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A girl has become a woman while in captivity. A stagecoach driver longs to take her home to the home she barely remembers.

Taabe Waipu flees her Comanche village. Somewhere in southern Texas her real family lives in the white world. For years she’s struggled to keep the memories from fading.

Butterfield Overland Mail Company driver Ned Bright finds a woman, exhausted and injured, lying in the road. He takes her to a mission run by Ursuline nuns. With hard work, Ned discovers Taabe Waipu’s identity. He plans to unite her with her family, but the Comanche have other ideas.

IMO: Lately, I’ve been reading a number of contemporaries, so getting back to the nineteenth century was like coming home. 

When I have to put a book down for one reason or another and can’t wait to get back to it, I know I’m into the story…have become a part of the characters’ lives. I enjoyed every page of Captive Trail, the second book in the Texas Trails, Morgan Family Series. It made a five-hour car trip fly by.

Susan Page Davis takes us to North Central Texas in the latter 1850’s and along a portion of the Butterfield Overland Mail Company route. She introduces us to Taabe, a blue-eyed, blonde captured by the Comanche twelve years earlier, and Ned Bright, a rancher and stagecoach driver. There are other interesting characters, such as, Quinta, a precocious little girl caught between the joys of childhood and the responsibilities of growing into a lady, and the Catholic Sisters who take Taabe in.

Taabe (Tah-bay) Waipu (Wy-poo) has been forced to tamp the memories of her identity, language, and home, but there’s a longing in her to go back to her true family. Six horses waiting outside her teepee send her fleeing to a culture she’s afraid won’t accept her.

Ned surprised me. So often, the hero in a romance is oh-so good-looking. Though Taabe thought him “tall and handsome”, I pictured him as an “average Joe”—not gorgeous, not plain; not exceptionally smart, not dull-witted. Ned is a hardworking, kind-hearted man who wants nothing more than to reunite Taabe with her family.

This is an action story. So don’t look for in-depth, gut-wrenching emotion revolving around Taabe’s life with the Comanche, her conflicted feelings about that world, and her assimilation back into her true culture. Those factors are there to a point, but Captive Trail is more of a fast-paced, entertaining story with a feel-good romance, and appealing characters with whom you want to hitch a ride.

Though this novel stands alone, the inclusion of Jud Morgan in Susan’s book has me itching to read his story in Lone Star Trail by Darlene Franklin, the first book in the series.

 

What type of 19th-century historical do you like to read? Do you prefer a soft prairie romance like Forevermore by Cathy Marie Hake? Or do you like something with a western feel like Stephen Bly’s books? Maybe you like a more urban setting with novels that take place in Boston or Chicago or Philadelphia. 

 

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