My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmela’s Quandary by Susan Page Davis (review)

myheartbelongs_davis_barbourThere are times when you just need a little romance and a good dose of adventure in your reading, and those are times when I know I can turn to certain authors.  Susan Page Davis is one of them, and Carmela’s Quandary affirms her standing as one of my favorites.

Set in 1860’s Arizona Territory, this story immediately brought back how much I loved the first book I ever read by this author (review here) about a young woman returning to white “civilization” after being stolen away and living with an Indian tribe.  Carmela Wade, however, has been forced by her uncle to recount a sensationalized story of captivity for audiences since she was twelve.

Freeland McKay is a deputy whose younger brother asked him to help Carmela, but he misses his chance when the Civil War is declared.  He encounters her years later when, escorting a prisoner to trial after the war, they are on the same stage.  After a hold up, Carmela and Freeland are left, handcuffed together to walk across the desert.  And isn’t that just the perfect way to develop a romantic relationship…

This is a well-written and fascinating story with details that will stick in the readers mind.  The adventure portions are exciting and it is Carmela and Wade’s experiences and Carmela’s faith that are the primary focus of the story with their romance, such as it is, being more incidental to the story.  I found Carmela’s experiences once she is back in a town to be just as interesting as the peril and adventure in the desert, in particular her efforts to help two young women having trouble adjusting after their returns from captivity and to stop lying about her own supposed captivity.

Carmela’s Quandary is the second entry published in the My Heart Belongs series from Barbour Books, with various authors, and the first I have read.  This was an excellent starting point for me and I’m looking forward to seeing what else is in store, though writing this review has me wanting to just reread Carmela’s Quandary, in part to meet secondary characters like Mrs. Finney and Two Pony again.

Recommended for lovers of Historical Fiction set in the American SouthWest with faith, adventure, fading tattoos and a touch of (eventually) sweet romance.

My Heart Belongs in the Superstition Mountains: Carmela’s Quandary by Susan Page Davis | Barbour Books, March, 2017 | paperback or ebook, 256 pages

This review refers to an e-galley read courtesy of the publisher, through NetGalley.  All opinions expressed are my own.

From the Publisher:

Experience the Wild West as Carmela seeks freedom of body and soul. Forced for years by her uncle to pose as a survivor of an Indian kidnapping so he can profit on the speaker circuit, she longs to end the lies. On a stagecoach in Arizona Territory, Carmela and her uncle are fellow passengers with a deputy US marshal and his handcuffed prisoner. When the stage is attacked, will Carmela’s wish come true, or will she forever be branded by her past?

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