Yvonne Harris’ novel A River to Cross is a fast-paced, action-packed love story, set in 1886 on both the US and Mexican sides of the Rio Grande River.
Budding journalist Elizabeth Evans has come to El Paso to help her widowed brother, the editor of the local paper, raise his child, but his work exposing the dangers along the US-Mexican border costs him his life. When Elizabeth is kidnapped by his murderers, it’s up to Jake Nelson, Texas Ranger, to sneak across the border and bring her back. But the rogue Mexican military who took her won’t stop until they achieve their ultimate purpose—war between America and Mexico—and killing Elizabeth is part of their dangerous plan.
Jake is a compelling hero. His emotions are charged by a thoughtful back story; he’s brave and deadly yet sweet with children; and he’s conflicted about his future as a Ranger and his growing feelings for Elizabeth. Jake is fully committed to being the best Ranger he can be, even though he’s aware his service affects his ability to have a home and family—if it doesn’t kill him first. Gunfights, quick escapes, and clandestine missions across the Mexican border are all in a day’s work for Jake.
Elizabeth isn’t accustomed to Jake’s way of life, of course. The daughter of a senator, she was raised in Washington, D.C, with servants to see to her every need. She has experience with with military life, however; she was briefly married to an Army officer, whose early death inspired her to veer away from making another marriage that will end in tragedy. While she’s brave enough to continue her brother’s work exposing dangers along the US-Mexican border, she’s not sure she’s ready to take a chance on falling in love with a Ranger.
The story is well-researched, with the descriptions of Jake’s Frontier Battalion woven skillfully into the narrative. Likewise, the Texas scenery came alive under Harris’ pen.
The portrayal of the characters’ Christianity is subtle. Both Jake and Elizabeth consume alcohol, but drunkenness is not glorified in the novel.
Fans of westerns as well as romance should be pleased with this satisfying story. I look forward to reading more by Yvonne Harris.
A River to Cross is available at your favorite Christian retailer, Amazon, and other e-retailers.
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, Bethany House, courtesy of the author, for my review. No positive review was expected or required in exchange.