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12 / 30 books. 40% done!

2024 Literary Escapes Challenge

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27 / 51 states. 53% done!

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10 / 25 books. 40% done!

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25 / 100 books. 25% done!

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63 / 104 books. 61% done!

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43 / 52 books. 83% done!

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68 / 165 books. 41% done!
Thursday, December 02, 2021

Historical Grand Canyon Romance a Nicely-Balanced, Faith-Promoting Story

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

As her father's unofficial apprentice since childhood, 26-year-old Meg Pero has become an excellent photographer in her own right. Although females in the profession are basically unheard of in 1871, Meg sees no reason why she shouldn't be given a chance. All she has to do is convince the Army officials who hired her late father to help them survey the Grand Canyon that she is more than capable of working in his stead. Easier said than done. 

Captain Benjamin Coleridge is an engineer tasked with finding a way to cross the impenetrable Grand Canyon. He's got his own reasons for heading up the risky expedition, aims he plans to divulge to no one. His job gets infinitely more complicated when the indomitable Miss Pero shows up, insisting on tagging along. She broke his heart five years ago; he's not about to let her back in. He doesn't need the aggravation or the distraction. 

Despite Meg and Ben's awkward history, the two are soon trekking together into the wilds of Arizona Territory. They, along with the others in their small party, must endure treacherous terrain, dangerous wildlife, perilous storms, dissension in the ranks, and more as they seek to complete the impossible task they're assigned to do. Meg's willing to risk her life for the thrill of capturing pictures of never-seen-before views, but what about her heart? Giving Ben a second chance just might be the biggest gamble she's ever taken. What will happen when the expedition ends? Will he walk away again, taking her battered heart along with him? Or will the adventurers finally get their happily ever after?

When Lark raved on her blog about A Distance Too Grand—the first installment in Regina Scott's American Wonders series—I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. I'm always up for a historical novel with an interesting setting, an intriguing premise, and eye-catching jacket art. Although I'm not always big on Christian novels, the other factors mentioned, plus Lark's recommendation, convinced me to give this one a go. I'm glad I did. I've been to the Grand Canyon many times (the north rim is only about a five-hour drive from my house), so I have no problem picturing it in my head, but Scott's descriptions of its breadth and beauty really did bring it to vivid life. Meg and Ben aren't captured quite as well as neither of them are particularly original or memorable characters. They are likable, though, and I definitely wanted them to get their long-awaited HEA. While A Distance Too Grand is categorized as a romance, I found it had a nice blend of action/adventure, mystery, and history to balance out the love story. As far as the Christian element goes, this one seemed more faith-promoting than preachy to me. Personally, I love that it's a clean, uplifting book that I can recommend to anyone without reservation. Sure, it's predictable and cheesy at times, but overall? I enjoyed it very much. In fact, I've already read the second book and am looking forward to the third, which came out in October.

(Readalikes: Nothing Short of Wondrous and A View Most Glorious by Regina Scott; also reminds me a bit of Misty M. Beller's books)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for violence and scenes of peril

To the FTC, with love: I bought a copy of A Distance Too Grand with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger. Ha ha.

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