Title: Wild Honey
Author: Carolyn Lampman
Genre: Historical Romance
Published in February 2005 by Whiskey Creek Press
Related Books: Meadowlark Trilogy: Book 1 Meadowlark & Book 2 Silver Springs
Alaina Ellinson is an eighteen-year-old that has never quite fit in with her family. Growing up in the small town of Nerstrand, Minnesota, she was always the child that caused the most mischief and was constantly seeking adventure. Knowing this, her parents finally agreed to let her go visit her Godmother in Wyoming. She is excited about the opportunity to see more of the world than just her small town. Her excitement fades when a secret that has remained hidden for close to two decades is revealed the night before she is set to leave. Alaina is even more determined now to go to see her Godmother. The revealed secret puts a wrench in her relationship with her parents and she is not able to make amend with them before she leaves on her great adventure. While she longs to repair what she has broken, she is unable to find a way to feel like a part of her family again. She feels that her entire life to this day has been one big lie.
Her Godmother’s brother, Jared, is right on time to pick Alaina up in the morning. Jared has changed greatly from how Alaina remembers him from the one time he visited years ago. When he was there before, Alaina remembers him being the little weasel that tied her hair to the doorknob. His effect on her when he arrives surprises her. He is all grown up now and devastatingly handsome, but Alaina has other things to worry about than Jared. She is not sure how she is going to manage it, but she is determined to get the entire secret revealed while she is in Wyoming. She is sure that she can get her Godmother to fill in the blanks and hopefully point her in the correct direction. During the trip to Wyoming, Alaina meets Susan, Jared’s fiancée. Since they are as different as night and day, Alaina is glad that she will only have to spend a few days in her company.
To appease his sister, Jared Brady makes a stop in Nerstrand to escort her goddaughter, Alaina, for a visit. He is already on his way home from New York with his fiancée, Susan, and her maid where they were visiting her family. It is out of his way to pick her up, but Jared knows better than to defy his sister when she wants something. When he arrives at their farm to pick Alaina up, both her looks and her attitude surprise him. He was hoping for a spoiled, freckle faced teenager, but what he got was a beautiful, mature young lady. Jared has a forbidding that sparks will fly between his spoiled fiancée and Alaina. During the ride back to the train to continue the trip to Wyoming, Jared tries to find out what is so urgent that Alaina had to make the trip to see her Godmother. Alaina holds her cards close to her chest and will not reveal why she must go to Wyoming.
During their time together, Jared realizes that Alaina is as countrified as sunshine and fresh air. He finds out the hard way that she might have been raised in the country, but she is not a spoiled imp like his sister. She knows how to turn the tables on unsuspecting men. He is intrigued by her honey blond hair, intense blue eyes, and willowy build. When he makes the mistake of thinking that she is pregnant and running off to get assistance from his sister, Alaina wastes no time dissuading him of that idea. During the train ride to Wyoming, Jared is constantly reminding Alaina of the dangers being around strangers. Growing up in a small town where she knows everyone, she does not understand how unsafe it is to talk to men that are not related to her. Obviously, his prediction regarding Susan’s reaction to meeting Alaina is true. Jared sees the storm clouds in Alaina’s eyes every time Susan calls her Elaine.
Wild Honey by Carolyn Lampman is a coming of age story set in a time when the Wild West was still wild and life was simpler. Since Alaina turned eighteen, she is determined to have a great adventure. Finally convincing her parents to let her go visit her Godmother in Wyoming, she is ecstatic about being able to leave Minnesota for a time. A secret revealed the night before she leaves, drives a wedge between her parents and Alaina, but she is more determined than ever to go to Wyoming now and find the answers she so desperately needs. Jared was instructed by his sister to escort Alaina home to Wyoming and he knows better than to defy his sister. The trip from Minnesota to Wyoming is only the start of the adventure that Jared must to endure to keep Alaina safe. Alaina is headstrong and does not take no for an answer, even when her life could be in danger by her actions. During their ill-timed trek across the mountain range, they come upon a destroyed cabin and find a baby that is orphaned. Coming upon Blue Eyes is a miracle and the responsibilities that go along with caring for an infant brings them closer together, but is it enough to base a life together on?
I enjoyed the constant bickering between Alaina and Jared. They were doing everything in their power to stop that attraction that was building between them, but when fate is involved, there is not much you can do to change your path. Alaina knows that she must find the true out about the secret her mother revealed and she will not put up with interference from Jared. Little does she know that her impetuousness will bring her to the edge of death and only Jared will be able to save her. With help from Alaina herself, of course. She is not the whimpering socialite that Jared is used to dealing with and it will take more than bears, renegades, blizzards, and chicken pox to stop her from finding out what she must. Pick up a copy of Wild Honey from Whiskey Creek Press to find out what the life-changing secret is and whether Jared and Alaina will be able to overcome their differences to make a life together.