Author: Maggie Osborne ISBN: 0804119929 12/2004 HISTORICAL Publisher: BALLANTINE BOOKS
RRAH's THOUGHTS AND PONDERINGS:
Maggie Osborne has always been my favorite western author. Her complex characters and ability to weave multiple plotlines into one mesmerizing story has always left me in awe. Her historical romances have set high standards for other authors to work toward and achieve.
And perhaps, therein, lies a bit of my problem, for FOXFIRE BRIDE just didn't quite reach that lofty height. Close, but just a little bit shy of the bullseye.
It's not the story that disappointed me. In that respect, Ms. Osborne treats us to an interesting, entertaining and atmospheric tale set shortly after the Civil War. And even though I guessed the little "surprise" relationship that came to play toward the ending, way in advance of it coming to light, the story still held my interest.
No, it was simply the character of Fox that ground me down to ashes. Her attitude seemed more abrasive than feisty, most of the time, as well as spoiled, spiteful and in need of a good turn over someone's knee. Yes, I know, she had good reason for all that pent-up frustration and hatred, and without it there wouldn't have been much of a plotline. But that young gal and I just didn't, and couldn't, get along. Nor could I see someone as patient and likeable as Tanner hooking up with such an energetic and highstrung filly. However, the rest of the cast, especially Peaches (Fox's best friend and father figure), were standard Osborne fare—interesting, likeable, true-to-life and perfectly placed. Her excellent use of dialogue, touches of humor, and attention to historical details about life in the Midwest and frontier mining during that time, are what merit a 4 Rose Read nod from me.
While FOXFIRE BRIDE is not the best Osborne, in my opinion—and I've read them all—this tale of a woman's quest for vengeance, and the men who loved her, is still a better-than-average read. After all, it is written by Maggie Osborne, for goodness sakes...and that's all that needs to be said. *G*