I am somewhat discriminating when it comes to historical fiction. I only read books from periods that I enjoy. Recently, I read A Ranger’s Trail, set in Texas in the 1870s and written by Darlene Franklin.
This novel is part of the Morgan Family series (apparently written by various authors) by River North Fiction (RiverNorthFiction.com), an imprint of Moody Publishers.
I enjoyed the overall story (plot and characters). The story was believable and very well-researched. At the start of each chapter, Franklin includes quotes from actual historical accounts from the time period that set the stage for the chapter. At the beginning of the book, Franklin differentiates between fact and fiction (for example, tells the reader which characters were actual historical figures) in the story, prepares the reader for the quotes they will encounter, and provides a related map. I understand Franklin’s reasons for preparing the reader for the quotes and for the historical context of the setting. I believe this makes sense. My only slight criticism would be that I would have preferred the fact-vs.-fiction section included at the end simply because I think it might have been more helpful to read the section after I read the story and was more familiar with the characters. Still, every reader is unique, and others might appreciate having that information upfront.
In A Ranger’s Trail, Leta Denning’s husband is killed by an angry mob after being acquitted of cattle rustling, and Texas Ranger, Buck Morgan, comes into town to uncover what happened and to mete out justice. I liked Lena’s spunk and Buck’s kindheartedness. The book is well-researched, yet at the same time, the author does not beat readers over the head with unrelated facts from the time period.
This book will appeal probably more to woman because it is a historical romance. However, men who enjoy historical accounts from the 1870s (for example, stories about range wars and cattle rustling) and do not mind a bit of romance might enjoy this story as well. Additionally, those who are looking for a good fiction book on forgiveness might enjoy this story, as the theme of forgiveness is woven throughout.
The bottom line is I enjoyed this story, would read it again, and recommend it to other readers.
For more information on the author, please visit www.darlenefranklinwrites.blogspot.com.
*Please note that I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my review. However, I was not required to write a positive review. The opinion expressed here is my own.