Genre: Historical Fiction, Western
Source: Received from the Author for Review
One woman's desperation to escape would become the greatest journey of her life.
Amanda Warren arrived in Briarwood, Montana with one satchel and a dream. After death destroyed her happiness, she fled, unwillingly to believe that was the end, yet her weary spirit thought only of survival.
Then she met the Gallaghers.
They took a chance and gave her a home and a family, but is she strong enough to make a new start?
Ben Stuart has seen more of life than he wants to remember, but with the Gallaghers he had found a place where he could forget times gone by and live the life he always wanted. When Amanda arrived at Hawk's Peak, Ben saw a woman hiding from secrets and running from her past. Will he be able to convince her that the journey is over?
M.K. McClintock introduced us to Amanda Warren during Gallagher’s Choice, book 3 in the series, but her past and where she came from was clouded in mystery. I hoped that we would find our more about Amanda and her story finally comes to life in Journey to Hawk’s Peak. This story was told is a different format from that of the first 4 because we are not being fully introduced to any new characters here, we are just digging a little deeper into Amanda and also her love interest, Ben Stuart, the head ranch hand at Hawk’s Peak. While we already know much about Amanda, we are learning about what made her who she is now that we didn’t have before. It’s not told in a completely linear fashion – I mean, the past is told mostly in order and the present is told in order, but we get flashbacks to the pertinent events as they are necessary which helps reveal Amanda’s character over time.
One of the things I love about McClintock’s storytelling is that it isn’t easily classified – it’s a little bit romance, a little bit action/adventure, and a little bit western. There are obvious overtones of something brewing between Amanda and Ben and I loved how it was a slow build that wasn’t the focus of the story, but still a significant supporting aspect. Amanda ended up at Hawk’s Peak because she was running from her past, and as usually happens, the past comes back to haunt, and this time it brings a lot of danger with it. The Gallagher crew gear up to help Amanda figure out what truly happened at her hometown that led to her need to flee. There is a kidnapping, a shooting or two, a fire, children being born, and many other kinds of chaos. There is something happening on every page to keep the reader’s attention.
We also got to enjoy the ever increasing crazy Gallagher clan that we have grown to love throughout the series. Everyone is there, however with the size of the cast, some only have passing moments while others play more significant roles. I don’t know if I have a favorite character; I do still find Ethan dreamy, but Ben gave him a run for his money here!
The only reason I gave this 4 stars was that some elements felt a little repetitive, although told in a new way. We have had a kidnapping before and people terrorizing the ranch, which the characters even acknowledge during the story, but it is a different story ultimately which I still very much enjoyed!
Also by M.K. McClintock:
The Montana Gallagher series includes the following novels:
Gallagher’s Pride (Book 1)
Gallagher’s Hope (Book 2)
Gallagher’s Choice (Book 3)
An Angel Called Gallagher (Book 4)
Other M.K. McClintock books:
A Home for Christmas (Short story collection)