Mathilda Hardwicke, a rebellious artist rejected by her family and New York society, heads west to Gold Rush California as a mail-order bride. But when fate leaves her alone at the altar, she’s drawn to Sakote–a fierce Konkow warrior whose tribe is threatened by the encroaching white men–in whose arms she discovers a savage new Paradise and a forbidden love more precious than gold.
It seems there is a rising trend in Native American romance novels, and after reading Native Gold, it doesn’t seem like a bad thing at all. The last one I read was awkward in its reconciliation between Western and Native American culture. Often they make light of the cultural beliefs by adding jumping bear references. Campbell doesn’t do this. She achieves a calming story with a detailed exploration of life in the American gold fields.
Mathilda (Mittie) is a woman looking for herself and seeking to start again, armed only with optimism and her artistic skills, she ventures well beyond her known world. While Sakote is a man losing himself and his culture, caught between Konkow pride and power, and the things he must do to survive.
Mattie is a well created character, strong but also naïve. Audiences should be able to find something in Mattie to connect with, even if it is just her passion and drive to live in a world where she has no idea what she’s in for.
Sakote is a compelling character. Strong in his silence and peace. He is a wonderful balance to Mattie’s chaos. Some of the best parts in the book and associated with his calming influence. He moves with a gentle pace, and seems to really see the world. Sakote is protective, without being constrictive or controlling, which is never a good thing.
The tension between Mattie and Sakote crackles from the second he sees her, it feels like the characters are drawn together and are completed by the other in away they are not even aware of. The book has very few actual sexual interludes, it focusing on creating a natural courtship presented in agonizingly described detail which still has my heart pounding. Campbell’s description of the way he moves, his skin, his smell is enough to sustain even my jaded mind.
Highly recommend to people ready to fall in love and ache for a time when things were certainly not simple, but definitely a little wild. Rating: 5 Crowns – Sovereign Queen of Historical Love
(Reviewed by Countess Sarah)