Kate Tenney is a very determined young woman; determined to survive "Ranching 101" so that she can become an heiress to a very successful ranching operation in the Arizona Territory; Last Chance Ranch. Never mind that her love of literature and her previously successful writing career have faded into the sunset, Kate is going to remain single; ignore her aching muscles and her wounded pride every time a horse catapults her onto the ground. There's only one obstacle; a very real, very handsome, very tender-hearted blacksmith named Luke Adams, who has taken a "fancy" to her.
Luke Adams has inherited a very profitable blacksmithing business from his uncle and there is nothing that he likes better than fashioning steel, that is until he rescues Kate Tenney from a two-bit want-to-be outlaw, Cactus Joe. She is quite lovely, consistently fascinating and full of "big words", but Luke finds himself entranced; except that Kate seems to ignore the attraction . . . . until a sandstorm rescue changes everything.
I read this series backwards and thus I am sorely tempted to start them all over again. All three stories were "cast" with exceptional characters who had just the right amount of "true grit
Last Chance Ranch was started by Eleanor Walker's mother with one steer and is now one of the largest ranches in the Cactus Patch, Arizona area. Eleanor has learned throughout her life not to trust men but now that she's in her sixties she needs to find someone to leave the ranch to. She does have some requirements though, it must be a woman and she must sign a contract agreeing to never marry.
There have been several women apply some left the ranch immediately, some a day or two and one even lasted two weeks, that is until Kate Tenney shows up in Cactus Patch in the middle of an attack by Cactus Joe. All the businesses are locked up, nobody in the streets, is this a ghost town? Where is the man that is supposed to pick her up and take her to Last Chance Ranch?
Kate was determined to own Last Chance Ranch, after all, like Miss Walker says, "nothing is permanent except for land" and "love isn't kind, men can't be trusted", this about sums up how Kate has felt her whole life. Kate has felt God abandoned her the day her dad left and she had to start taking care of her mother, if only Ruckus would quit throwing those Bible verses at her, not Bible verses like we know them, they are translated into his own words and they really make her think.
I think it was kind of a slow read but there was enough there to keep me interested in finishing the book. Sometimes it's nice to slow down a little bit and what better than a book to do it. There was some excitement at different times and that helped. All in all I am glad I read the book and am looking forward to reading the next one "Waiting for Morning". I have read several of Margaret's books and I do enjoy her writing.
This was such a great book. The characters were fantastic. Miss Walker is something else. I really enjoyed her character and figuring out why she is the way she is. Kate Tenney strikes me as smart, independent, and stubborn. She thinks she has life figured out. Luke Adams is the strong, silent type. Their romance was sweet. The conversations they would have together made me laugh most times, and other times I would want to shake them both for their blindness!
The story progresses naturally. I like that the timeline is more than a week or a few days. Some authors try to cram a whole love story into a week, which isn't realistic at all. Instead, Kate and Luke converse over months and have plenty of time for feelings to develop Kate comes to Last Chance Ranch because she feels she has no where else to go. The name of the ranch is very fitting, in her case. She is at her lowest point when she comes to Cactus Patch and can't afford to lose. Luke is content to be the town smithy and live his simple life. So he is unprepared for the feelings Kate awakens in him. Can they both figure out their own hearts before it's too late?!
If there is one thing wrong with this book, it is this: I'm not sure whether or not Kate becomes a Christian. I don't want to give away too much of the plot, but the progression for Kate doesn't seem realistic to me. I don't feel she was ministered to enough throughout the story to really come to an understanding with the Lord. Other than that, I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants a good ol' fashion cowboy read!
Lately, my reading time has been "catch as catch can" with no continuity whatsoever, so to say I was very pleased that I picked up Dawn Comes Early would be a great understatement! This was my first experience with one of Margaret's books, and I already know I will be coming back for more. Her writing style was so different from other historical fiction authors in that, her characters were so entertaining and full of life and spunk, and frankly, just plain unique. I loved them! The storyline in itself was unusual because I was fully expecting a romance, but when the back cover said the heroine must be "prepared to stay single now and forevermore"...I knew the author had something up her sleeve. :o)
With one tiny exception of a lull around the 200-page mark, Dawn Comes Early provided me with a wonderful reading experience that will prompt me to recommend it to several friends. I'm anxious to see what happens next!
Kate Tenney may have signed up for more than she had in mind. It sounded so easy, just show up in a small western town, convince the ranch owner she would be the perfect person to inherit the spread and in a few months it would be hers. Things seem to get off to the wrong start when Kate disembarks the train and the town appears deserted. Boy was she wrong! Kate is faced with one challenge after another and her heart just seems to get in the way of her best laid plans.
A wonderful story to make you wonder... Persistence can pay off, but is it worth the price is the long run?