MelissaB's Reviews > Apache Caress

Apache Caress by Georgina Gentry
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Sep 25, 08

bookshelves: native-american-romance, historical-romance, favorite-historical-romance, western-historical-romance, captured-kidnapped-by-hero
Recommended for: native american romance fans
Read in September, 2008

Cholla is an Apache scout who helped convince Geronimo to give up fighting the army and go to a reservation because he believed it would be better for the Apache people. The army repaid Cholla's help by forceably shipping him on a train to Florida with all of the other Apaches. While on the train, one of the soldiers with whom he served and had a history with tries to kill him. Cholla attacks him back in self-defense then jumps off the train because he is afraid he will be hanged. He is in unfamiliar territory without a gun and still has chains on his hands and feet. He needs to find a farm where he can sneak into a barn to try to remove the chains. The only goal in his mind is to reach his Apache homeland in Arizona - no matter what it takes.

Sierra is a widow living along near St. Louis on her farm. At least she will be living there until tomorrow, when she is being thrown off the farm because of a mortgage her dead husband took out before he left that she is unable to pay. Her husband was an army officer who volunteered to go west so he could try to find gold. He was killed by Apaches a few months before but she doesn't really miss him very much. She only married him because her grandfather thought it was a wise match and they needed help on the farm. Her husband was mean to her, in bed and out. She is all alone and doesn't know what to do now that her husband and grandfather are both dead, since she is being thrown off her land and has not place to go, no family and no job prospects. She sees a train going by full of Apaches and feels no sypathy for them, after all these are the Apaches that killed her husband and brought her to this desperate point.

Cholla comes upon Sierra's house after dark and decides to try to find tools to take off his chains in the barn because he doesn't see a dog or men around. Sierra hears a noise in the barn and goes out to investigate. Cholla takes her prisoner because he knows she would flee to a neighbor and bring the army, so it was either take her captive or kill her. Sierra is scared to death of the Apache, she thinks it's only a matter of time before her kills her. Cholla makes her load up her wagon and take him over the bridge on the Mississippi River. He decides to keep her around as a possible hostage and to enact some revenge - her husband, who Cholla served with out west, was responsible for raping and killing an Apache girl so he decides to get revenge by seducing Sierra and leaving her at a fort pregnant with a half-breed which would make her an outcast. Sierra has no idea of what her husband had done, but she is afraid that Cholla will kill her the second he doesn't need her anymore.

The couple slowly gets to know each other during the long trip from St. Louis to Arizona despite the mutual distrust and unspoken issues. They give into the intense physical attraction between them pretty quickly but keep an emotional distance that is harder to bridge. Sierra starts to see Cholla as a proud, strong man instead of just an Apache and finds an inner strength she didn't know she had. Cholla starts to see Sierra as a woman that he admires and cares for, rather than his captive and an instrument of revenge. They go through a lot of adventures and hardships along the way to Cholla's Apache homeland. His goal is to reach Apache lands in Mexico and spend the rest of his life hidden away from the American army. At the end of the trip, the couple has to decide whether they want to stay together or go their separate ways, but this isn't an easy decision because they have been afraid to reveal their true feelings for each other.

I really enjoyed this book. The love story between Sierra and Cholla was excellent and believable. The only thing I didn't like was the secondary storyline that threatened to overwhelm the main story at times, but overall the book was very good. Cholla was a man to admire for his determination and strength while Sierra grew from a frightened girl to a woman who knew her strength.
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