Reviewed by: BigAl
Genre: Western Romance/Historical Romance/Supernatural
Approximate word count: 105-110,000 words
Kindle US: YES UK: YES Nook: YES Smashwords: NO Paper: NO
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Originally trained in the visual arts, Lyn Horner has worked as a fashion illustrator and an art instructor for Art Instruction Schools (famous for their “Draw Me” heads.) Looking for a creative outlet after her kids left home, she started writing. Darlin’ Druid is the first of a series, with one other installment available. She also has a Kindle ready memoir, Six Cats in My Kitchen. For more, visit Horner’s website.
Jessie Devlin, the daughter of Irish immigrants, has prophetic visions and goes west in search of the man of her dreams (and visions). Captain David Taylor is a Texan, estranged from his father after fighting for the “wrong side” in the US Civil War. Is Captain Taylor the man Jessie is looking for?
Darlin’ Druid takes place in 1872 and is set in Utah and Texas.
My natural tendency is to shy away from both historical and western genres. Darlin’ Druid combines both, along with a touch of something else, either supernatural or paranormal, depending on how you define these. I know why I have this tendency. It’s because I don’t think I’ll be able to relate to a story so far removed from my own life and experiences. Yet I consistently find when I venture into new genres that the human experience, regardless of differences in time, geography, or even worlds, is often enough the same to draw me in. That was what I found in Darlin’ Druids.
In her bio, the author says she enjoys the historical research for her books. Although I’m not a history buff, through education and reading I’ve picked up a lot of the history of the time and areas where this novel takes place (primarily Chicago, Utah, and Texas) and the historical elements, including many subtle touches, all ring true. Another thing that will often throw me in a story that takes place in areas I’m familiar with is if they get a geographical detail wrong. Horner obviously did her research here, too.
All of this would be for naught if there weren’t a good story here, but there is. It blends a compelling romantic story line, and all that implies, with a coming-of-age story line for the heroine, Jessie, and to a lesser degree, for the hero, David. Jessie’s prophetic visions, which give Darlin’ Druid its supernatural twist, serve as a plot device, by foreshadowing and also driving Jessie’s decisions. Fans of historical romance and possibly even those who are into westerns, sans romance, should find much to like in Darlin’ Druid.
A small number of typo and proofing errors.
Rating: **** Four stars