Wild Montana Skies by Susan May Warren
Published by Revell Publishing October 18, 2016
Rating: 5 out of 5
Search and rescue pilot Kacey Fairing is home on leave in Mercy Falls, Montana, twelve years after she joined the military to escape the mistakes of her past. With a job waiting for her as the new lead pilot of Peak Rescue in Glacier National Park, Kacey hopes to reconnect with the now-teenage daughter she sees only between deployments. What she doesn’t realize is that someone else is also back in town.
Ben King has been building his country music career since the day Kacey shut him out of her life. Now all of that’s on hold when his injured father calls him home to help run Peak Rescue until he’s fully recovered. It doesn’t take long, though, to discover his father’s ulterior motives as Kacey Fairing walks into the house and back into his heart.
With Mercy Falls in a state of emergency due to flash floods, Kacey and Ben are forced to work together to save lives. But when floodwaters turn personal, can they put aside the past to save their future?
Susan May Warren’s first book in the Montana Rescue Series is an excellent foray into the world of Search and Rescue (SAR). Well-written and well-paced, this story will keep you engaged throughout and might even make you consider your own relationships in light of the honesty this book proclaims.
This series is not Ms Warren’s first venture into SAR and its workings. I have loved reading her past series and was looking forward to this new series based in small-town Montana. And this book was all I hoped for and even held some wonderful reminders of God’s love in the face of our mistakes. I was very pleased that Ms Warren drops the reader right into the story in the perfect place between past and present – in the aftermath of a major flood that has the town of Mercy Falls reeling from the disaster. Kacey Fairing is back home after an extremely trying tour in Afghanistan and has taken leave for the summer to deal with PTSD in the hope that she will be able to return to the army afterward. She will work the summer with PEAK rescue, flying the rescue chopper on SAR missions and recoveries. Country superstar Benjamin King is back in Mercy Falls on a mission to convince his father to move to Nashville where he can help him recover after a helicopter crash that left his dad with two broken hips. Having been betrayed by his co-star Hollie Montgomery, Ben is looking forward to the summer off to regroup and decide how to recover his music career. Both Ben and Kacey have no idea the other is in town and when they find out they will be working together at PEAK they will have to decide if they will let the past define the future and keep them apart once again. I found Ms. Warren’s characters in this story to be very well developed and true to real life. She allowed her characters to experience all their emotions on the page and this helps the reader develop an connection with them. Honesty, truth, and sacrificial love were the main themes in this book and each of the characters in the story held true to this – even the supporting characters. I really enjoyed the way Ms. Warren allowed Ben and Kacey the opportunity to discover that although their motives for keeping their silence with each other in the past were good, being honest would have saved both of them pain and the separation of ten years. I was glad to see that Ms. Warren attacked the heart of their problems – they needed to look to God to see what he would have them do and further learn that He is the only one who will always love them and be there for them. I loved two quotes from this story so very much: ” Don’t let your mistakes tell you that God is not for you, that he won’t help you fix them” and ” Having faith is the bravest thing we can do. It is the unwavering confidence that God love us. That although we can’t see the road ahead, we can see God”. These are excellent reminders of where our faith and dependence needs to rest – on and in God. I also liked that Kacey’s father was honest with both Ben and Kacey when they asked him why he told Ben that Kacey did not want to see him anymore when they were seventeen – he truly wanted both of them to have the best life possible and he lied so they would be able to move on with going after their life’s dreams. It was almost frustrating to see the many obstacles that Ms. Warren put in front of her main characters but as the story went , I realized that each problem they faced offered a chance to trust the other and to believe that they would always love each other no matter what stood in the way. I was most pleased to see how Ms. Warren handled the idea of Audrey, Ben and Kacey’s daughter that Ben believed had been adopted. Ben’s intense desire to know and be a part of his daughter’s life was wonderful to see and would lead to him learning the meaning of love – that real love requires sacrifices that will make life better for someone else. Ms. Warren allowed Kacey to be kind and encourage Ben to get to know their daughter while still being careful not to reveal their relationship until he made a decision about where he would live, Montana or Tennesee. She had the real fear of any mother – if her daughter came to love and know Ben would she be hurt if he decided to go back to Nashville? The solution of these relationships was one of Ms. Warren’s best ; Ben and Kacey learn to trust God and each other and find love enough to bring them together with Audrey to become a family strong in God’s love and forgiveness. It was also interesting to read more into two of the supporting characters lives that began in the prequel “If Ever I Would Leave You” – Ian Shaw and Sierra Rose. Ian is still hurting over the death of his wife and the disappearance of his niece Esme three years before. Sierra is Ian’s assistant who has been with him through everything over the years and she wishes he would see her as someone who could help him move on from his pain. Ian is struggling with the idea that he is falling in love with Sierra but not sure if she feels anything more for him than friendship. And when their relationship is tested with a revelation that Ian sees as betrayal, Ian will have to decide if he can put aside his ego enough to forgive Sierra for her omission of information three years ago. I cannot wait to see how Ms. Warren will conclude Ian and Sierra’s story in the next books in this series – I will most definitely be looking for them soon. I will also recommend this very good book to others and be purchasing a physical copy for my own shelves.
I received this book from Revell Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review.