Monday, August 31, 2009

Review: Come Spring

Title: Come Spring
Author: Jill Marie Landis
Genre: Historical Romance/1892/Wyoming
Series: Flowers series/Book 4
Published: October 1992

Nath's Re-Read Challenge 2009

From the inside cover ~

In, 1892, lovely Bostonian Annika Storm is traveling to meet her brother in Wyoming. But her plans go awry when tall, blond trapper Buck Scott mistakes Annika for his mail-order bride - and kidnaps her from her train! By the time he will admit his error, they are snowed in at his tiny mountain cabin until spring.

Passion grows between Annikia and Buck, and when it blossoms into ecstasy she is ready to share his life forever. Then Annika is kidnapped again, by outlaws seeking reward money. Believing she has run away, Buck feels betrayed. Yet he vows to find the woman who has stolen his heart.

Come Spring has been at the top of my potential re-reads for this challenge. What made me choose it this month was the overwhelming need to read a western. :) That was brought about by Kristie, Wendy and Sybil and their Great Western Drive. And while Come Spring may not be a western with cowboys and gunslingers, it was still a very enjoyable read and I loved it this time as much as I did the first time around.

The hero, Buck Scott, isn't a cowboy or gunslinger but a skinner. He's a mountain man who makes his living trapping and skinning animals, then selling their pelts. His trade is not well thought of by most and he is looked down on by many. Buck Scott does come across as a man who prefers his own company to others. He's not open or friendly and he's rather intimidating in size at over 6 feet in height and well muscled. But for all his gruffness there lies the heart of a gentle soul. Buck was such an easy man for me to like. At one point even Annika tells her brother that it's hard to stay mad at Buck. :)

Buck is a very giving individual without being obvious about it. It's the little things that he does that made a big impression on me. His patience with Baby, his 3 year old niece, is amazing given that he has only the very basics to hold her attention. He's rough with Annika in the beginning but that's more out of frustration and urgency than it being his true nature. He gives her his gloves to wear while the travel up the mountain. Once they are snowed in he makes sure she can fend for herself and Baby if something should happen to him. He makes her a coat and carves the buttons for it. He's so sweet when he gives it to her, so afraid she won't like it.

Annika Storm was raised by two loving parents in a home where her every need was seen to. She has never had to work for what she needs or worry about having food or a place to live. She has lived a life of privilege and secure in a family filled with love. I wouldn't say that she's spoiled so much as that she's simply accustomed to wealth and a loving family. All that changes when she is kidnapped and taken to a mountain cabin. It's a crude one room cabin with the basic necessities but none of the comforts that Annika is accustomed to.

At first Annika thinks she will only have to suffer Buck Scott's company for a couple of days but when those few days turn to weeks she is forced to adjust to life in the small cabin in the valley. Annika for all her pampered upbringing adjusts well to life on the mountain. At first she's standoffish and not so easy to get to know but once she spends more time with Buck and Baby she became a heroine worthy of her hero. Annika takes fairly quickly to Baby but with Buck the process was more slow and steady. Each of them exploring the other person that was so different from everyone they had known before. Her relationship with Baby came about a lot easier than her relationship with Buck. With Buck it was anger and fear. Then she just got good and pissed off. LOL This was after Buck realized his mistake, that Annika wasn't his mail-order bride, and he agreed to take her to Cheyenne as soon as the pass was clear.

There was one part where Buck is gone hunting all day. When he gets back Annika is angry that he had left her there alone with Baby. During the day her thoughts had gone from fear at being alone in the cabin to anger that Buck might be with a woman. This happens before they sleep together. When Buck returns it's an angry Annika that greets him. ~

"Where have you been?" she yelled.

"Why are you shouting?" He pushed her aside and stepped over the threshold, intent on getting warm. Walking straight to the bed, he stood for a moment and gazed down on Baby as she slept, then turned to survey the room. The fire was burning brightly, there was a stack of clean dishes on the kitchen bench. He was relieved to note that everything looked fine.

Everything but Annika. She was still glaring at him.

"Close the door," he said softly, so as not to wake the child.

She slammed it shut. Baby stirred and rolled to her stomach.

"Are you going to tell me where you've been or not?"

"I was until you started ranting. What are you so upset about?"

"Upset? Upset? I'm not upset! I'm furious. How dare you leave me here all day to watch over this place and that child while you go traipsing off, God knows where. I won't do it again, do you hear?"

