Sunday, March 27, 2011
Journey To Riverbend by Henry McLaughlin
Michael Archer is nothing if not a man of his word. Though he was unable to save Ben Carstairs, Michael is determined to carry out Ben’s dying wish: to be reconciled with his father. Unfortunately, Sam Carstairs, one of the most ruthless businessmen on the frontier, has no use for his own son, much less a man of God seeking reconciliation.
Soon after arriving in Riverbend, Michael meets and falls for the stunning Rachel Stone while waiting for Sam to return from a business trip. Beautiful yet guarded, Rachel seems to be running from a past as dark as Michael’s.
When word reaches town that Sam has been kidnapped on the stagecoach home, Michael offers to join the search party formed by the local sheriff. With a budding romance behind him and a dangerous rescue ahead of him, he sets out on the trail, determined to complete his journey no matter the cost.
My take on this book:
When I picked up "Journey To Riverbend" I thought that it was probably going to be another historical fiction romance novel, but boy was I wrong. While there is a bit of romance between a few of the characters the author really gives us a true western novel filled with a hanging, an attempted stagecoach robbery, a kidnapping, a shootout and a posse searching for kidnappers. He rolls this together with a story about regrets and forgiveness, and faith in God.
While Michael Archer couldn't save Ben Carstairs from being hanged for a crime he didn't commit, he is determined to try and fulfill Ben's dying wish, which was to make amends with his father Sam, to tell him that he forgave him for the way he treated him and return his mothers necklace.
Michael makes the journey to Riverbend to deliver Ben's message to Sam but finds that Sam is out of town for business and will be gone for a few days. Michael decides to hang around until he returns, and he soon learns that Sam Carstairs is a ruthless man who has no use for God and uses people to get what he wants.While staying in Riverbend Michael meets Rachel Stone a young lady who has found refuge with the local preacher and his family. They feel drawn to each other but because of issues that haunt them from their past they are unsure that they are ready for a relationship, but that doesn't stop Michael from thinking about a future that might include a move to Riverbend.
Sam Carstairs has wronged several people in his past, doing whatever he could to obtain more wealth but when he is kidnapped the town doesn't hesitate to form a posse to try and find him. Michael decides to ride along hoping that he can help, will they find Sam before its to late?
What an interesting story, the characters in the story are well fleshed out. Rachel and Michael each have issues from their past that continue to dog them. Rachel is making great strides toward her future even though some of the townspeople won't let her forget her past. Michael was a strong caring compassionate character who was also dealing with demons from his past. While I really didn't like the character of Sam Carstairs by the end of the story I felt sorry for him. The ending of the story leaves me hoping that Mr. McLaughlin will write a sequel for this story!
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.