Colorado Dawn by Kaki Warner
January 3, 2012
Reviewed by Mandi
Maddie Wallace has been married to her Scottish husband, Angus, for four years. But for those four years, Angus has been serving in the British army, and she has received only two letters and one visit from him. Heartbroken that he has basically abandoned her and not feeling as though she fits in at his family’s estate in Scotland, she feels lost. After her parents die in a carriage accident, she decides to pursue her passion of photography and lands a job with a publication in London to photograph the American West from the female perspective. She quickly leaves for Colorado, ready to pursue her new future.
She doesn’t know that Angus was injured in an explosion and has retired his position in the army. Angus has spent the past year searching for Maddie and finally tracks her to Heartbreak Creek, Colo. Angus, now a viscount with the title of Lord Ashby, is ready to go back to Scotland, produce heirs and serve as viscount at his estate. But Maddie doesn’t take orders, and the struggle between wanting to be together but having different goals might just pull them back apart.
I love and adore everything that Kaki Warner writes. The first book in this series, Heartbreak Creek, was a favorite in 2011 and sets up the three women in the Runaway Brides series. While Colorado Dawn has a little bit of a slower start, once you get into it, Kaki Warner’s warm, witty and lovable characters shine through.
Angus is so used to ordering his troops around that when he comes face to face with Maddie, and she doesn’t immediately bend to his will, he doesn’t know what to think of her. Although eventually it amuses Maddie:
“You’ll be giving me another chance,” Ash said, breaking into her thoughts as they neared the hotel. Not so much a suggestion, as an order. Ever the soldier, Angus Wallace was.
“Ye will.” He looked down at her, that fall of hair now clinging damply to his brow. “I crossed an ocean and half this country to find you, lass. Do ye ken how hard that was for a man who can hardly read a map and mixes up his rights and lefts?”
“And yet, here you are.”
“Aye. Because of you. So you’ll be giving me a second chance, so you will.”
Definitely an order. She said nothing, and kept her head down so he wouldn’t see her smile.
It all comes down to a lack of communication. Angus really had no choice but to be away from her all those years. The army demanded much of him, and the one time he did visit, he did it with much risk. Maddie also doesn’t know that he struggles with dyslexia, so he has a hard time writing and reading, hence the lack of letters over the years. When Angus gets home and Maddie is gone, he feels as though she is the one who abandoned him. So they first must deal with the abandonment issues before they can move onto the bigger one: Will they go back to Scotland where Angus has a duty to his estate, or will they stay in Heartbreak Creek, where Maddie is becoming a well-known photographer?
The romance is so sweet. Both Angus and Maddie are such good-natured people, and I loved to watch their reunion unfold. Kaki Warner isn’t one to put sex in her books, but this one does give us a couple of bedroom scenes. Angus and Maddie both like to tease and give the other a hard time, too, so there are many moments that will make you smile. I also love their senses of humor. For example, when Angus is speaking to someone who has never heard of Scotland:
“Scottish by birth, British by law, Highlander by the grace of God.”
“That up by Denver?”
“Just east of it.”
Maddie’s best friends, Prudence and Lucinda, have a lot of time inColorado Dawn, and Lucinda’s book is next. I can’t wait to get her story. Some of the most memorable scenes fall between Angus and Thomas, a Cheyenne Indian. They always seem to be battling over who is more manly than the other, and it is quite amusing. The villain is straight-forward, but I think I’ve enjoyed past villains more.
I think Kaki Warner’s books are best read in order, as the stories build on each other. But I highly recommend any of her books.
Note: This review first appeared at the Happy Ever After Blog.