Backwards to Oregon
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Backwards to Oregon (Oregon #1)

4.39 of 5 stars 4.39  ·  rating details  ·  250 ratings  ·  26 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...more
Kindle Edition, second edition, 465 pages
Published April 6th 2013 by Ylva Publishing (first published 2007)
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Tipping the Velvet by Sarah WatersFingersmith by Sarah WatersAnnie on My Mind by Nancy GardenKeeping You a Secret by Julie Anne PetersRubyfruit Jungle by Rita Mae Brown
Best Lesbian Fiction
69th out of 920 books — 986 voters
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1st out of 25 books — 14 voters

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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...more

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...

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
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more
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.
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 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...more
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.
Jul 29, 2011 Gloria rated it 4 of 5 stars Recommends it for: all
Recommended to Gloria by: Won it in a contest...Cocktail Hour recommended the novel...
If there were four and a half stars, I would give them to this novel. I read the book in one sitting. It was pretty good, and I recommend reading the story.
I often have a hard time finding lesbian writers who can actually write. This book moves quickly and has an actual plot. A quick and fun read.
A fantastic book. Great characters and plot. We discuss it on episode 16 of Cocktail Hour.
Lisa Mcdaniel
Great book with great characters. The sequel was very good as well. This author writes great books. Worth reading them all.
I love me a good western and this has all the exciting elements a good western should have. Money well spent!
o wow, i fell in love with this book! jae wrote a real page turner that i could not put down!
Jeanne Mccann
One of my favorite reads! Entertaining, fascinating, and very sexy book!
Amazing book! Quickly became one of my favorites. So sad that it was over.
I just reread the book and still loved it as much as the first time!
great story. great telling!
Ria Hau
Ria Hau marked it as to-read
Apr 18, 2014
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Mostly Lesfic: * Backwards to Oregon - July 2012 57 86 Mar 03, 2014 07:05AM  
Mostly Lesfic: Jae Q&A 13 44 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...
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