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Backwards to Oregon (The Oregon Series #1)

4.34 of 5 stars 4.34  ·  rating details  ·  494 ratings  ·  44 reviews
"Luke" Hamilton has always been sure that she'd never marry. She accepted that she would spend her life alone when she chose to live her life disguised as a man.
After working in a brothel for three years, Nora Macauley has lost all illusions about love. She no longer hopes for a man who will sweep her off her feet and take her away to begin a new, respectable life.
But no
Kindle Edition, second edition, 465 pages
Published April 6th 2013 by Ylva Publishing (first published 2007)
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Best Lesbian Fiction
50th out of 1,091 books — 1,318 voters
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1st out of 33 books — 24 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,093)
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Still keeping it at pure five stars after finishing the re-read of the revised and expanded second edition published by Ylva. This great book is now even better.
The North Wall
I tried so hard to love this book. In the end, I only kind of liked it. Despite a realistically slow and steady build up for the central relationship, and excellent attention to the period detail and setting, I never found myself falling for either of the lead characters and even after 400+ pages felt little emotional pull or attachment.

Several other reviewers have mentioned issues with grammar and style and, for me, these were pretty insurmountable problems. The book desperately needed an edit

Recently changed my rating from a 4 to 5 star.

The power of the repressed passions, quality of the writing and sheer gritty realism of the prose blew me a away and has stayed with me even after reading 2 more of Jae's novels (Second Nature and Conflict of Interest).

Her best novel yet, but now off to read Hidden Truths...

Nan Hawthorne
Luke Hamilton is a woman living as a man. S/he has just left the army to head down the Oregon Trail with a wagon train and claim the land the territory will give any man… and notice I said "man"... so s/he can begin a horse farm. S/he meets and asks a prostitute named Nora to marry him... her.. oh heck, let’s just stick to the biological. Her. Though I admit I don’t much like calling Luke what she would not call herself.. him.

Nora accepts Luke’s proposal not knowing Luke is a woman. How this is
Nom N
I felt like I just traveled through an interesting and long journey.
I have a more understanding perspectives toward the lives of women during the 19th century.
The relationship between Luke and Nora is a bit out of touch for me. Maybe because unlike many other lgbt novels I'd read, this story doesn't just focus on the romance aspect of it, but the hiding of identity, the hardships of their travel, the doubts between the main couple, unwanted outsider conflicts, and their slow discovery of love.
Really great story...strong writing,good character development, historical fiction...doesn't get much better!
Mar 15, 2015 Bev rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: novel
The year is 1851. Luke Hamilton, a decorated war veteran, is keeping a dark secret that, if revealed, would change life forever. Nora Macauley, thrown out of her family for being pregnant with an out of wedlock child is trying to raise her daughter while working in a brothel. Luke wants to join a wagon train to Oregon and raise horses. Luke and Nora enter into a marriage of convenience and set off across the country in a wagon train, while Luke works to keep the dark secret and Nora tries to und ...more
Gaelle Cathy
That was something different. And I mean that in the good way. Extremely well-written (as always with Jae's books). Very instructive read about the ways of that time. I've always love that time frame but obviously, as a woman, I'd have hated actually living it (unless I came across someone like Luke, of course ;) )
Very good story. Can't wait to read the next three in the serie.
I really liked this book. I have never been into "westerns" at all, no matter who the author was. But since I had read several of Jae's books and enjoyed all of them immensely, I decided to give this one a try. I found the story of a young man who wasn't what he appeared to be engaging from the beginning. Luke is a woman who lived completely as a man, spent time in the Army and even became a war hero. When Luke marries Nora and heads for Oregon to homestead, his wife eventually discovers his sec ...more
Luke Hamilton, a former army lieutenant, has a dream of traveling to Oregon and starting a horse ranch. The problem is that Luke is really a female who disguises herself as a male. In order to appear more masculine (and, for other reasons, which the reader discovers later), Luke decides to take a wife - Nora, a prostitute he barely knows, and Amy's young daughter. Nora has absolutely no idea that her new husband is a woman, but she's very intrigued by the kind way he treats her.

I really, really
Jill Sorenson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I really loved this story which is unusually because I’m not a huge fan of historical era type stories, but I loved the characters Luke and Nora and I find myself wanting to re-read the story. I can count on one hand the stories I’ve wanted to read again.
The story takes place in the 1850’s and Luke is a woman passing as a man in part because the options for a single woman are get married and essentially be considered property or be a prostitute.

Luke and Nora get married as a type of business a
Apr 19, 2013 Jeanne rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Mickey Minnor fans.
I really enjoyed this story. It was a full and robust reading. The plot, characters, realism, and writing style were excellent. I love a western and this fit that bill. I wore my cowboy hat and boots while I read it.

