Sunday, May 24, 2020

Caving into You (Love in the West #1), by Bess McBride (author), Michelle Babb (narrator)

Bess McBride, March 2020

Hilly Creighton is a romance writer, on her way to visit her brother in Phoenix after attending a writer's convention. She stops near Tombstone to enjoy the stark landscape, and finds a cave. She calls into it, just being silly for a minute, and then goes on her way.

Clint Woodrow is a miner in 1881 Tombstone, until he hears a woman's voice calling to him from the entrance to his mine, and emerges to find no woman in sight, but but a very different world than the Tombstone he knew.

Six months later, Hilly is back in Arizona, for a real visit to Tombstone for research for her next book, when she meets an actor playing one of the gunfighters in the reenactment of the shootout at the OK Corral--a man named Clint Woodrow.

Hilly initially just wants to interview Clint about Tombstone, the gunfight, and what he knows about the history of Tombstone. Clint, of course, knows entirely too much, and maintains the fiction that he's new to the are and doesn't know that much.

He's attracted enough to her, though, that he agrees to give her a tour of some of the historic sites, and tries to keep from saying more than he should. When she decides to show him the cave she found six months ago, though, it is of course his old mine.

Clint likes the 21st century; it's a lot more comfortable than the late 19th. But the only work he can get is low-paid, enough to support himself but not enough to ever allow him to marry and support a family. He wants to get back to the 19th century and his silver mine, so that he can strike it rich and have something to offer a woman.

And when he and Hilly get too close to the shaft edge, they fall through, into the 19th century.

Hilly is smart, capable, resourceful, and not at all dressed for the 19th century. She has none of the skills a smart, capable, resourceful woman of the late 19th century. And their mutual attraction aside, Clint feels responsible for her safety and well-being in 1881 Tombstone.

Which is awkward, given that he has to get her new clothes for her to even look respectable, 21st century tight-fitting jeans being questionable attire even for him, much less for a lovely young woman. But Clint does have friends, and is pretty resourceful himself--he made a living for himself in the 21st century for six months, after all.

Their different cultural assumptions and sensitivities clash and interact believably as their courtship, his mining, and their torn feelings about whether or not they want to stay where they are or go back to the 21st century--if they even can. They may, after all, be trapped, since they don't know either how Clint traveled forward in the first, or how they traveled back.

I found this enjoyable and satisfying. Recommended.

I received a free copy of this audiobook from the narrator, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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