A Sweet Wild West Tale: Valley of Dreams (Wild West Wind, Book 1) by Lauraine Snelling

Valley of Dreams (Wild West Wind, Bk. 1)
by Lauraine Snelling
Copyright 2011
Bethany House Publishers
352 pages
ISBN: 9780764204159
~3 stars~
It's been years since I last read a book by Lauraine Snelling but when I read the cover blurb for her latest novel, Valley of Dreams I knew I had to give this author another try. The world of circuses and Wild West shows have always been fascinating to me so a book with an Annie Oakley heroine and furry yet talented critters promised to be entertaining. I'm sad to say I was a bit disappointed. If you're looking for a Christian Water for Elephants type story you will be as sad as I was that this book was not about a circus or show but rather a girl leaving one to fulfill her deceased father's dream. That said after getting over the initial let down that this wasn't going to be about the Lockwood and Talbot Wild West Show it definitely has potential to be an interesting story.

In Valley of Dreams we meet Cassie Lockwood, a sharpshooter and trick rider along with two of her friends Chief and Micah who travel together after the disbanding of the show due to financial woes. They travel with only a few dollars to their name and a few of the furry friends they couldn't bear leaving behind in search of the land Cassie's father owned in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Also introduced separately in the story is the Engstrom family including Ransom and his siblings, Lucas and Gretchen who are struggling to keep their ranch afloat after the death of their father. Both "families" are facing rough spots in their and must rely on God, the kindness of strangers and themselves to make it on life's journey.

Ms. Snelling definitely has a knack for writing a good character but the pacing of the story plods along. I know that this book is going to be a part of the series but it felt as if I read a third of a book rather than a complete story. There really is no growth or development, I felt as if I was just getting to know the characters, especially Cassie, and kept waiting for something more to happen (that "ah ha" moment) but before I knew it the story was over. The conclusion definitely has me wanting to read more but I feel like this is a series that will probably be best read after all the books have been released in order to get the full affect.

To learn more about the author visit her WEBSITE

*I received my complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for posting my honest review.*



  1. Another great review - and I completely agree! This book has an interesting premise but definitley is lacking in momentum and growth. In my review I compared it to a very long prologue, as this book feels mostly like a setup for the next book. As you say, perhaps this series might be best read all together. :)


  2. Hopefully the next one is better...I have the feeling there's going to be some romance!!!! ;-)

    XOXO~ Renee


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