by Linda Lael Miller

November 2000
ISBN: 0-7434-0362-2
Reviewer Graphic Button Pocket Books
Mass Market Paperback

Linda Lael Miller first introduced readers to the tiny stagecoach stop of Springwater in the book of the same name where she told us the story of Evangeline Keating and Scully Wainright. Now she returns to this growing Montana town with four additional tales of finding love on the great frontier with Rachel, Savannah, Miranda, and Jessica. Originally these books were published in four consecutive months. They are together for this first time in one volume called Springwater Seasons.

Rachel, Savannah, Miranda and Jessica are four very different women who come to Springwater for very different reasons. None of the women come to town looking for love but that's just what they find....eventually with Trey Hargreaves, Prescott Parrish, Landry Kildare and Gage Calloway respectively.

Rachel introduces us to Rachel English, who has come to Springwater at the urging of her old friend Evangeline Keating, to start up the new school. Upon arriving the first person she meets is Trey Hargreaves, owner of the town saloon. Although Rachel finds herself attracted to Trey she doesn't approve of the fact that he owns the local watering hole. Rachel spends her first few weeks in town traveling around meeting her potential students and trying to convince their parents to let them attend school in the fall. She learns one of these students is Trey Hargreaves' daughter, Emma whom he would do anything for. Can Emma help Rachel see her father as something more than a saloon owner?

Savannah opens with the arrival of the stagecoach in Springwater. Today's passengers are Savannah Rigbey, a former dance hall girl with a heart of gold, Dr Prescott Parrish, who is just passing through on his way to nowhere in particular and a very pregnant young girl. Savannah and Dr. Parrish end up delivering the young girl's baby. Can these two people with such different backgrounds and running from their past end up finding happiness in Springwater?

Miranda continues the story of Miranda Leebrook whom we met in Savannah. Miranda was the very pregnant girl who arrived in Springwater just in time to give birth to her son. At only eighteen, Miranda has been abandoned by her parents because she was about to have a child with no husband in sight. Landry Kildare has two sons of his own, a hog farm and fields to tend. He needs a wife to help him raise his boys and tend his house. He figures Miranda will do just as well as anyone and she needs a place for her and her son to stay so he proposes. Miranda accepts since it is the best offer she is likely to get, having a child without first being married and all. Can this marriage of convenience become something more for these two lonely people who think they have to settle for what comes along instead of waiting on true love?

Jessica has Jessica Barnes arriving in Springwater to take over her late brother's bankrupt newspaper and to raise her orphaned twin nieces. Their mother had died in childbirth and Jessica's brother had become ill and died soon afterward, but not before he could summon Jessica to Springwater to help him out. Soon after arriving Jessica meets Gage Calloway the town mayor and her brother's enemy. Jessica soon finds herself in a love-hate relationship with Gage. For the life of him Gage can't seem to stop finding ways to help Jessica and the twins out. Will Jessica and Gage be able to overcome their differences and make a real home for the girls and perhaps find true love along the way?

I have always loved westerns and cowboy heroes and Ms. Miller is the best when it comes to writing this type of story. With each of these new books she not only tells the reader a new romance but catches us up with the characters from the previous books as well. Linda creates a town from scratch and we are able to watch Springwater grow from just a stagecoach stop to a bustling town with each new book.

This was the second time I had the pleasure of reading these books. The characters are like old friends that I was happy to visit again. There is an additional book Springwater Christmas that wraps up the tale of Springwater in the frontier days. Linda has also written a book of Springwater in the 21st century called Springwater Wedding, which I hope to read and review for next month. I look forward to visiting Springwater once again.

If you are a fan of continuing stories with a western setting then the Springwater series is sure to give you a great many hours of reading enjoyment. Linda I hope you will create more books of this type in the future. Many are of the opinion that the western romance is a thing of the past but I beg to differ at least as long as Linda Lael Miller is writing.

Reviewed in March 2002 by Barbara.

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