British-born Madeline Wallace has not seen her British Cavalry officer husband,and Scotsman ,Angus Wallace in several years. He's gone off to fight in the British Army, leaving her in the hands of his parents. In the years that Maddie has been in Scotland and her husband has been away, she has only received three letters from him. When her parents die in an unfortunate carriage accident, Madeline returns to London to set their affairs in order and decide what she needs to do with her stagnant life since she has been utterly abandoned by the man she loved.
After some contemplation, Maddie decides to follow her dream of becoming a photographer. When she shows her portfolio to a newspaper editor, the man sees promise immediately in the young woman's work. He swiftly offers to send her off to America to shoot the female perspective on the American West. The opportunity is too good to pass up, so Maddie, passing herself off as a Widow takes on the job of a roving photographer.
Maddie Wallace ends up in Heartbreak Creek, Colorado where she uses the town as her center while she travels in her makeshift darkroom and sleeping quarters,otherwise known as her covered wagon. Maddie luckily has an older man companion, Mr. Satterwhite to help her in her endeavors.
All the dashingly handsome, Angus Wallace ever knew, was how to be a soldier, and he was damn good at it. When he is seriously injured, he returns back to his home to find his wife gone and life completely turned upside down. You see Angus is the third son of a Scottish Earl and when the Earl of Kirkwell and his heir die, Angus's brother Donnan becomes the Earl hence leaving Angus in the position of Viscount Ashby, not exactly where he wanted to be.
Angus, now called Ash by his friends as colleagues, sets out on a journey to find his elusive wife, sailing across the ocean to America seeking clues as to Madeline's whereabouts. After many moons and and much trouble, Ash finally finds his wife, who seems not so happy to see him. Ash imposes himself immediately into Maddie's new independent life, leaving the wayward couple uncertain of their futures. When Angus discovers there may be a danger to his estranged wife, the dominant male appears, throwing Maddie completely off kilter.
Will strong and independent Maddie Wallace be able to keep giving the utterly handsome, dominant and thickheaded Scot the cold shoulder? Will Lord Asbhy be able to convince his Viscountess to return with him to Scotland and take up the mantle of Earl of Kirkwell should death befall his already ill brother Donnan? These and more questions are answered in Colorado Dawn by Kaki Warner.
This book totally caught me off-guard. First of all, I had purchased it months ago and set it aside because of work. Finally, when I opened it I could not stop. Even knowing that it was the second in the Runaway Brides series, I read this before Kaki Warner's first in the series, Heartbreak Creek. Secondly, being a photographer, I was sucked in. Kaki got her facts right on that end and I give her kudos for it. Third, what an awesome story. Maddie, finally getting her due as a well-known photographer, even though at the time, the public at large doesn't realize that M Wallace is a female. Both Maddie and Ash make life-changing decisions and the way they work them through is amazing.
Maddie is no shrinking violet, and those who know me well, know I am a staunch supporter of the self sufficient female, but I am also a die hard for dominant male Angus. This book had me cheering, crying and wanting to kick some butt. Kaki Warner's description of Colorado in the late 1800's brought out the history lover in me and well as the romantic. I am eagerly awaiting the next installment.... quite eagerly in fact. Thanks Kaki Warner for such a fabulous ride in Colorado Dawn.
4 Stars (Brilliant)