I received a free ecopy of this book from BookLookBloggers in exchange for an honest review.
Horse in the Wilderness is a Christian Romance story filled with horses, music, teachers, and revenge! Autumn Parker is a young lady who loves horses and dogs, has a large family, and is struggling with the loss of her fiancé, a marine who lost his life in Afghanistan. Times are hard. With a degree in accounting, Autumn had spent a year and a half working in Little Rock, but the company folded and she had to come home to Orchard Springs to work for her father. The pay isn’t much but with free room and board, Autumn is managing. But she would like a little more independence.
Autumn has a plan to achieve her goal all worked out when it is ruined by the arrival of a new music teacher for the elementary school. Brent Travis is going to rent the Parker cottage just down the road from the family home, the home Autumn had thought to move into as it had been sitting empty for some time. Now she’s stuck. In addition, her cousin, Jerry, and his son, Dub, have moved into the old cabin by the mountain, her horse Scout is lost, and one or more vandals is victimizing a local landowner, Wendell Johnson.
Brent is attracted to Autumn but is still angry about the betrayal and death of his wife. He blames God and has a lack of confidence in himself: in his ability to teach, his ability to forgive, and his ability to satisfy and hold a woman. Besides which, Autumn is still wearing an engagement ring and he doesn’t know that her Marine fiancé is dead. He, himself, is keeping many secrets from his new acquaintances and is avoiding church religiously. Just as his involvement in the community increases and he learns that Autumn is a free woman, everything in their world becomes threatened by the vandal.
For me, this story was plausible, with very real characters. Ms. Eckles has first-hand knowledge of horses, dogs, music, and teaching, and conveys this through her characters. These people are Christians who believe in a God who takes a personal interest in each of us. They communicate with Him to praise Him, and to request help and direction in their lives. They are not perfect. They create misunderstandings, sometimes hold grudges, may even seek revenge for a perceived wrong. They make mistakes. But they believe in the forgiveness and grace of a loving God and that all things work to good for those who love Him. This story has the characters relying on biblical truths in their prayers and actions. These are people I am familiar with. This is a book I had to keep reading; it kept surprising me until almost the very last page. All in all, a well-written and very enjoyable story. * * * *