Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Book Review: Mackenzie's Mountain

You probably don't know, but one of my *guilty pleasures* is anything by Linda Howard. I don't remember which book of hers hooked me for life, but I remember her book Open Season was featured in the back of Cosmopolitan magazine or something and there was an excerpt. I wasn't really a reading fanatic like I am now, maybe only read 5 books a year, and the excerpt was good enough for me to run to Target and buy the trade paperback. I loved the book so much I had to read everything. Over the years I've picked them up at yard sales, library sales, second hand bookstores, online if I could find them, and these aren't easy to find when you're looking for a specific one.

Anyways. So I came across this and one other in the Mackenzie Family series so I picked them up. I love how completely cheesy this cover is.
Mackenzie's Mountain (Mackenzie Family #1) - Linda Howard

A small Wyoming town is about to learn a few lessons -- from a new schoolteacher with the courage to win the heart of a man who swore he had nothing to give....

Mary Elizabeth Potter is a self-appointed spinster with no illusions about love. But she IS a good teacher -- and she wants Wolf Mackenzie's son back in school. And after one heated confrontation with the boy's father, she knows father and son have changed her life forever.

Still paying for a crime he didn't commit, Wolf Mackenzie has a chip on his shoulder the size of Wyoming. But prim-and-proper Mary Elizabeth Potter doesn't see Wolf as the dangerous half-breed the town has branded him. Somehow she sees him as a good, decent, honest man. A man who could love....

Wolf's not sure he -- or the town of Ruth, Wyoming -- is ready for the taming of Wolf Mackenzie.

Before I start my review I have to remind you that my copy says it was published in 1989 so the cover is cheesy as hell (LOVE) but also this one did not age well. If this was written today not a damn chance would it get published because of some of the derogatory descriptors used by characters, like the main character Wolf repeatedly refers to himself as Indian, half-breed, and white people as Anglo. One character is referred to as "maybe retarded", so just go into this as if this is your grandma with dementia reading it. (But as an aside, it was just really interesting to think of the progress we've made when we talk about people because in my mind, 1989 isn't forever ago, I was only 7, so... 30 years ago. OK, that sounds a lot longer, but really- it's not forever.)

You should also know going into this that I kind of adore cheesy romance novels, so while this one is a four for me, you might think I'm completely crazy. 

I don't care because I love it.

In this book we have Mary, a new to Wyoming teacher, who comes with basically no prejudices. While preparing her class she realizes one of her star students has seemingly quit school, determined to find out she attempts going to his home. Of course, having never driven in snow, she gets stuck and needs to be rescued by Wolf, who is the student's dad. Things get a little fired up between the two of them because he isn't really sociable and nice (for good reason) but before she leaves she manages to talk the student into beginning private tutoring in an effort to get him into the Air Force Academy.

Nobody in town can believe that a white woman would date socialize with the Mackenzies, who are Native American, and Mary sees absolutely nothing wrong with it. Soon enough, she begins to fall for Wolf and that's when all heck breaks out. We have a serial rapist on the loose, prejudices running amok, and Mary trying to get everyone to screw their heads back on to figure out what is really going on in this sleepy town in Wyoming.

It couldn't be anymore cheesy if it tried and I loved every second of it. I have another one in the series so I'm going to talk about that one another day, but I really enjoyed this. Sometimes I need to get away from the books that make me feel like I've been on an emotional tilt-a-whirl, and just read something steady. This was perfect.
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