Before I say anything at all about Love Under the Western Star, I need to just say how freaking awesome the name Sahalie is. Don’t you think it’s pretty damn awesome? I know I’ve reviewed a book by this author before on here, but I don’t remember if it was under this name or a different one. It was a great book though, all about a female rodeo rider through the years. You got to see history through her eyes and see how things progressed. I really liked it.
This one, though, is all futuristic mixed with Wild West and is definitely scifi. It is based on a real story that took place out in Arizona, back in the day. It was called The Pleasant Valley War, and it made Romeo and Juliet look like a sweet fluffy story. Nearly all the male line of both the Tewksburys and the Grahams were killed during the conflict, and it delayed Arizona’s statehood. Interesting reading about it, and it made me appreciate Love a little more knowing some of the real background behind it. So how does a western range war fit into a scifi book? Well, just wait and I’ll tell you.
This book takes place well into the future. People left Earth on ships and landed on something like a dozen different planets. However, it’s been long enough that many of the people on those planets don’t have the history of Earth anymore, and the majority of those planets are lost. There are some planets, like Eden, who are really advanced scientifically and technologically, and then you get the ones that aren’t. Love takes place on a planet that isn’t all that advanced. They are stuck, technologically speaking, right around the late 1800s. They have steam engines and other similar things, but that’s as far as they get.
We start out with Hope Tewksbury and Joseph Graham. She’s supposed to be off to teacher college, but she couldn’t do it, so she got back on the train to go back to the town of Payson. She sat next to a nice military man who was headed to Payson as well. It isn’t until he’s driving her home that she finds out that he’s a Graham, which earns her her first spanking. Joseph does end up taking her back to the train so she will go to school. He kisses her and she never forgets him.
Meanwhile, on Eden, Dr. Amy Toller is talking about her latest project. They are going to go to Chi-4 and see if they can find relating to Earth. Her goal is to find out where Earth is which can help them figure out where all the other planets are. So they are going to get on their spaceship and do some covert research.
Two years after the first scene, Amy and her people are infiltrating Payson, Hope is coming home from school as a teacher, and the feud between the Grahams and Tewksburys is getting worse. Cue Romeo and Juliet, only call Joseph and Hope.
Sahalie did a hell of a job mixing up the scifi and Wild West stuff in here, plus adding in some spanking and romance. Really, we have 3 main characters who we get to see a lot of and find out what they are doing, as well as some side characters we see more of. I think that it could’ve been really easy to drop a thread when you are trying to weave together two distinct genres, include some history, keep track of various main characters, and make sure that everything comes out well. However, Sahalie made it look effortless and gives us a really tight story. The one thing I wish we had, though, was more of Osimov, the android captain.
I have to wonder how much Joseph’s dad knew about the ship and all the info, since he had stuff hiding all over the place about the ship. I wouldn’t trust the man further than I could spit, and since I can’t spit all that well, that’s not very far.
Well, that’s all I have to say about this one. Go check it out. You’ll enjoy it. Happy reading!