Title: Blue Coat
Author: Mary Jean Kelso
Published in 2006 by Whiskey Creek Press
Genre: Historical Western
The only survivor of an Indian massacre, Laura O’Connell faces no hope of real life again after an Apache renegade leader takes her hostage. She has always been determined in all her actions but after her parents are killed by the Indians, she grows frightened, as she sets out to show that she will be strong with whatever she is dealt. Angry Bear wants her as his and plans to take her with him. All she can think about is survival, as thoughts of her dear parents enter her mind. When Win comes to the Indian camp and finds a way to escape with her, she is most grateful. Still soaked with much grief over the death of her parents, she finds comfort in the arms of Win. She realizes that even though he may have spared her from the Indians, they are still not out of harms way. When a chance moment happens between her and Win, she feels that things are happening too fast in the west, but in time she slowly begins to feel sensations toward him.
Laura hears about Elizabeth, she knows that Win has many choices to face, not only with the hunt for Angry Bear, but for his true feelings for her. She loves him but she wants him to make the right decision that will bring happiness. And when she finally has the opportunity to meet Elizabeth, a fire brews not only with the Indians and Win, but Elizabeth and Laura, as they find themselves further in the midst of danger. When Win once again comes to their rescue, she tells him that the only way for anything to come out of the situation is to tell Elizabeth the truth, no matter how harsh it may hurt. But things take another spin in her life when Win informs her that someone in their midst has desires to court her, something that surprises Laura. Surely it is something that she misread, because in her heart there is only one man for her, and that is Win. In a land full of hostility, hate, bloodshed and hardships, can the two finally find an equal medium together?
Winslow Brighton, cavalry lieutenant is accountable for the safety of the whole Virginia City region. While stationed near the mining town, the others begin to see him as a most usual soldier. In fact, he makes sure never to send a soldier out on a mission that he would not try. Being in the cavalry away from family, trying to oversee other settlers, is not always an easy life. While searching out the valley, he hears a woman’s screams and his findings point to an Indian renegade. He feels if he doesn’t help the young woman, the Indians will kill her, or do much worse. Angry Bear has been known to be unbearable and unwilling to reason with anyone. Brave Eagle is different and would like to see peace. As a soldier, he knows he has his hands full with all the chaos, and he, too, is tired of seeing the land soaked with blood. Known as Win, he embarks on a mission to find Laura, after he hears of her fate with the Apache.
Winslow happens to find Laura and escorts her to her relative’s home, he feels a strong attraction to her. He realizes that it is hopeless feeling anything for Laura since he is already engaged to another. In fact, Win is not only engaged to a high society woman, Elizabeth Jennings, but he also holds feelings for a prostitute, by the name of Amy, that he often pays visits to when he needs to be with a woman. Win feels that because of the hardness of the territory that Elizabeth would not be able to live in such surroundings. She is just not as strong as Laura in difficult situations. When events transpire that leave Win believing that Elizabeth is dead, and also upon learning that Amy has died, he finds himself turning to the lovely Laura. As he begins to enjoy the opportunity to be with Laura, he is unaware that his sweet Elizabeth is on route to him. His days have not been easy with so many loved ones scattered to the wind of late. Knowing Laura, Amy, Elizabeth and even Angry Bear, as well as others have touched a special part of his heart, it has been hard to say goodbye to many. When his attentions become even stronger toward Laura, he finds his life in limbo trying to make tough decisions in a land that is not always filled with contentment. So many lives and so many choices are not easy for Win, as he quickly learns.
Angry Bear is filled with hate when he learns that miners seize a Paiute woman. He decides to abduct Laura and do whatever he pleases because of what happened to one of his own. Brave Eagle tries to tell him that nothing good can come with anymore bloodshed and they need to work on some mutual point in their life, for peace but Angry Bear refuses to listen as she charts a path for greater destruction with the white man.
Blue Coat is a saga of conflict and emotional tragedy of sacrifice and love. Laura is a very strong character who suffers much after the brutal killing of her parents. She is tore with being in a place with no family and nothing but others who wish to do her harm. She doesn’t quite understand the way of the land but she sets inside her mind to survive in any way she can. Win’s character is so moving as he searches for answers in his choice to choose the one woman to spend the rest of his days with, not really desiring to hurt anyone. The story with Amy was engaging and allowed the reader to feel her emotions and visions.
Ms. Kelso sketches a setting of events that were not always filled with joy and bliss. Times where not only hazardous for the soldier but the women endured much as well in a land that promised new life but many heartbreaks. I could almost see the soldiers as they road onto the lands to find Laura, and when they searched for Angry Bear. It was a time that the Indians sought a way to protect themselves and their land while the soldiers and settlers also sought to maintain some kind of order. With the addition of many secondary characters this is one story that sweeps across the pages with stirring sensations that this reader won’t forget. Anyone who wishes to travel back into time and be a part of history in the making, and feel the incredible stirring emotions, this is one book that shouldn’t be missed. Be sure to get a copy today at www.whiskeycreekpress.com where the adventurous journey is just beginning.
Sibcerely good reading,