Valley of Dreams: Wild West Wind Series

Written by Lauraine Snelling
Review by Jeanne Greene

Cassie Lockwood has traveled with her father’s Wild West show all her life, and at 20, she can shoot and ride like Annie Oakley. Her formal education is a little sketchy – her mother died young – but her father taught Cassie to be honest. He had hoped to settle in South Dakota one day, on land marked by a special rock, but that was just a dream. The show has been Cassie’s only home.

Years after Cassie’s father died, his partner Jason Talbot, who is running the business, suddenly closes the show. Talbot admits that, according to her father’s will, Cassie is part owner and, to avoid liability for the all its debts, he urges her to leave. Unprepared to challenge Talbot, Cassie takes her best friends, a wrangler and an Indian, her horse, wagons, supplies, and a buffalo, and heads across for the valley her father had described.

Miles away, widow Mavis Engstrom, her two sons and a daughter, struggle to keep their farm going. Their story is braided with Cassie’s, and while she and her friends fight robbers, cheats, and winter storms, the Engstroms battle a different set of problems. It seems certain there is a connection between the families, but readers will have to wait for the second in the Wild West Wind series to find out what it is.

Cassie may shake up the residents of a small Dakota town – she has an unusual background – but she is a worthy heroine. Valley of Dreams will appeal to readers who enjoy an inspirational story that plays out over several volumes.