Wildflower Harvest by Colleen L. Reece (w/bonus story Desert Rose) – Book Review

Wildflower Harvest + bonus story Desert Rose  By  Colleen L. Reece

Published By  Barbour Publishing/Barbour Books   December 01, 2016

Genres:   Romance, Christian

Pages:  320

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

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Publisher’s Description

Enjoy two Old West romances from author Colleen L. Reece. Journey to Wyoming territory with Dr. Adam Birchfield who risks losing love in order to find his missing brother. But which identical twin sister did he really fall in love with back in West Virginia? Also includes the bonus story, Desert Rose, of a woman who falls in love with a man through his letters.

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Story Notes

Colleen L. Reece’s latest stories are a fun adventure in the growing Wyoming Territory town of Antelope.

Colleen L. Reece has many books that I have read and I looked forward to reading this latest offering. I was a little surprised though at how long it took me to get into the main story and actually like the characters. The formatting was rather jumpy and Ms. Reece would go back in time to cover the experiences that took place with one character during the time that had already past with the co-character. I found this slightly off-putting because it made it hard for me to connect with the individual characters. Its not that I don’t think the back stories and each characters thoughts weren’t important but the transition between them was not very smooth in its flow. Once the story really got going the formatting smoothed out and I enjoyed reading the book. I found Ms. Reece’s characters to be interesting and fairly true to reality. It was fun to read of each of their adventures as they made journeys and sought to find a place to belong and thrive. I realize this story was fairly short but I would have liked to see a little more character development with the main characters. The passage of time was merely mentioned and I am a fan of seeing the transition of characters as they become better people within the pages of a book. I did really appreciate that Ms. Reece had each of her characters grow in both physical and spiritual ways as they made their way in the new places they lived, although the details of this were not described fully. I was more drawn to the bonus story that was included rather than the main one – I found the writing to be more flowing and the story much more engaging. Which is funny as Desert Rose is a continuation of the main book, but I really liked the characters better. I found Rose to be a typical non-pampered 17 year old who believes she is up to any challenge or dare. I was very interested in the way Ms. Reece had Rose’s parents advise her when they found out she was corresponding with a man in Massachusetts. They did not reprimand her after she explained who he was and merely advised her to take it slow and be careful to not “encourage you friend to pull up stakes and move to Antelope, at least not until you’re eighteen”. One of the best devices I found Ms. Reece used in these books was to have the “bad guy” be the same person – even given the 20 year time span between the stories. I thought this really made the stories cohesive and allowed for that character’s development to be on-going through both books. I also loved how Rose’s mother Laurel told her that “when you fall in love, I shudder to think what outrageous thing you may do”.  It hearkened back to when Laurel followed Rose’s father Adam to Antelope because she loved him and wanted to know if he felt the same. It would set the tone for the rest of the story and give Rose the courage to save her life and Michael’s by agreeing to marriage even when she was unsure of Michael’s feelings for her. Overall I found these stories to be really nice and enjoyed reading them. The odd formatting really seemed unusual for Ms. Reece and perhaps this is just a one off book and is not indicative of Ms. Reece’s future writing. I look forward to more from this author and will recommend this book to others.

I received this E-book free of charge from Barbour Publishing/Barbour Books via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. I will receive no fiscal compensation from either company for this review.

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