At this point Annika gives him some coffee and biscuits and tells him he's lucky to get that much. LOL Buck's response ~

"If I thought I would have gotten this much kindness out of you I'd have stayed away all daylong before now," he said around a mouthful of biscuit.

She gasped aloud and turned on him. "You are an outrageous imbecile, Buck Scott."

"Anyone every taught you any manners, Miss Storm?"

"What's that suppose to mean?"

"I mean real manners, like not shouting in the house, not making too many demands on a person, like giving out a bit of the milk of human kindness?"

She lifted her hands and appealed to the ceiling. "And this from a man who dragged me here against my will."

"A mistake you're not ever likely to let me forget."

"Not while I live and breathe."

Buck threw back his head and laughed. It wasn't a mere chuckle, nor was it a quick bark. It was loud and long and came from the depths of his soul.

pages 145-146

It was so sweet and such an intimate moment between these two. They realize that they missed each other, missed the arguing and banter.

For a great deal of the book Buck and Annika are together, along with Baby, aka Buttons. I liked the addition of the child in this story. She played a pivotal role in the plot because she was the reason Buck needed a wife. He couldn't continue to hunt and trap with Baby along and he couldn't leave her alone at the cabin. So he placed the ad for a wife. Buck's relationship with Baby was also a joy to read. This big, mountain man and this adorable little baby who has him wrapped around her finger. He would do anything for this child, even marry a stranger. Or give Baby up to a good home. The emotions that came through in the writing, of Buck's love for Baby, show what a beautiful person Buck is beneath the gruff exterior.

The plot itself is fairly standard. Hero kidnaps heroine, they're forced to spend time together, they are separated, they are reunited through adversity. It's what Jill Marie Landis does with that plot that makes this book stand out. The events that bring these two people, who are such opposites, together and then create this little family are what make this such a wonderful read. The character development is such that the reader gets to know, care and forgive Buck and Annika of their flaws, mistakes and misunderstandings. When they are separated I found myself thinking "they have to get back together" and "he can't just leave her" even though I knew they ended up together I was swept up in their story and worried that their stubbornness would keep them apart.

As you can see from the book info above, Come Spring is the fourth book in the series. The first book is about Annika's parents, Analisa and Caleb, Sun Flower (loved that book!)

The second book is Wild Flower. I'm embarrassed to say that I don't remember this one. All I could find was this:

From the great peaks of the West to the lush seclusion of a Caribbean jungle, two 1830s' lovers discover the deepest treasures of the heart. Dani braves the Rocky Mountains alone, dressed as a man, until a handsome explorer kidnaps her on a dare. Now her heart holds nothing but passion.

If anyone can jog my memory, I would appreciate it. :)

The third book, Rose, is about Annika's brother Kase and his love, Rose. This one I remember as a fun read with Rose a beautiful stubborn Italian cook and Kase a grumpy, good looking sheriff.

Both couples, Analisa and Caleb and Kase and Rose, also appear in Come Spring. It was fun to revisit with this characters and gave me an itch to do some more re-reading of Ms. Landis.

Ms. Landis has a fairly extensive back list with both historical and contemporary novels. She is currently writes Inspirational Western Romances for Steeple Hill Books. Information about Jill Marie Landis and her writing can be found here.

Rating: A+


  1. LOL, Kristie made me buy this book when we visited the UBS together! Now, I definitively want to read it!! :)

    Great review, Leslie :D

  2. Huh. I've never read anything by her before. Thinking now that I probably need to. Thanks Leslie - great review!

  3. nath ~ that can be our excuse for buying more books "Kristie made me do it." LOL I can use it today - bought 7 westerns - 3 are by Cheryl St. John. Yep, Kristie made me do it. :)

    Lori ~ Thanks! Definitely give Landis a try. :)

  4. *g* This one is a "true" cabin romance isn't it? I adored it! And I loved the quiet gentle hero that was Buck. Jill Marie Landis was one of the authors I highlighted and your review reminds me why I did again.
    I've read Wildflower but I don't think it is part of this series. I think the only ones are the parents story - Sunflower, Rose and Come Spring - three books all well worth reading!!

    And *gulp* at the cost of adding even more to your TBR pile - I'm glad you are taking so well to The Great Western Drive *happy smile*

  5. Kristie ~ I loved Buck. He's just my type. :)

    All the book were used, not too expensive. :)