Leisure, $5.99, ISBN 0-8439-5208-3
Historical Romance, 2003
This book is not a study of the flatulence phenomena in our lupine friends. It’s the sequel to Chase the Wind. By “sequel”, I do mean sequel. Cindy Holby continues the saga of the Duncan clan of the Luke Wyoming Ranch, with our main stars being the now happily-married Jenny Duncan and her husband Chase the Wind. I do have to warn gentle readers though: Cindy Holby writes a romantic story, yes, but in this book, a major player in Chase the Wind dies at the hands of a villain, and fans that are enamored of the Duncan clan have best get the Kleenex ready.
Jenny and Chase are happily married and she is expecting their child. Their lives could never be better… right? Until a shocking tragedy – shocking because I don’t think this event will happen in a conventional romance novel (hats off to Cindy Holby for taking the risk, really) – tears Chase away from Jenny in his bitter quest for vengeance. That’s all I’m saying for the synopsis, because everything else will be a spoiler. Although you can always pop to the Amazon page, where there’s a review that reveals the nature of this tragedy.
I like Wind of the Wolf much more than Chase the Wind because the author is not packing so many things in her book the way she did in the latter book. This book is romantic, in the sense that Jenny and Chase always relive the sweet, beautiful, almost utopian memories of their love. This book isn’t that romantic, because Chase and Jenny spend almost the entire book being separated once the tragedy takes place. Jenny is at home, worrying and fretting and keeping the home fires burning for her husband. Chase is on a quest for vengeance. While romance readers expecting the clear-cut narrative style of a typical romance novel may be put off by the separation – if they haven’t fled the room the moment the tragedy happens – I believe readers looking for a decent Western adventure type ala Louis L’Amour may have a better time with this one. The author can tell a pretty good adventure story.
There are some problems in too much exposition at places, and Chase and Jenny’s often repetitive reminiscences of their grand perfect love may get really cloying at times, but at the end of the day, I find Wind of the Wolf a pretty solid read. I could use a little more deeper characterization and a more proactive heroine, but hey, I could wish for a lot of things in my life. Readers more forgiving of unconventional elements and harsh realisms in their books might to give this one a look.