Beyond the Dream Catcher (Book One of the Dream Catcher Series): (Book One of the Dream Catcher Series)by Rita Hestand
Brought together by dreams, Chase Rivers must bring Katherine Hightower back to her people. Problem is, she doesn't know she's part Indian. The Shaman of the tribe, Burning Tree keeps Chase and Katherine together through erotic dreams that bonds them. But can Chase convince her that she is the only one that can heal her people?
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BEYOND THE DREAM CATCHER's vivid world building left me breathless in a world of long ago. As I read, I found myself falling in love with the Native American culture as much as the characters. Fans of historical westerns are going to thoroughly enjoy Rita Hestand's novel. I'm going to admit, I was thinking this was a Texas cowboy story. Why in the world I would think such a thing with the title BEYOND THE DREAM CATCHER, I am not sure. I'll call it divine intervention because I'm a sucker for a cowboy, but I've never read a story centered around the Native American culture. And how divine it was. BEYOND THE DREAM CATCHER is a passionate tale set in Texas around the time of the civil war. It's a difficult time to make a life in the west. The Native Americans and the American soldiers are at war, laws seem unjust by today's standards, and the dry soil is unforgiving to those in search of food. Ms. Hestand was able to translate all that hardship into an interesting backdrop to develop very emotionally complex characters. Chase Rivers is of mixed blood. Half Shawnee and half white, he has enjoyed times when both sides of him have been embraced and rejected. He is driven by one thing-- the desire to avenge the rape and death of a girl he couldn't prevent as a child. But now his Shaman has sent him on a journey. He is to find the woman who haunts his dreams, inform her of her own mixed heritage and return her to her Shawnee people. I found Chase to be quite fascinating. He feels the weight of the world on his shoulders and never seemed to allow himself to measure up. He holds the bar for himself so high it seems almost impossible to reach. Even when wrongly accused, he allows the white man to arrest him and he willingly goes to his own hanging. It was interesting to uncover whether he was full of honor or if he had some sort of death wish. Katherine Hightower is the woman whom Chase is looking for. Katherine's parents and siblings (except for one younger brother) have all recently died with the fever. She and her brother planned to run the stagecoach stop as her parents did in hopes of making a living. Of course, this is the Wild West and women are in very real danger, even from the soldiers sworn to protect them. With Chase's help, Katherine manages to stay alive and learn of her true mixed heritage. The realization that her father wasn't her biological father, the death of her family and the endless life threatening events the Wild West sends her way makes for one interesting woman to get to know. This poor girl is struggling to stay alive and to understand how the man in her dreams is real, much less comprehend her feelings about him or her new life. She is this interesting dichotomy of strength and weakness, love and hate. But even more compelling than these two very intriguing characters was the world in which Ms. Hestand created for them. I felt like I truly stepped back in time and had a little history lesson. One that painted a picture of struggles and celebrated triumphs because simply finding water was worth celebrating at times. I got a taste of the harsh life of a pioneer and the foreign life of the Shawnee. This one is going on my favorite-firsts shelf. I invite all fans of historical romance to fall in love with the Shawnee, the west and Katherine and Chase right alongside me. And thanks to Ms. Hestand for writing one satisfying epilogue. I just love when everything is tied up so neatly. Enjoy!