When Temperance "Tempe" Tucker's father commits a crime in Virginia, he and his family flee to the wilds of Kentucke. After a disastrous encounter with a group of Shawnee, the Tucker family establishes an inn along the Shawnee river to serve the various settlers and frontiersman in the region. Surveyor Sion Morgan and his crew find themselves repeatedly drawn to the delicious food, medical care, and lively conversation of the Moonbow Inn as they work to survey the western edges of the American colonies. As the dangers of his journey become more and more evident, Sion finds himself relying on Tempe's survival expertise, and eventually asks her to serve as a guide for his crew. Tempe accepts the position as a way to lead these strangers away from the Moonbow, and keep her father's secret safe. Will the constant dangers of the wilderness bring Sion and Tempe closer together, or will the constant threat of death only strengthen their individual resolves to never love again?
Once again, Laura Frantz brings pre-Revolutionary America to vivid life in A Moonbow Night. Frantz's portrayals of the struggles and hardships of America's early settlers, the tense and complicated relationships between British loyalists, colonists, and Indians, and the utter beauty of a lost wilderness are nothing short of fascinating. The plot took a while to get going, but once Tempe and Sion embark on their joint adventure, I couldn't make myself stop reading. Sion definitely evokes a Hawkeye-type vibe, but I particularly loved the choice to make the heroine just as capable on the frontier as the rugged frontiersman. Even the secondary characters-- Tempe's family, Sion's crew, etc.-- were well-developed and engaging characters. Tempe and Sion's romance was equally complex and believable, with each of them having to decide whether or not love is worth the inevitable pain than comes with it. Equal parts exciting adventure and sweet love story, Frantz's latest is yet another work of art.
I received a free copy from the publisher. No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.