Thursday, April 7, 2011

Odessa by Ginger Simpson


Back Cover Blurb:

The wagon carrying Odessa Clay and her father overturns, killing him. Alone and scared in the middle of the desert, she faces finding her way to Phoenix and Aunt Susan. Food and water run out, and Odessa is near death when Zach Johnson finds her. Squinting up into his tanned and handsome face, Dessie believes she’s died and gone to heaven.

Would-be-outlaw,  Zach Johnson finds a woman alone and unconscious in the middle of nowhere. Where did she come from? First glance: she appears young, but the curves beneath the dusty gingham say otherwise. He didn’t plan to become someone’s hero, but how can he leave her stranded?

Will the promise of Odessa’s sweet lips lure Zach from the secret mission that has his gut twisted into a knot? His father’s ranch isn’t the only thing at stake—now it’s his heart.

Every once in a while I love to read a good western; not so unusual for me, a native born Albertan raised in the west in the shadow of the Calgary Stampede.  Enter Ginger Simpson - an award winning author who specializes in historial westerns.  A leader in her genre, her books never disappoint. So when I picked up Odessa I expected a lot.  And I was definitely not disappointed.

The story opens with Odessa Clay whose father has just been tragically killed when their wagon has rolled over him while on their way to Phoenix to join her aunt. Distraught, Odessa sets off on foot. Soon she runs out of food and water. Nearly dead, Odessa is lucky that Zach Johnson finds her. He is kind and honourable, but with a secret of his own. To save the family farm, he has decided to join a gang and commit a robbery. But first, he must take care of Odessa and see her safely to Phoenix. Neither Odessa or Zach expect to find love along the way. Soon Zach will be faced with a choice and he must find his way out of the trouble he has put himself and Odessa in. 

Author Ginger Simpson knows how to write a good book. A polished, multi-published author, she has won several awards. Historically accurate and compelling, Odessa clips along at a quick pace with outstanding descriptions of the American wild west. I enjoyed the quotes from reall historical outlaws at the start of every chapter; a very nice touch. The characters are as realistic as the setting she describes. Both the hero and heroine are loveable, faulted, and feisty.  The prose is free and easy, allowing the reader to fall into the story without struggle.

If you've never had the good fortune to read a Ginger Simpson book, then this is one you should try! A lovely story by a lovely author.