REVIEW: Gold Rush Groom by Jenna KernanFriday, October 28, 2011 1:00
Welcome to the Yukon and a delightful story with a heroine full of determination, ingenuity and just plain common sense, and an uppity New York greenhorn. You can’t help but turn the pages in this book.
Lily Shanahan needs a partner. Not just any partner but one who can get her over the atrocious terrain in the Yukon Territory to Dawson City where she can make her fortune. Her only drawback is no one wants a female partner. They see her as a liability, not an asset. She does what she can to make money while she is waiting for the right partner to come along. With her dog Nala and their sled, she offers her services to people to gather their belongings from the ocean where they are dropped off, since there is no dock. When she spies the greenhorn with way too many crates, she sends Nala out to retrieve one of his boxes. She offers to retrieve the rest for a fee. When he cannot afford to pay, she makes a deal with him to become partners. Nala saves his cargo, and Lily takes him back to her tent to dry him off before he loses his toes.
Jack Snow doesn’t want or need a partner and now he has a woman chained to him. He just needs to make his fortune so he can return to New York and restore his family’s position in polite society. He tries to think of a way to get out of the deal, but in the end they take off together on this wild adventure. Jack learns that the three of them make a good team. The attraction between them is strong and they both know they will not fit into each other’s worlds, so they try to maintain their distance.
The trek from Dyea, Alaska to the gold fields of Dawson City, where they agree to part ways, takes months of travel over frozen terrain. The journey is so real, I could swear my toes felt the cold. Jenna Kernan does a wonderful job of storytelling. No one describes mud like Jenna! I could taste Lily’s biscuits and smell the coffee she sells along the way to the other would-be miners.
When they arrive in Dawson and part ways, Lily gets a singing job and Jack tests out his mining invention. Its weeks before they see each other again. The feelings are still there and so are the reasons not to cultivate those feelings. After he discovers his invention works, Jack looks for investors and, once again, Lily comes to his aid making at least one of his dreams come true.
This is a captivating story. I enjoyed it every step of the way. Jenna touches on the supporting characters just enough and builds up the relationships along the way at an even steady pace, just like their travels through the Yukon. I plan to visit Jenna Kernan’s website to see what else she has coming in the near future.
A search for gold…
Jack Snow has learned the hard way that the only person he can rely on is himself. With his family fortune gone, he’ll don his best jacket and reel out the charm to bag himself an heiress bride!
…could lead to something more precious
The last person with whom he expects to travel across the Yukon is an outspoken, impoverished daughter of an Irish immigrant. Their social standing is miles apart. But Lily Shanahan proves resourceful and dauntless in the face of raging rivers and icy mountain passes, and Jack is forced to admit her passion for life is enough to tempt him from his course…
Read an excerpt.