The plot is somewhat quick at the beginning but Luke and Nora have just met and for a really weak reason Luke proposes. I'd say that is the only disturbing issue in the whole book for me. Why did he propose out of the blue? But the plot thickens. She accepts. YAY. Off to Oregon in a
What a great adventure! The story is long, simple but not uninteresting. The characters are very 3Dimensional and I really love how Jae takes her time to build up their relationship. It's a slow romance, but definitely a good one! I have always loved Jae's book and this definitely doesn't disappoint! At the end of it, I have come to realize that I am more emotionally invested in the characters than I thought I was. Love Nora and Luke! Can't wait to begin on Hidden Truth.
Katherine Murray
I absolutely loved this book. It was well thought out and well written. The struggle of Luke to come to terms with herself and learn that she too deserves to be loved rang true for me and I loved how the setting affected the plot. There were some reasonably funny bits too and the little girl Amy was adorable. Definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a well written lesbian romance with a good plot.
Backwards To Oregon is, thankfully, on the right side of the point where it makes you sigh with its kind and colorful characters who care so much about each other, but also where it doesn't make you roll your eyes because it's too syrupy.

It's also interesting and gripping historical fiction and the only possible thing I could find wrong with it is it's just a tad too long. I would have loved to see Luke's big reveal occur much sooner in the novel.

Still, I wouldn't hesitate to read m
Odd Bin
Mar 05, 2014 Odd Bin rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Odd Bin by: Mel
My first Jae book and I really enjoyed it. Looking forward to the next one.
The story of Luke and Nora was a pleasant read. I found myself rushing to the reveal, anxious on the consequences, worried for the protagonist.
This is easily one of my favorite stories. I don't have a lot of time in my life to read but when I do I want them all to be like this one!

Well, I liked the story and the characters (except Broderick Cowen, what a coincidence to meet one of your old customers somewhere in the middle of nowhere), lots of adventure and wonderful scenic description. Nora and Luke's relationship develops slowly (nothing physical or emotionally substantial actually occurred until at least 75% into the story). I would have preferred more romance and more of their life after they reached their destination and less Cowen and Larson. I give the story 3.5 st ...more
I found this story very charming. A sweet story and the characters are quite lovable.
This is my favourite book pure and simple. This was my first time reading the revised edition but of course it was wonderful.
loved the slow pace this time.
I have recently read several f/f western books, but I thought this was the best so far.
The romance was slow build, just the way I like it.
I enjoyed reading every single page and there was not a single moment that the story weakened.
For me it was a page turner from start to finish.

I understand that there are a number of short stories, a prequel and a sequel for this book. I find it hard to discover where to start in order to read it in a good order. Is there anyone who has read all of it and kno
I am a late comer to Jae books and this is the first I have read and it was a wonderful story. I had been advised to read this book many times and finally I have found a copy... I will read this book many times it is really very special.
It truly is an amazing feeling when an author takes you on a journey with their story telling. Particularly when you can feel live and breathe every mile throughout their travels.
Lots of interesting facts in this book too and if you love horses this book is a w
So well written I felt I was on the trail with the characters. The historical insight into the journey was fascinating and I loved reading this historical novel through the eyes of women (or a woman turned man). Sometimes I was sucked so much into the story that I was surprised to find myself back in the 21st century. Loved the protagonists and all supporting characters. I couldn't put the book down and loved every minute. Vivid read. The author did an excellent job.
I just reread this book for probably the 4th time. These are probably two of my favorite characters in any book I've read in a long time. There will never be enough sequels or short story spin-offs to satisfy me. I will probably never tire of Luke and Nora.

edit: Just finished rereading the newly revised edition from Ylva Publishing. Me and Cheri did a co-review of it if you want to check it out at C-Spot Reviews.
I enjoy good historical fiction, and this certainly qualifies. It is the story of two women, an ex-prostitute and her 3 yr old daughter, and an ex-Army officer [woman in disguise] crossing the country on the Oregon Trail in 1851. The horrendous trip is well chronicled, and the characters in the wagon train well delineated. A good read!
I enjoyed the detail and true to life feel of traveling across the county on the wagon train to Oregon. The hardships, the rough travel conditions, were so detailed and well written I felt I was along for the journey. (without the blisters)
I loved this book, it is a western and a love story, written by someone who knows about horses. So if you are looking for a book with a fast pace, some drama and humans with a heart, go ahead and read this book and the following parts also.
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Mostly Lesfic: * Backwards to Oregon - July 2012 57 94 Mar 03, 2014 07:05AM  
Mostly Lesfic: Jae Q&A 13 48 Jul 11, 2012 09:52AM  
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Jae grew up amidst the vineyards of southern Germany. She spent her childhood with her nose buried in a book, earning her the nickname, “professor.” The writing bug bit her at the age of eleven. She works as a psychologist and likes to spend her time reading, cooking, and watching too many crime shows.
More about Jae...

Other Books in the Series

The Oregon Series (2 books)
  • Hidden Truths
Something in the Wine Second Nature Conflict of Interest Under a Falling Star Hidden Truths

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