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West for the Black Hills

(Dakota Sunrise #1)

4.49  ·  Rating details ·  101 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Philip Anderson keeps his past close to the vest. Not many people in Mitchell, a small town in the Dakota Territory, would understand him living with the Sioux Indians who rescued him as a boy. Haunted by the murder of his parents as they traveled West in their covered wagon, he knows it wasn’t Indians who killed them, and his many unanswered questions about that night sti ...more
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 15th 2015 by Mountainview Books, LLC (first published March 7th 2015)
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C.J. Darlington This book will go on sale on or before April 15th in paper and ebook forms.

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Average rating 4.49  · 
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 ·  101 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Jan 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I thought the main character was interesting and multi-dimensional. He wasn't looking for romance and it just sort of came to him. I really like how he loves his horses. He has a very mysterious past that I hope we can find out more about in the sequel.
C.J. Darlington
Apr 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Anyone who enjoys a classic western in the vein of Louis L'Amour will love this book. Leavell has crafted a fantastic story complete with Arabian horses, gunfights, and a reluctant hero you root for each step of the way.
Rachel McMillan
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A genre I am relatively unread in is Western. Yet, Peter Leavell is such a strong historical author I knew that I would immediately buy whatever was available after his exceptional and award-winning Gideon's Call.

The world I found was one of chivalry and honour, of knights on horseback and cultures clashing against mercenaries and greed.

Leavell breathed the Old West alive so that it maintained the familiar essence I had already imaginatively cultivated while still broadening my canvas. Painted h
Clare O'Beara
Well worth reading. Set in Dakota Territory, just before the people achieve statehood, the tale follows Philip Anderson from childhood, when some Lakota find him beside his dead parents and burning wagon, to his notoriety as a reluctant but deadly accurate gunman.

Philip keeps to himself and trains as a blacksmith, spending his money on purebred Arabian horses to raise and train for sale. But a lovely young woman called Anna arrives with her family and sparks a series of tragic events when both
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I hadn't read a good Western for many years, and having the opportunity to read this one just piqued my interest in reading more! Written in the first person, the protagonist's story is portrayed with depth of feeling and a rich history of the late 19th century Dakota Territory. I followed Philip throughout his journey, and grew to love him. A man of character and faith, Philip lived his life based on great moral principles and a strong conscience.

The author's research is impeccable, reflecting
Jocelyn Green
I don't naturally gravitate toward Westerns as a genre, but having read Peter Leavell's first book, Gideon's Call, I knew I'd like this, too. Turns out, that was understatement. I loved this book even more than his first! I read West for the Black Hills in two sittings. The main character is complex but completely likeable, flaws and all. The story moves at a great pace, with enough action scenes to keep the pages flying, and enough character development to make us really care about the outcomes ...more
Lisa Hess
May 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
What happens when a serious historical fiction writer pens a genre Western Romance? That's the question that made me want to read this book, even though I'm not a Westerns fan. The hazard of writing historical fiction is that it's hard not to put all those detected and researched facts about a time period into the story you're writing. I see historical novelists fall prey to that temptation over and over, to their story's detriment. But not West for the Black Hills. Peter Leavell has included en ...more
Apr 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful read! It includes everything I enjoy -- History, horses, romance, politics, mystery, and awesome gunfights. Yes, it's packed full of action and adventure. I will warn you, if you don't care for swift justice being dealt out for evil men, you won't like this book. I happen to love that. I'm ready for the next book please. Very happy with this purchase.
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Philip Anderson didn't mean to be a gun slinger. All he wanted to do was ranch and raise Arabian horses. But one thing leads to another. I enjoyed reading how Philip's life came to change so dramatically, and how did his early years shape him? He even spent time with Sioux Indians and learned their language. But someone in his chosen town hates him and will stop at nothing to get rid of him. I was glued to this story. I can't wait to read the next one and find out what happens to Philip and thos ...more
Kim Reinhardt
I couldn't put it down! I just had to know what happened next. As a horse person I was a little critical of some of the scenes but they didn't detract from the story. I can't wait to read the sequel!
Oliver H. France
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Letter Leavell is a great Christian Author. This book was hard to put down.
Mark Richardson
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great read. Enjoyed the characters and the historical accuracy
Katherine Wacker
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
After the traumatic events of his childhood, Philip Anderson just wants to run his ranch, raise horses, and live his life in peace. But when a powerful man threatens him and the woman he loves, Philip must make a choice. Will his choice cost him his life?

As a Louie La’mour fan, it was with great anticipation that I picked up West for the Black Hills, and I was not disappointed. Leavell has a sense for the aesthetic as he paints the setting for his exciting story. From the description of saddles
Lisa Johnson
Feb 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Title: West for the Black Hills (Dakota Sunrise Book #1)
Author: Peter Leavell
Pages: 350
Year: 2015
Publisher: Mountainview Books
My rating is 5 stars.
Oh boy, I so cannot wait for the next installment in the Dakota Sunrise series! I love the western genre anyway and Peter Leavell is a new author to me. In his novel, he incorporates a whole host of unique people living in Dakota’s small town called Mitchell; this is before Dakota was a state. The male lead character is an orphaned boy named Philip An
Savanna Kaiser
Apr 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: on-my-kindle
I’ve not read many westerns, but this story hooked me. With a title and cover like that, how could I not be drawn in? I knew from this author’s previous work that I was in for a historical adventure. West for the Black Hills delivered a vivid backdrop of 1887 Dakota Territory and a likeable cast of characters (Not counting a few bad guys, of course!) ;) As soon as I picked up the book, I really felt like I’d traveled to the wild west.

