Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Maggie Porter has grown up on the Rocking P Ranch and has come to love everything there is to about ranching, from riding horses, roping and driving cattle. As a young girl at 13, she had developed a school girl crush for ranch-hand Alex Bright because he didn't treat her any different because she was the bosses daughter.
Now that she has returned to the Rocking P as an older women, she wonders if that same crush exists and she can't wait to see Alex again. When she arrives home on the ranch, she learns Alex has been promoted as foreman, but even though her heart continues to chase after Alex, she finds out that things on the ranch aren't running as smoothly as her father would like. Maggie returns home after a long stay from helping her ill mother at the sanatorium and later attending her funeral, she finds her father isn't his usual self. She believes he is taking her mother's grief harder than she expected and learns that he has relinquished most of the ranch's task to Alex instead of being there on hand to help.
Maggie learns from Alex that most of the men are considering striking against the Rocking P, since her father has taken back some of the benefits they used to have working for him, from herding their own cattle on the ranch, to basic help in maintaining the bunkhouses and they haven't had a pay raise in ten years. Things get worse when Leo, one of the ranch hands is injured and her father refuses to help. He tells Leo that his wife will have to take him to town to see a doctor because he can't spare any men. That leaves Leo's wife, Sela to have to manage with an infant and leave her three young boys in the care of Dolores, the housekeeper. But when her father learns of this, he dismisses the boys and Sela to town because he can't afford to help them manage their family affairs on the ranch.
This places Maggie and Alex in the middle as Alex attempts to keep the men working on the ranch at least til they finish the cattle drive and they can get paid, while Maggie tries in vain to find out what is going on with the change in her father. It goes against how he has managed the ranch up to this point and if they can't reach a compromise, the ranch will fail.
In the novel, Cowgirl Trail by Susan Page Davis, the reader is transported back to Brady, Texas during the late 1800's for a look at what it takes to manage and run a large cattle ranch and how people made a living back then, either running a ranch or helping to maintain it. I feel for Maggie Porter, because as a daughter she is stuck between her loyalty to her father and toward helping the men when she feels her father is out of line. Will she be able to help them all find a compromise or will the ranch be lost along with her dreams of falling in love with Alex?
I received Cowgirl Trail compliments of Moody Publishers and Net Galley for my honest review and being a huge fan of Christian Western Romances, I absolutely loved this one. Susan Page Davis creates a different type of conflict and the way she has Maggie attempt to handle this as the only child of the Rocking P is brilliant and virtually unheard of in most western fictional books but one that works well in this one. I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars and shows the strength that can be required of us when faced with challenging and difficult situations if we are willing to look to God for answers! This is book 5 in the Texas Trails series and one I've really enjoyed if you love westerns!!
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