To Find You Again
The Army returns Emma Hartwell to her parents after she lived seven years with the Lakota, just at the time when Native Americans were being forced onto reservations. With the prevailing white prejudice against anything Indian, she dare not reveal that she had married a Lakota and had a child by him. She slips away into the night to find her son. Her father hires ex-soldier Ridge Madoc to bring her back, before she brings further disgrace to the family. But Ridge is sympathetic to the Indians’ plight, and agrees to help Emma in her quest. While thrown together constantly, romance begins to develop. But how can there be a future for them in the white world, which would reject an Indian’s widow and her half-breed child?
McKade made a smart plot choice—one which enables her to depict historical accuracy (white society’s prejudice towards Native Americans), while acknowledging modern-day sensitivities (the protagonists’ rejection of that attitude), in an uncontrived, believable way. Emma and Ridge are well-drawn, still having doubts even after they think they are in love. The last third of the book, with its bad-soldier villain causing complications, isn’t as successful as the rest, yet I would still rank this western romance well above average.