🏞️ "Nothing Short of Wondrous" (American Wonders Collection #2) (2020) 🏞️ - Book Review

  


MY REVIEW


 Series: American Wonders Collection (Book 2)
 Paperback: 336 pages
 Publisher: Revell (October 20, 2020)
 Language: English
 ISBN-10: 0800736400
 ISBN-13: 978-0800736408

Click photo for purchase link!

It is 1886, and the government has given the US Cavalry control of Yellowstone. For widowed hotelier Kate Tremaine, the change is a welcome one. She knows every inch of her wilderness home like the back of her hand and wants to see it protected from poachers and vandals.

Refused a guide by Congress, Lieutenant William Prescott must enlist Kate's aid to help him navigate the sprawling park and track down the troublemakers. But a secret from his past makes him wary of the tender feelings the capable and comely widow raises in him. As they work together to protect the park and stand firm through injustice and tragedy, they may just find that two wounded hearts can share one powerful love when God is in control.

Thank you in advance to Revell (a division of Baker Books) for providing a complimentary review copy through the author’s launch team/early reviewers. A positive review was not required and all words are my own. 

Last year I was introduced to many genres of books – Christian Fiction, Christian Suspense, Amish Fiction, and Historical Fiction.

As of note, I wasn’t always a historical fiction fan. In fact I am surprised by how many books of this genre I now have in my collection.

Last year, through JustRead Tours, I was introduced to the beautiful writing of Regina Scott who also writes Regency Fiction (that’s a genre I haven’t yet read).

I loved “A Distance Too Grand” which is book one (#1) in this series. That took place in 1871 showcasing the Grand Canyon.

This book, “Nothing Short of Wondrous” takes place in 1886 (some 15 years later) and features Yellowstone Park. And, while it is part of the American Wonders Collection – the books are not connected by characters or places. The only connection is that they are part of the parks.

This is actually nothing short of amazing. Truly amazing.  From the gorgeous cover, which is absolutely stunning to the exciting end – this book is wondrous and amazing.

The characters are also well balanced and rounded. The main two – disgraced (and given a second chance by the U.S Army) Will Prescott and feisty widower and hotelier, Kate Tremaine are both trying to avoid romantic entanglements. This is clear right from the beginning.

Loved the plot – there were SO many points to it: 

** Kate’s worry about her hotel lease

** Arson

** Slander and libel against Kate

** Kidnapping

** Will’s secret shame

** Kate’s husband’s death

** Mystery poacher

With a supporting cast of characters and “guests” the suspect list to the poaching and arson fires is definitely an interesting one. There was one early “visitor” that I thought was going to be trouble that wasn’t.

Readers might be shocked to discover one miscreant hiding in plain sight. I was beginning to have my doubts early on about the person, but really couldn’t have guessed who it was. It was definitely a good plot device.

And, despite this being more of a romance, there are a few mysteries to solve in this stunning, exciting, and dramatic story that explores Yellowstone during the Army’s control of the park written with a touch of humor, vivid and sweeping descriptions of the wonder that has become a national treasure.

Given such picturesque details, it is almost like taking a virtual tour around the park without leaving home. The description and inclusion of the sight-seeing spots is like the map that Kate is to draw for Will and his men to keep them safe in the majestic park. And, Kate wants to prevent another accident at all costs – like the one that claimed her husband.

This remains a secret from Will until about chapter nine (9). Will’s secret isn’t revealed until chapter 23 when the real idea of “courting” Kate comes into play, though the “romance” part is planted about halfway through. The events, which occurred eight (8) years before the start of this story, are definitely disturbing given today’s racial climate. Scott is respectful to keep details to a minimum and doesn’t overwhelm the reader. These events have taken a toll on Will’s career to be sure.

Yet, in the middle of this – there is a tale of redemption, second chances (for both Will and Kate), and seeing past the flaws of our lives. Will does learn to take control of his future when he is forced to make a decision regarding his career.

Scott is careful to remain authentic to the time in keeping the romance slow and realistic to the times while still keeping the reader interested.

The kidnapping mentioned in the blurb comes nearly three-quarters (¾) through and didn’t last but two (2) chapters.

Written with short chapters, this is such an exciting read, it is almost hard to put down. The only reason it took me a few days to read it was due to other obligations I had. Otherwise this would’ve taken less time. There is a slight printing glitch on page 86, but it doesn’t affect the story or reading the book.

I would’ve liked to have seen the kidnapping drawn out a bit, and there was one issue that wasn’t solved. But, otherwise, this is a stellar read. And, I would love to someday visit the parks – the Grand Canyon as well as Yellowstone as these books give such a wonderful accounting of their history. It definitely makes me appreciative of the efforts to conserve them even as far back as the late 1800’s.

As this is distributed by a Christian/faith themed publisher, there will be references to God and faith. This does have bible references and a story, faith services, and prayers. This is done in a manner that is realistic to the times and is not integral to the main plot of the story. 

The title comes from something that Will says as one of the last lines of the story.

Fans of historical fiction, particularly by the author, and those who’ve read the previous book are sure to enjoy this offering. Regina Scott’s writing is about to make a historical fiction fan of me yet – along with other authors on the list! 

I am eagerly awaiting the third book in this series! Hint – Mt. Rainier! I also enjoyed the mention of The Presidio (San Francisco) for several reasons.

 

RATING:

5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Goodreads

5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Bookbub

5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – Personal Rating (see rating explanation in this blog: https://readingexcursions.blogspot.com/2020/01/rating-system-2020-changes.html)

 

Other Books in the Series:

 Series: American Wonders Collection (Book 1)
 Paperback: 384 pages
 Publisher: Revell (October 1, 2019)
 Language: English
 ISBN-10: 0800736397
 ISBN-13: 978-0800736392

Click photo for purchase link!

 “Meg Pero has been assisting her photographer father since she   was big enough to carry his equipment, so when he dies she is   determined to take over his profession--starting with fulfilling the   contract he signed to serve on an Army survey of the North Rim of   the Grand Canyon in 1871. What she doesn't realize is that the   leader of the expedition is none other than the man she once   refused  to marry.

 Captain Ben Coleridge would like nothing more than to leave   without the woman who broke his heart, but he refuses to wait even    one more day to get started. This survey is a screen for   another, 
more personal mission, one he cannot share with any member of his team.

As dangers arise from all sides, including within the survey party, Meg and Ben must work together to stay alive, fulfill their duties, and, just maybe, rekindle a love that neither had completely left behind.”


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

REGINA SCOTT is the author of more than 45 works of warm, witty historical romance, including A Distance Too Grand. Her writing has won praise from Booklist and Library Journal, and she was twice awarded the prestigious RT Book Reviews best book of the year in her category. A devotee of history, she has learned to fence, driven four-in-hand, and sailed on a tall ship, all in the name of research. She and her husband of 30 years live south of Tacoma, Washington, on the way to Mt. Rainier.

 

You can follow her on the following social media accounts:


Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorreginascott 

Website: http://www.reginascott.com/


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