Friday, April 19, 2013

Review: Dancing on Coals by Ellen O'Connell

Dancing on Coals by Ellen O'Connell

After escaping robbers intent on murder, Katherine Grant says, "I jumped from the frying pan into the fire. Before long I'll be dancing on the coals." The highwaymen were the frying pan; the handsome young Apache who saved her from them was the fire; and the coals? Gaetan.

Rage against the enemies of his people has consumed Gaetan from boyhood. The only use he ever found for any white was to test the sharpness of his knife. Forced by his brother to endure Katherine's company, Gaetan tries to deny what he sees—the white woman has a man's temper and a lion's courage. She has an Apache heart.

In spite of hate, distrust and fear, surviving in the rugged country of southern Arizona and northern Mexico forges a strange bond between Katherine and Gaetan. When the bond turns to love, can they admit it? Can they bear the consequences?




Dancing on Coals, is the second book I read from Ellen O' Connell after Eyes of Silver, Eyes of Gold. I love her writing style, the story not only give you romance but also touch on humanity, prejudices and moral values. After I completed each book, I felt sorrow for the way people treated each other just because they have different skin color or culture, but in the end I felt happy for the couple for getting their HEA by enduring so much struggles in life.

We met Katherine, independent and adventurous American woman, traveling with a group of people when their stage got attack by the bandits. While all her traveling mates got killed, she managed to escape and got save by an Apache young man, Nilchi. He is kind and charming and spoke English to her. He wanted her to be his wife. I find it amusing that instead of freaking out by the proposal, Katherine is trying to make him see the light and think of a plan to reject/escape him and get his help to be back to her family up north.

Gaetan, our hero is an Apache warrior, his mission is to kill every white men he came across to avenge his parent death. When he was entrusted to ensure Katherine safety by his brother, he ends up seeing that beneath her white skin, she had the fierceness of an Apache. To say Gaetan initially hated Katherine sounds like an understatement. This is the first time I read a story that the hero didn't talk to the heroin for up to half the book. And they fell in love even before they started talking to each other. How amazing was that.

The story is so beautifully written that to say this is just a romance won't do it justice. We were given an insight to the life of the Apache people. Their struggle to live a peaceful life while being hunted by the American and Mexican. I felt their sorrow, their fear and also their pride to stay true to what they are.

Rating 5/5