Thursday, March 16, 2017

BLOG TOUR: Courting Carrie in Wonderland by Carla Kelly


Struggling through college and balancing her summer job with the Wylie Camping Company, Carrie simply doesn’t have time to consider romance. War Veteran Sergeant Ramsay Stiles isn’t looking for love either, busy with his own complicated affairs. But as the magic of Yellowstone starts making its way into their hearts, both begin to see love move up their priority list.


One thing I've always loved about Carla Kelly's books is her characters.  I've yet to read any of her books where I didn't end up liking the characters.  Her characters feel like real people, with real strengths and weaknesses, who struggle with their circumstances, and sometimes make poor choices.  That is no different with this book.  I liked Ramsay Stiles right away.  He's a down-to-earth soldier whose coming to grips with his combat experiences in the Philippines and the medal of honor he won.  He's rather modest with a tendency to blush.  He loves Yellowstone and does his best to take care of both the tourists and the wildlife.  Unfortunately, he devotion to the wildlife leads him to make some choices that have rather serious consequences.  Carrie McKay's had a tough life, with an abusive father who eventually abandoned her and her mother, and growing up with hardly enough food.  She's learned to work hard for what she wants, but her gossip spread by another continues to make things hard for her.  She's in Yellowstone to work for money to pay her college tuition.

I loved the way that Ramsay Stiles and Carrie McKay meet, with her seeking reassurance from the privy that the bear that was sitting outside has left.  How funny is that.  Ramsay and Carrie click right from the start, over pie, of all things.  But life has a way of interfering with even the best relationships and Ramsay and Carrie have to decide what is most important to them and worth fighting for.  I loved the theme of wildlife conservation that runs gently through the book and looking back with what we know now about the importance of wolves and other predators to Yellowstone's ecosystem, I completely sympathized with Ramsay's beliefs.  Unfortunately for Ramsay, few others agree with him and his efforts to protect the wolves get him in some serious hot water.

As usual, Carla Kelly has written a delightful romance with unusual and interesting themes attached to it.  I can heartily recommend this book for those who enjoy historical romance with both humor and heart.

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