Tuesday, February 5, 2008
Sharing My First Official Review
Reviewed by Kelley Hartsell -
Kwips & Kritiques
Roselle "Ellie" Fountain adores her rancher father and longs to someday help him run their ranch, Fountainhead. Unfortunately, she's not the son he's always wanted so while he loves her dearly, he still only sees her as a girl and wishes she would act more like a lady than the tomboy she's always been.
Ty Bishop is the ranch foreman and fills the desire for a son that Ben Fountain has always had. Ellie hates that Ty gets special treatment and will probably someday run Fountainhead. Ellie has plans to show her father she can take care of herself and the ranch and they include buying and learning to use a gun.
The Bryants are a greedy bunch and this father and twin sons team hopes to buy all the land on the mountain, even if it means using dishonesty to force current owners out. When they take a shot at Ellie, Ben and the ranch crew realize something needs to be done to protect her and secure the ranch. Ellie is furious, not believing she needs protecting, especially when it comes wrapped up in a package like Ty, whom she's lately taken to seeing in a whole new light.
Ginger Simpson has written a wonderful western historical romance in Sparta Rose. Ellie is a spirited lass who doesn’t like the arrogance of the men, especially Ty, thinking she isn’t capable of taking care of herself. She’s also a bit too impulsive, rushing headlong into adventures that have a tendency to get her into trouble. As events unfold throughout the story, we see Ellie grow from headstrong and careless girl into mature and responsible woman. Her confusion over her feelings for Ty just adds to the complexity of her character. Probably the growth of Ellie as a woman is represented in her attitude towards Ty, as she finds herself falling for him and worrying about whether he’ll ever see her as more than the boss’s daughter.
While it’s very apparent from the beginning who is responsible for all the trouble on the mountain, I was kept intrigued in the mystery of just how far the Bryants would go to get what they wanted. The Bryants are quite a crew, ruthless in their greed. Not all of the Bryants are necessarily bad seeds however, as evidenced by younger twin, Joshua and how he treats the townsfolk. He is more complex of a person than the rest of his family, making me feel sorry for him.
Ginger has a knack for infusing her stories with enough humor to keep them from growing too intense. Sparta Rose provided plenty of moments that got a laugh out of me. Ellis is a spitfire, with a temper to match her fiery red hair. The verbal sparring that occurs between Ellie and Ty lightens things up quite a bit, when Ellie gets too overwhelmed with her anger and frustration.
I don't read a lot of historical romance, and even fewer Westerns, being quite particular about books in this genre, but I'm glad I read Sparta Rose. I was pulled into the adventures of Ellie and company, thoroughly enjoying my visit to Sparta, TN. I am looking forward to more adventures from the mind of Ginger Simpson.
© Kelley A. Hartsell, January 2008. All rights reserved.