is conflicted between becoming the person her family expects of her, or following her heart and creating a life on the frontier.  Ben Williams – the novel’s male protagonist – is a man deemed “unmarriageable” due to his experience with the Buffalo Soldiers instead of West Point, but he immediately catches Cadence’s eye.  Ben and Cadence form an intense attraction that leads them to choose between becoming what is expected of them, or defying society and leading a life together on the frontier.

The beauty of Wild Rose Pass is that it is a high-stakes adventure as much as it is a steamy romance.  The author created such beautiful imagery throughout the novel that I felt as though I were part of the story, and it was clear that she had done extensive research to ensure that her novel was historically accurate.  Wild Rose Pass is one of the best Western novels I have read in a long time due to its enticing story and historical accuracy.  Cadence and Ben are characters who will be in my head for a long time, and I am so happy that I go to know them.

If you are a fan of Western novels, may they be historical, adventure, or romance, then you are going to adore Wild Rose Pass!  This is a great novel that transports you into the story as you read, and it is a perfect choice if you are in need of an escape.  There are even recipes included in the back of the novel to help you bring the frontier to life.  Wild Rose Pass is a gorgeous adventure that will stay with me for days to come!

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