Thursday, August 18, 2011

Soiled Dove by Brenda Adcock

Publisher:               Regal Crest Enterprises

Loretta Digby seems to be always fleeing westward.  First she left an abusive step-father and ended up in St. Joseph, Missouri, working as a prostitute.  Then she headed for Colorado hoping to leave everything behind and make a true fresh start.  Clare McIlhenney offers that opportunity, reluctantly.  Clare is a stubborn, hard-headed woman who has been fighting for twenty years to  create a successful ranch and she doesn't think she needs anyone's help, but when she is injured she needs someone to cook and clean for her ranch hands.  Having Loretta at the ranch awakens feelings in Clare that she believed she had shut off completely.  Just as the women begin to believe they might have a future together, Loretta's past catches up with her.  Protecting Loretta may cost Clare everything, including her life.

Soiled Dove is a well written western.  Adcock stays true to the history and doesn't twist it to suit her story.  The details, terminology and atmosphere are true to the times.  The town doesn't approve of how Clare lives and having a relationship with Loretta could destroy them both.  That's the way it was in 1876 and Adcock has her characters find a way around those problems instead of pretending that they doesn't exist or giving them simple solutions.  There are a few places where words are left out and the end of the story seems a little rushed in its conclusion, but those hardly detract from the story.  The characters are vibrant and interesting, which make the book.

Brenda Adcock has written a number of enjoyable books.  Soiled Dove easily fits into that category.  Not only does she provide an entertaining story, but the reader will learn some information about the old West in the process.

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