Debut Author Jessica Nelson’s Love on the Range is a quick-paced tale of secrets, risks, and romance. Likable characters and action combine to create an intriguing story with elements of suspense and a unique setting.
In 1918, the horrors of WWI raged alongside another deadly war: Spanish influenza. To escape the virus, wealthy Bostonian Gracelyn Riley’s is sent by her family to live with Uncle Lou in the Oregon desert. A young socialite and suffragist with dreams of becoming a reporter, Gracelyn doesn’t mind living in Oregon, because she’ll taste independence from her parents and become a serious reporter. Or she will, once she lands an exclusive interview with the mysterious hero, Striker.
Gracie’s endeavors to find and interview Striker are obstructed by ranch hand Trevor Cruz, a strong man of few words. He clearly knows something about Striker, but he avoids answering most of Gracie’s questions. He may be attracted to her, but her snooping will get her into deep trouble if she’s not careful. Trevor protects her, but he’s determined to protect his heart as well—from her and from her God.
At first, Gracie comes off rather strong-headed and pampered, but she’s utterly likable. As she grows through the story, she discovers the significance of honest work and true friendship and I rooted for her all the way. Her concern for Trevor’s lack of faith is touching, but Trevor’s heart can’t be fixed easily. Like most of the real world’s problems, Trevor’s issues run deep.
A delightful story about God’s redeeming love, romance, and adventure, Love on the Range is a perfect summer read.