I was born and still live in Oregon. As far back as I can remember I made up stories, many never again to see the light of day. I earned a BS from Eastern Oregon State College and married my best friend almost twenty years ago. I’ve three brilliant sons, one amazing daughter-in-law, a grand baby to be and two spoiled dogs. When not writing I love to read, hike, camp and take long walks with my husband. You can learn more about me at my blog http://loriconnelly.blogspot.com/
The Outlaw of Cedar Ridge (The Men of Fir Mountain, Book 1)by Lori Connelly
HarperImpulse Historical Romance“If you want an emotional romantic adventure to nineteenth century frontier America this is for you.” Jane Hunt ReviewsFor fans of Diana Palmer and Linda Lael Miller comes the first in a brand new and emotionally gripping trilogy, The Men of Fir Mountain.The day Evie met Benjamin Rolfe, a man with an unbridled enthusiasm for life and grandiose plans to match, she knew they’d marry and live happily ever after…Five years later, her charming rancher is now a bitter, cynical stranger with a shaky moral compass. And after too many shattered dreams, Evie no longer believes in fairy tale endings.When they lose the homestead and head out on the open road to start a new life in Oregon, their marriage is already strained to breaking point. Can their love survive this second chance?
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3 1/2 Stars - I was keen to read this story as I love a marriage in trouble romance so long as there is no infidelity. I was also interested because it was an Oregon trail story and I remembered reading children's books as a child about that part of American History The Outlaw of Cedar Creek reminded me a little of those stories as a big part of the journey Ben and Evie make takes place while they make the journey from Idaho to Oregon. We come into the marriage when it is literally at breaking point. The charming cowboy Evie married has become an embittered man, angry at fate and at his neighbours. So much so that he has become a habitual drunk who lies and cheats and gambles. A head injury from a beating by some of the many townsfolk he's upset changes everything. Losing his memory could just be the chance Ben needs to reform himself. Unfortunately Evie isn't very responsive and they have to get to know each other all over again while making a rough journey across Idaho to Oregon where Ben has some relatives. This was a good story with well drawn characters. I actually liked Ben from the start and wanted to find out why he'd fallen so low because he seemed like a good guy at heart. I don't think I quite got all the answers I was looking for. Evie didn't grow on me quite so fast. There were times when I thought 'I know why he took to drink.' She came across as the kind of person who has high expectations and doesn't forgive easily when people fail as they do in real life. Admittedly she had good reason not to trust Ben but her sharp reactions to everything made me wonder how she dealt with the inevitable disappointments of married life with a man who had big dreams but lacked the wherewithal to carry them out. Overall it was quite a realistic look at a marriage in crisis under the added strains of frontier life. There was a lot about nature and they seemed to eat a lot of sandwiches but overall I enjoyed the story and the visit to the old west.