In this fourth installment we get to dive into Chaska’s story. Let me just say upfront that this is probably my favorite book written by Pamela Clare. Don’t get me wrong, I love those I-Team books, but this book is really special. Every single character brought something to the table. The Native American traditions and how they view the world is eye opening and I just couldn’t put this book down. The fact that the author has an enormous amount of experience and history with the different Nations added to the authenticity. I hope there are more books coming (hint hint, Win’s book) because the story and the background was so intriguing and I feel we can all take a moment to truly understand their values and their way of life. I for one am forever changed. Thank you, Ms. Clare.
Naomi Archer has finally made her way to Colorado. She makes jewelry and after attending a workshop in Denver, she swore that one day she would come back and not look at the mountains through a dirty window. She’s camping on National Forest Land, putting her cooking tools away in the trunk of her SUV when she is approached by two men. Escaped prisoners on the run, Naomi is the perfect victim. They know she’s all alone – they’re hungry and want her car. At first they tried sweet talking her, but Naomi knows she’s in trouble. She’s been living on her own since she was sixteen when she escaped from a strict religious family. As soon as she heard her adoptive parents were going to marry her to an old man, she left as fast as she could with the one thing that was left with her in that alley she was abandoned in – a beautifully crafted small beaded medicine wheel. One of the guys pulls a gun on her and forces her to cook them dinner. She’s about to be violated and probably killed, because they need her car to get away and they certainly don’t want her alerting the cops. As she’s putting wood on the fire, she knows this is her only chance to get away. She pulls the log out of the fire and swings at the escapee, making a run for it through the forest.
Chaska Belcourt and his sister are walking a trail with Shota, a rescued wolf, when Shota takes off down a trail with Winona and Chaska following. As they are making their way down the path, Win is trying to get her brother to date Nicole, who is part of his rescue team. He’s having none of that, he doesn’t want to mix business with pleasure. Chaska has some baggage as well. His mother killed herself with booze and he hasn’t spoken to his father in years due to his prior indiscretions. Win feels he’s thirty-three and needs to find love. Chaska feels that when the time is right, the Creator will put someone in his path. Win and Chaska are Lakota living far from their family, and Win feels she needs to look after him. As they near the wolf, they see a woman unconscious and bleeding. Chaska calls in to the Rescue Team while trying to warm Naomi up. Even though it’s July, at that altitude it’s still very cold. When she suddenly opens her eyes, they are both struck by each other. Naomi has the most stunning blue eyes and she’s struck by his stunningly gorgeous face. He’s also her lifeline right now. She tells Chaska and Win what happened to her and all wheels are set into motion.
Naomi is in the hospital, she needs surgery, she has no insurance and she’s scared. I mean she truly has no one but herself. Winona comes to the hospital to see how she’s doing and the two of them become friends. Also, she knows the Creator put Naomi right onto Chaska’s path and she will not ignore the signs. Luckily for Naomi, Colorado has a law that if a violent crime happens to you they cover most of the cost. So she has a broken foot that needs surgery. Her vehicle has been destroyed by the two escapees and she has no where to go, add in that she doesn’t have an unlimited amount of money on her. Win and Chaska welcome her to stay at their house so she can recuperate.
At this point they are all getting to know each other and the sparks are flying between Chaska and Naomi. Win and Chaska slowly break down her barriers and she tells them her story. Chaska sends a photo of Naomi’s medicine wheel to Tina and asks her to show it to his grandfather. Win and Chaska knowing how important that medicine wheel is and will try to see if they can find out what family it came from. Meanwhile, things are heating up between them. Chaska is a dream. The way he treats Naomi and the amount of respect and reverence he shows her is beautiful. Their love story will linger in the back of my mind always. They each share their passions regarding their jobs, their hopes and dreams. When the town finds out about what happened to Naomi, they throw a huge fundraiser to help her with her bills. The community is wonderful and I wouldn’t mind living there myself.
Major revelations are revealed for Naomi, which I don’t want to reveal. There are some truly wonderful moments (kleenex needed), there are some dark moments too, and when her story makes the newspaper her adoptive parents track her down. Good thing Chaska is a warrior, because he’s having none of that. When Chaska and Win’s grandfather comes for a visit, I was a little bit teary. What a great character. You get to read about their traditions, and before I knew it I was done with the book and I wanted another 300 pages. This is a book about family, roots, traditions, kindness, love, but most of all about respect (for everything). This book is also very sexy. I am not going to mention the scene where they eat spicy food and go back to the house to have sexy times and Chaska has to walk around with his penis in a bowl of milk. I will absolutely not talk about the jalapenis. I highly recommend this book. Don’t miss out on this wonderful story.
Read Kristie J’s review here.
A woman with no roots…
Naomi fled the cult-like nightmare of her childhood and learned to rely on one person—herself.Her resourcefulness keeps her alive during a catastrophe in the mountains, but it’s no help at all when it comes to Chaska Belcourt, the sexy EMT who saves her life. Raised to feel shame about her body and sex, she is putty in Chaska’s hands as he strips away her armor, exposing the vulnerable woman beneath, awakening desires in her that she’d been taught to ignore.
A kiss that changes everything…
Chaska Belcourt grew up on the reservation, the son of a hereditary Sun Dance chief. He left all of that behind for a new life in Colorado as an engineer with an aerospace firm and a member of the elite Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue Team. He doesn’t share his sister’s belief that fate led him to find Naomi. But from the first moment their lips touch, he can’t get enough of her.
A love that transforms…
As the passion between them turns into something more, Chaska is forced to admit that his sister is right. There’s no other way to explain the depth of his feelings for Naomi—or the fact that he and his people might hold the key to unraveling the mysteries of her past. But she will have to learn to trust again before the two of them can find the answers she needs—and claim this once-in-a-lifetime love.
Read an excerpt.
Other books in this series: