Indigo Blue

Catherine Anderson
Indigo Blue
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Release Date
May 2010
Book 3 of Comanche
Historical Romance, Western Romance

Torn between the white and Comanche worlds of her parents, Indigo Wolf has grown up estranged from the townspeople of Wolf's Landing, Oregon. No one understands her elusive spirit-until Jake Rand comes to town to act as foreman of her family's ranch. But Jake's real motives are as secret as his true identity, and as personal as his growing attraction to Indigo.

Book Review by CarolAnn
Oct 23, 2010   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
147 people found the following review helpful
I thoroughly enjoyed this book although it didn't quite have the same emotional impact as the previous two books in the series, Comanche Moon and Comanche Heart. Once again, Catherine Anderson transported me back to 1885, to the mining town of Wolf's Landing and into the world of Hunter and Loretta Wolf and their daughter, Indigo, the heroine of this book.

The story opens in 1866 and Jacob (Jake) Rand is standing over the grave of his mother. She had been too frail to be digging for gold and Jake blames his father for her death - "His father had killed her and her unborn child chasing a fool's dream'. Jake promises his dying mother that he will take care of his younger sisters and is determined to fulfil his promise. The family's fortunes change drastically after Mr Rand makes his first gold strike and, now nineteen years on, Jake manages the successful family business Ore-Cal Enterprises. However, he is shocked when his younger brother, Jeremy, tells him that he is sure their father is acquiring small mining operations using unethical practices. The latest proposed acquisition is Wolf's Landing where, following an explosion, the owner, Hunter Wolf, has been injured and can't work.

Jake goes to Wolf's Landing to discover the truth surrounding the explosion. Posing as someone down on his luck and out of work, he manages to secure a job as Hunter's foreman. Indigo is furious because she believes she is capable of running the mine herself so her father won't have to sell up. She resents Jake Rand's presence but, when they meet, there is an instant attraction.

"His intent brown eyes delved into hers. An unnameable something arced between them. It reminded her of how the air had felt during the storm, a charged sensation eddying around her."

One day, returning from a tour of the mine, circumstances force Indigo and Jake to spend the night together. Although everything is quite innocent, gossip is spreading in Wolf's Landing. Fearing for Indigo's reputation, Jake asks Hunter for permission to marry her. Indigo is appalled to find out that her father has given permission and fears she has become "a white man's chattel." Do they have a future together or will Indigo's past come between them?

I really enjoyed this book because it explores the growing relationship between Indigo and Jake with all its emotional turmoil. Catherine Anderson is so adept at drawing you into the lives of her characters and making you really care about them.

A terrible experience when Indigo was younger has left her with a deep distrust and fear of white men in general. Things she has heard about how a white man treats an Indian wife do nothing to reassure her.

Given the circumstances, I can fully understand Indigo's initial horror at having to marry Jake. After all, he is a virtual stranger and a white man, two good reasons for distrusting him! Fearful for her safety, after further incidents at the mine, Jake forbids her to go to the mine or to go anywhere on her own. In Indigo's eyes, Jake's actions only serve to reinforce her opinions of him. She has become a virtual prisoner:

"All the things she had always counted on had been snatched away, Lobo, the support of her parents, the home where she'd grown up, the mine, and her mountains. Even her name was different. Not Indigo Wolf anymore, but Indigo Rand. She felt like a cup that had been drained and left empty."

I think this shows a stubborn streak in Indigo and also a certain amount of immaturity because she is not willing to see that her safety is Jake's only concern.

Jake treats her with nothing but kindness, gentleness and patience and so I was at a loss to understand her continuing antagonistic attitude towards him. It is only when Indigo finally opens her heart to Jake that I realised just how deeply her past experiences had coloured her outlook on life and why she found it so difficult to trust Jake.

I liked Jake from the start because of his concern for those people affected by his father's actions and his intention to go to Wolf's Landing personally to investigate. He is a man with a conscience.

His relationship with Indigo is complex. He is attracted to her from the beginning but will not act on it because he feels guilty about lusting after his host's daughter. Not to mention that he considers himself too old for her. She is very different from the ladies in Portland and he is fascinated by her and when he offers to marry Indigo to protect her reputation, he is not just being honourable:

"If he were brutally honest, he had to admit that the thought of marrying her wasn't totally repugnant. She appealed to him in a way he couldn't define. He could almost taste how sweet her dusky-rose lips would be, how silken her skin. A man could suffer far worse fates."

Jake is very patient with Indigo, always considering her feelings even when it comes to consummating the marriage. I wasn't surprised when he eventually loses patience with her and vents all his frustrations but this proves to be the catalyst for them to admit their love for each other.

The scene where they consummate their relationship comes towards the end of the book but it is so beautiful and poignant that the paucity of love scenes did not affect my overall enjoyment of the book.

There are some funny moments in the book which had me giggling to myself such as when Father O'Grady is talking to Jake about Indigo's confession and when Indigo asks the local prostitute, Franny, for advice about her wedding night.

Although the action only forms a background to the love story, there is a nail-biting climax which will have you on the edge of your seat.

Catherine Anderson has again crafted a beautiful and tender love story which I highly recommend to anyone who loves historical romance.
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