I felt like the novel had all the right elements. The plot kep
Jordyn Redwood
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing

I read this book as part of a male/female author challenge.

Peter had posted on FB a blog piece about male authors feeling like females weren't reading their novels. I thought the same could be said of males in reading books authored by females.

So-- we traded books as part of a little experiment. So yes, I did get the book for free but was not required to write a positive review.

I have not read a western novel before. To be honest, coming from a suspense perspective, I thought I would be bored
Elaine Cooper
Apr 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
When ten-year-old Philip Anderson loses his parents to murdering thieves, it changes his life forever. Rescued by an Indian and raised in an orphanage, the boy is bent on revenge. He develops skills as a gunfighter, envisioning the murderers who took away his beloved mom and dad.

The tincture of time begins to soften the spirit of revenge, however, as Philip grows up and begins to see his dreams of owning a horse ranch become reality. But when a new evil threatens the peace he worked so hard to
Apr 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I found this story highly entertaining, strengthened and enriched by historical detail but not weighed down by minutia. The plot was delightfully unpredictable, full of twists and turns, luring the imagination along the way, peppered with humorous dialogue and situations. I identified with the emotions and relational struggles of the characters, whose personalities have enough depth and spiritual dimension to hold my attention. I certainly look forward to the sequel, encouraged by the romance, p ...more
Johnnie Alexander
Jun 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've only read two westerns in the last who-knows-how-many-years. I chose this book because the author was featured in a blog post roundup of male authors called Why Women Should Read My Book.

The first person POV seemed unusual for a western, but I was drawn into the story and stayed up too late reading it. I was disappointed when the story ended especially since important questions remained unanswered and there's no book #2 to delve into. Hopefully there
Clarice James
Aug 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
West for the Black Hills is a multi-layered story with threads of romance, greed, and mystery set in the wild, wild west. I loved this book--and I didn't expect to, not being a regular reader of westerns. Leavell's characters are well-developed and complex. No perfect people here. You can tell the author knows his history, yet he doesn't flaunt it. Instead, he weaves it naturally throughout the story. Leavell maintained good tension throughout this compelling story, which, of course, makes me wa ...more
Heidi Morrell
Apr 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was my third time reading this book , and what made this time special was that I read it aloud to my children ! Of course , reading any book by Peter Leavell is meaningful because we first met at college in the middle 90's!
Next up, is the next book in the series, Shadow of Devil's Tower . I have not read this one, yet; we're looking forward to reading it !
Jennifer Davids
Apr 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I just loved following Philip on his journey of love, faith and self-discovery in West for the Black Hills. Just when I thought I knew where the plot was headed, Peter Leavell swooped in and changed it's direction with excellent results. He paints the Old West with a skilled hand and close attention to historical detail. Make sure this one gets placed in your to-be-read pile.
Robyn Echols
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Reluctant Hero

Very thought-provoking plot, so much of what happens in Phillip Anderson's life leads back to the tragedy that claimed his parents' lives. Great characterization, with a strong group of supporting characters. The challenges come to Phillip when he fears what he is called on to do may offend God. I liked how the author resolved the moral dilemmas.
Karen Barnett
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: keepers
With its perfect balance of fast-paced action and tender love story, this new spin on the classic western made me want to strap on a gun-belt and head for the Black Hills. Peter Leavell’s reluctant gunslinger is guaranteed to steal reader’s hearts.
Frances Chrisman
A very exciting book

This book was a very good book to read. It had a lot of excitement, friendship, hardship and above all the love of God. I found this book very hard to put down.
Mar 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this story. Great western, strong godly hero, extremely well written. This is the first book by Leavell I have read and I definitely plan on reading more. This story caught my attention from the very beginning and kept it through the entire book. I highly recommend this book.
earline harvey
Very good read

I enjoyed the interesting characters. The vivid descriptions of the area and the fact that the main character was an honest hard working Christian man. His love of horses was also neat and interesting. I look forward to the rest of the series.
Susie Finkbeiner
Lots of action, a complex plot, thread of a love story. This was a fun Western read.
Jun 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was breathtaking. Suspense, murder, romance so well written I was impressed. And it ended right in the middle of the story, or so it seemed. I can't wait for the next book in the series.
Rebekah Leavell
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book by my uncle!

Filled with action and suspense. I never knew what was going to happen, and I thought the main character, Philip Anderson, was intriguing.
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Christian Histori...: Christian Western High Marks 3 12 Apr 11, 2015 09:33AM  

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Peter Leavell, a 2007 graduate of Boise State University with a degree in history, was the 2011 winner of Christian Writers Guild's Operation First Novel contest. He is winner of the 2013 Christian Retailing's Best award for First-Time Author. Peter and his family live in Boise, Idaho. For entertainment, he reads historical books, where he finds ideas for new novels. Whenever he has a chance, he t ...more

Other books in the series

Dakota Sunrise (2 books)
  • Shadow of Devil's Tower

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