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This was a book filled with unique perspectives and a fascinating in-depth look at Native American cultures, in particular that of the Oglala Lakota nation. I was intrigued by the set-up in this book, as most books I have read with Native American heroes tend to be historical. To have this take place in modern day, and encompass so much of what it's like to grow up Lakota in a country where ignorance of the culture is common, makes this book one-of-a-kind in my personal library.
Chaska Belcourt is an engineer by day and a volunteer member of the Rocky Mountain Search & Rescue Team by night (and weekends). During a hike with his sister and their wolf, Shota, they discover a battered young woman who is lucid but unable to walk. After rescuing her, and sending the police to chase after her attackers, Chaska and his sister welcome Naomi Archer into their home. Bearing the appearance of a Native American but with stunning blue eyes, it's clear Naomi has secrets, and the attraction between her and Chaska is almost immediate. Wary of getting involved but helpless to resist the pull between them, Naomi and Chaska grow close. Having grown up in an abusive environment with her adoptive parents, Naomi knows she's found something special. But when she discovers the secret in her past, will she be brave enough to finally accept who she is?
Chaska and Naomi had instant chemistry, and it was really exciting to watch their relationship develop! While I balked a bit at how much focus Chaska and his sister seemed to put on what Naomi's ethnicity is (I tend to think that it shouldn't matter), I began to understand why as the book delved deeper into their culture. Chaska was deeply religious and liked to keep the traditions of his heritage alive. As he taught Naomi about the Lakota nation, including their language, it was sweet to see how much trust they put in each other. Her background being what it was, Naomi surprised me in her kindness and understanding of others. She definitely was a unique individual who deserved a happy ending.
I have read books by this author before, and I never leave dissatisfied! This was a great read with a lot of great cultural information about a group of people many in the US know very little about. Not only was this a nice romance, it was also a great educational book for me.
**I received a free copy via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.**