SUMMER MOON (4 CASS.) Audio Cassette – Abridged, Audiobook
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From Publishers Weekly
Following a slew of well-received romance paperbacks (Come Spring; Blue Moon; etc.), Landis serves up a tender, satisfying historical romance as her hardcover debut. Born in 1842, Kate Whittington, abandoned daughter of the Applesby, Maine, town tramp, is raised in a cloistered orphanage. Approaching spinsterhood at the age of 30, Kate answers the newspaper ad of Reed Benton, a widowed Texas rancher seeking a mail-order bride. After months of correspondence, she agrees to a marriage by proxy, packs her bags and heads off to the Texas frontier. When she arrives at Benton's sprawling Lone Star ranch, she is surprised to discover that her new husband is a Texas ranger who defends the frontier against Native Americans, has recently been wounded during a raid on a Comanche village and has captured an eight-year-old Comanche boy he believes may be his long-lost son, Daniel. Even more surprising, Reed Benton denies having ever placed the ad, written the letters or married Kate. Devastated by her crushed dreams yet determined to tame young, wild-haired Daniel, who is fierce in his conviction that he is a true Comanche, Kate agrees to stay on at the ranch to take care of the boy. As Reed convalesces, he finds himself lusting after Kate despite his suspicion that she is a charlatan, responsible for their sham of a marriage. Fully recovered, Reed returns to the frontier as a ranger, only to return to the ranch soon after because Daniel has run away. Kate and Reed team up in their search and not only find the boy but also discover that they have fallen in love. This sweet but not-too-sugary romance is a breezy, beach-blanket read, offering up well-developed characters, a compelling plot line and a pleasing slice of Americana.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From School Library Journal
Adult/High School-Kate Whittington is caught between a rock and a hard place. The orphanage in the Maine seacoast village where she grew up and later taught has closed. As she scans the newspaper's help-wanted ads, she finds that a Texas widower wants a mail-order bride. After corresponding with the rancher, Kate is married by proxy to Reed Barton. When she arrives at his home, she is told that he had been wounded in a raid on a Comanche village and had brought a boy home with him who was thought to be his son, captured by Indians five years earlier. Reed swears that he never heard of Kate, never wrote to her, or received any letters from her. He makes it clear that he doesn't want a wife but needs someone to care for his son. The wild, frightened little boy touches Kate's heart and she agrees to stay. Well-developed characters drive this story. Daniel Barton struggles to find his identity in the white world. He had Indian parents who loved and cared for him, and he now finds himself in a foreign culture with people who don't understand his ways. His story is reminiscent in some ways of Cynthia Ann Parker's story in Carolyn Meyer's Where the Broken Heart Still Beats (Harcourt, 1992). An interesting and heartwarming story set in the latter half of the 19th century on the Texas frontier.
Carol Clark, formerly at Fairfax County Public Schools, VA
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to the Hardcover edition. See all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
This book was very entertaining and very easy to read. The characters were very life-like and well developed. Every character in the book has a purpose and they serve their purpose well. Ms. Landis seems to have thought out her character before she began writing. Even the secondary characters are well rounded. They all add to the story in their own way.
Summer Moon moves along at a steady pace. Again, the storyline seems to have been well thought out before the book was started. The author clearly had every scene planned out and this makes the book very enjoyable to read. The book doesn't seem choppy or hurriedly put together. It just seems like a well planned book about everyday characters on the Texas frontier.
Summer Moon is an excellent read. I was able to finish this book in just two days.Read more ›
Kate Whittington, a prostitute's daughter raised in a Catholic orphanage in the late 1800s, answers a "wife wanted" ad and finds herself living in Texas with a landowner who may or may not actually be her husband. She is also charged with raising and taming the landowner's Comanche-raised son. Throw in sideplots involving a reforming prostitute, the landowner's best friend, and the town minister who falls in love with Kate and the book falls into a comfortable, predictable, formula romance.
While Landis obviously knows how to write (the plot moves smoothly from event to event and her structure is clear), creativity does not seem to be her strong suit here. All her characters are predictably gorgeous, ruggedly handsome, sexy, and/or heroically beautiful. The plot is as predictable as a hot Texas summer, replete with cowboys and indians.
Despite these negatives, Landis admirably limits the novel's most intimate moments to suggestively sexy scenes that stroke the libido without resorting to the graphic anatomical grossness so prevalent in today's romance books. And in the end, she deftly weaves her swooning prose into a predictable but romantic payoff that will please avid romance fans.
Corresponding with Reed via letter she falls in love with him and agrees to a marriage by proxy. Little does she know that Reed knows nothing about the letters, and the letters were truly written by Reed's aging father in an elaborate scheme to get him to finally marry.
While this plot is certainly nothing new, Jill manages to breath new life into an otherwise tired plotline, with her clear writing style and attention to historic detail.
What I like most about Jill's writing is she manages to portray the predjudices and attitudes of the time without the 'politically correct' glasses worn by many romance authors. She simply states things as they are without making the heroine a radical reformer or an instrument of social change.
My only real quibble with this book was I thought the hero Reed was a little to self-pitying as a character. If he isn't running away from his problems... IE, his dominating father, his wife who used him for his money, his son's problems acclimating to Anglo culture. He stands around making frustrating 'noises' and using the heroine. I would've much preferred the hero to be more mature and responsible.
Surprisingly, the story is interesting enough to read, despite the under whelming hero. I would recommend this book to all Landis fans!
When Kate arrives at his ranch, she finds her father-in-law has just died. Her husband is recovering from a bullet he received during a Texas Ranger raid on a Comanche camp. His son Daniel behaves more like an Indian because that is where he has been raised for five years. Everything is a shocker to Kate, but she and Reed make love that night. The next day, Reed asks Kate who she is? Kate says they wed by proxy, but they conclude that his deceased father forged his signature. Reed keeps Kate as a temporary housekeeper to help him with Daniel, who wants to return to his tribe. She falls in love with the father and his son, but Reed refuses to acknowledge his love for Kate.
SUMMER MOON is an exciting Americana romance that stars strong realistic characters struggling to do the right thing especially for Daniel. The story line is interesting as the reader becomes very familiar with Kate, Reed, and Daniel, which in turn allows understanding of each one's motives. Award winning Jill Marie Landis shows why she is held in high esteem by sub-genre fans and who adore a strong mid-nineteenth century tale of love.
Most recent customer reviews
This was my first book by this author and I am not sure what to think. There are parts that I really really liked, and parts that I didn't. Read morePublished on Oct. 10 2003 by Ana Q
Kate has been brought up in an orphanage in Maine, and now finds herself in search of her purpose in life, as well as the family she never had. Read morePublished on Aug. 5 2002 by Denise Holmes
I enjoyed Summer Moon very much. Jill Marie Landis is a wonderful story teller - she keeps you captive with her great plot, and with her fabulous dialogue makes you feel her... Read morePublished on Aug. 23 2001
I am sorry, but I have read this premise time and again. A mail order bride from the Coast of Maine arrives in Texas to find that the Ranger who supposedly placed the ad, in... Read morePublished on Aug. 20 2001