"Savage Summer" is the final book in Constance O'Banyon's "Savage Seasons of Blackfoot" series. While it's not as good as the other books in the series, it's still a good book.
The Story: The book begins the way "Savage Spring" ended, with a reminder that Joanna James and her husband, Blood Blackfoot Indian chief Windhawk, and Joanna's brother, Taggart "Tag" James and his wife, Alexandria, have made a promise to each other. That promise is that their respective daughters, Joanna and Windhawk's Sky Dancer, and Tag's and Alexandria's Danielle, will spend the summer with the other couple to learn about the other half of their heritage.
Fast forward. The book then commences when both girls are nineteen. Neither Sky Dancer nor Danielle is happy about the idea of spending the summer in an environment neither is familiar with. Sky Dancer, however, is open to the trip. Danielle, however, is not. She is a spoiled, obnoxious brat who pouts, whines, and tries to manipulate her way out of going. She also angers Tag by referring to her Indian relatives as "savages."
Sky Dancer is also having dreams-of a sexual nature-about a man whom she later meets. That is the hero of the book, Morgan Prescott, a doctor by trade and training and a Colonel in the U.S.Army. Later, when Sky Dancer arrives in Philadelphia, she and Morgan meet, become attracted to each other and fall in love. However, there are problems with their relationship.
Back in the Blood Blackfoot village, Danielle is having a miserable time; she is especially cold to her grandmother, Sun Woman, who only wants to see Danielle before Sun Woman passes away. One day, Danielle is kidnapped by a Piegan Blackfoot brave named Scar Face. (Backstory: Scar Face is the son of Running Elk, a Piegan chief who in "Savage Autumn" kidnapped Tag. Scar Face has kidnapped Danielle believing that she is Sky Dancer. Scar Face believes that Windhawk killed his father; in reality, it was Tag who killed Running Elk.) When Windhawk discovers Danielle has been kidnapped, he sends many braves to try to find her. The only one who succeeds is Windrunner. (This is NOT the same title character of a later Constance O'Banyon book.) Eventually, Windrunner rescues Danielle-who previously insulted him and called him a "savage." They manage to make their way back to the Blood Blackfoot village, but not before facing hardships, including injuries and attempts on both of their lives. Danielle kills Scar Face when he tries to kill Windrunner.
While that is going on, back in Philadelphia, Sky Dancer, or Skyler Dancing as she is introduced to Philly society, is falling in love with Morgan. However, she fears what he will think when he finds out she's half-Indian. Those fears are realized when Morgan makes disparaging remarks about Indians, which hurts Sky Dancer greatly. After hearing these remarks, Sky Dancer shuts off all contact with Morgan. Both spend a good chunk of time hurting before Sky Dancer gives herself to Morgan to know what it's like to be with the man she loves. Later, after Sky Dancer returns home to the Blood Blackfoot village, Alexandria tells Morgan why what he said hurt Sky Dancer so much and, with the help of a trip to Blackfoot country to see Sky Dancer, helps him open his heart and mind to the bigotry and hatred he held. Eventually, Morgan's views change and he realizes he loves Sky Dancer and accepts her for who she is.
At the same time, Danielle and Windrunner are falling in love with each other but they too have cultural issues to overcome. Their issues: Danielle is the niece of Windhawk, the Blood Blackfoot chief, whereas Windrunner, even though he is the son of Windhawk's best friend, Gray Fox, doesn't have the same status among the Blood Blackfoot and believes that he has no chance to be accepted by Windhawk as a potential nephew-in-law. However, like Morgan and Sky Dancer, Danielle and Windrunner find a way to get beyond their differences and find the love of their lives and live happily ever after.
This is not a five-star level book. It is a little dry and boring in spots, but it's certainly good enough.
Sex: As usual, Constance O'Banyon's love scenes are more focused on the feelings that the mechanics of the act.
Violence: After Danielle is kidnapped, Scar Face physically abuses her. Later, Scar Face nearly kills Windrunner with an ax. Danielle then kills Scar Face by stabbing him with a spear. None of these scenes are graphically described.
Bottom Line: A nice way to end this series.