Book Review: Melinda and the Wild West by Linda Weaver Clarke

Melinda and the Wild West (Book 1, A Family Saga in Bear Lake Valley)
by Linda Weaver Clarke
Copyright 2006
Bedside Books
267 pages
ISBN: 978-1-58982-367-2
Historical Fiction

Synopsis: Melinda Gamble leaves her comfortable home in Boston to live with her aunt and uncle and to take a teaching position in a small wilderness school. Upon her arrival in Paris, Idaho, she encounters many exciting things, including a gang of bank robbers, a big bear, and most importantly a mysterious stranger who captures her attention and may just capture her heart. The challenges of the Wild West may be too much for a genteel lady to handle or it may prepare her for a life like none she's ever known.

My review: I was eager to start this book because I knew it was the first book in a five book series. I enjoy when an author continues a series to tell me what happens next to characters that I have grown to love.

Melinda and the Wild West was a good story. It wasn't really different from any other western romance that I have read but it was still enjoyable. It was basically the rough rancher meets the proper miss type story but who doesn't enjoy those right?

The character of Jenny, Gilbert's daughter was very endearing and I really thought she was the best character in the book. She was a mischievous, tough little girl who was staved for attention from kids her own age but also from her teacher. The situations that she got herself into reminded me a little bit of myself when I was little so perhaps that's why I liked her so well.

That being said the characters were interesting but the writing left a little to be desired. Some of the terms that were used in the book were not used during the late 19th century. I could be mistaken but I think that "courting" was used instead of "dating" to refer when a man and woman were seeing each other. Also the rather long description of a blizzard that took place in Boston many years prior to the date of the story really didn't add to the book and I could have did without it. However I did like the story and would like to read the next four books in the series including Jenny's Dream, since Jenny was after all, my favorite character from Melinda and the Wild West.

To learn more about Linda Weaver Clarke and her books visit:

*Many thanks to Cindy @ Favorite PASTimes for the great giveaway that allowed me to get this book and of course the author for sending it to me!*


  1. I think you'll really enjoy Jenny's Dream, Renee.


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