Saturday, August 13, 2011

Fireweed by Mickey Minner

Publisher:              P. D. Publishing

Fireweed is another installment in the Sweetwater Saga told in Sweetwater and Rolling Thunder.  Jesse and Jennifer Branson are moving on with their lives as the parents of two adopted children.  As the town of Sweetwater grows, so are their interests, now including a hotel/restaurant, dress shop, ranch and the town school.  The women find that they have less and less time for each other and their children, which pleases neither of them.  Each one is searching for a way to tell the other how she feels without seeming to be shirking her responsibilities.  A possible answer to their problem lies in another town, but the trip there is dangerous and pits them against the elements.  Fires are burning around them, both physically and metaphorically, and their challenge is to survive them.

This series has a lot of fans for the online and print versions.  They follow eagerly waiting to hear about the latest chapters in the Sweetwater story.  That's where part of the problem with this book lies.  If you haven't read the previous stories, there are references in this book that you won't understand.  None of them is crucial to understanding this particular story, but this lack of knowledge leaves the characters flat and they're not very compelling.  The book reads like a chapter left out of another book.  There are no significant revelations about the characters or their motivations, so there doesn't seem to be any reason for this edition except to move the story a little more forward.  The message seems to be, let's take each of the town's people and show what happens next in their lives.  It's equivalent to receiving a letter or email about what a friend has been up to.  The book does show some research into the life of the time, but it also bends the history.  That probably won't bother most readers, but a history fan can find it distracting.

There's nothing inherently wrong with Fireweed.  It's a routine romance that happens to be set in the West.  The book isn't very long, so it only requires an hour or two of reading.  It's fine for just entertainment, but, if you're looking for a Western romance, there are better stories available.

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