Comanche Heart

Comanche HeartComanche Heart by Catherine Anderson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not bad for a romance. I enjoyed this one more than the first in the series. Don’t think I’ll get 3 and 4 though. It was nice to revisit the characters from Comanche Moon, to see where Hunter and Loretta had settled, to meet their children, and to follow Amy as she works through the healing process from her kidnapping and rape at the hands of the Commancheros, and abuse at the hands of her stepfather. Swift Antelope is also trying to escape a painful past, but of course it catches up with him and threatens to ruin their newfound happiness.

Years have passed since Amy Masters escaped the brutal Texas plains to become a schoolteacher in Oregon. Her painful past makes it almost impossible for her to put her faith in any man, but Swift Antelope – the Comanche warrior she left behind – has long haunted her dreams. Now that he’s stormed back into her life, she’ll have to explore her heart for the courage to trust again.

Water For Elephants

Water for ElephantsWater for Elephants by Sara Gruen

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A thoroughly delightful book. The book alternates between the 93 year-old Jacob in a nursing home and the 23 year-old Jacob who becomes the caretaker of a circus menagerie. The author poignantly portrays the elderly Jacob, frustrated at the limitations of old age and abandoned by his family, in stark contrast with his youth and his adventures with a circus where society’s misfits survive because of their fierce loyalty to each other. The author has done her homework into the historical world of the traveling circus, bringing it vividly to life, and incorporating real-life anecdotes from her research. In both worlds, Jacob refuses to settle for the fate life has given him, standing up to abuse, maintaining his moral compass, and surviving against the odds. The ending is improbable, but heart-warming. You’ll be cheering Jacob on.

Description from book jacket”
As a young man, Jacob Jankowski was tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. It was the early part of the Great Depression, and for Jacob the circus was both his salvation and a living hell. A veterinary student just shy of a degree, he was put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It was there that he met Marlena, the beautiful equestrian star married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. And he met Rosie, an untrainable elephant who was the great gray hope for this third-rate traveling show. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was ultimately their only hope for survival.