Saturday, November 1, 2014

Joan Johnston -- Frontier Woman

Joan Johnston -- Frontier Woman

Rated: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ . ♥   {4.35}
Action: ♠♠♠♠ / Emotion: ♣♣♣.♣ / Romance: ♥♥♥♥.♥ / Sensuous: ♦.♦ / Suspense: ♠♠♠
Action: 4.0 / Emotion: 3.75 / Romance: 4.5 / Sensuous: 1.75 / Suspense: 3.0  //  Historical Flavor: 5.0 // Laughter: 1 // Tears: 3

Setting:       Republic of Texas
Era:             1840
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It's a fact that when you enjoy an author's books, those books become permanent fixtures upon your bookshelves.   For many years Joan Johnston's books have been sitting on my shelves . . . after giving me many entertaining hours of enjoyable reading.   It's been a few years since one of Johnston's books made its way to the top of my To Be Read stack and since the American Western sub-genre of Historical Romance books has always been a favorite, the first three books in Johnston's new series, The Mail Order Bride Quartet, found their way to the top of that stack.

But after reading Texas Bride, (book one of The Mail Order Bride Quartet and book nine of The Bitter Creek Series), it became imperative that I embark upon a Joan Johnston re-read fest.   You see, Johnston featured many details about the heros and heroines of her first series, The Sisters of the Lone Star Trilogy, in Texas Bride.   Too many years and too many other books came between the reading of The Sisters of the Lone Star Trilogy and the reading of Texas Bride.   Thus, too many details about the characters in those books was long forgotten.   So it was, I went to my shelves and began re-reading Frontier Woman, the first book in The Sisters of the Lone Star Trilogy.

This makes for the third read of Frontier Woman (first on October 4, 2001 and second on July 30, 2005).   Since there was no rating system in place at that time, the occasionally written vague and brief notes in the back of the book were left to indicate whether or not it was an enjoyable read.   Those notes said that this book was "very, very good" and "very sensual."   And even though Texas Woman (in its own special way) burst a cannon ball-sized hole into my rose-colored glasses view of "And They Lived Happily Ever After" bubble, Frontier Woman was still an engaging, entertaining, action-packed, emotional, enjoyable re-read.

Johnston wrote an amazing one-page Prologue that set the stage as she introduced Rip Stewart, the father of the three sisters who take center stage in The Sisters of the Lone Star Trilogy.   And with this simple introduction, Johnston hooked readers on not only this book, but inspired an interest in reading the entire trilogy.   As always, one can't help but appreciate a well-written prologue that tells readers they are in for an exciting journey.   This is a mark of a great book by a talented author.

There was one big disappointment, however, to be found in the first sentence of Chapter One.   Creighton "Cricket" Stewart, our heroine, is only seventeen years old.   Since this book is fiction, why couldn't the heroine be older -- at least by two or three years.   Yes, it's true men and women matured much faster when growing up in the rough and wild frontier of The Republic of Texas back in 1840, but still, seventeen sounds so young and immature!   (And, quite honestly, Cricket did act quite immaturely upon occasion during the telling of her story.)

One writing technique that authors, who entertained romance readers in the 1980s, utilized back then that seems to have been put on the "Don't Do This" list of instructions for authors who pen books in the 2000s, was the tendency to switch the point of view voice multiple times while playing out scene after scene in the book.   Johnston utilized this feature with great success in Frontier Woman.   It was great to read a book that delineated the experiences and feelings of not only the primary but many of the secondary characters who were participating in many of the scenes that took place throughout the book.

So many times it is the inclusion of intriguing, interesting and well-developed secondary characters that really make a book shine.   There are many such characters to be found in Frontier Woman.   Even though his voice appeared only occasionally, Rip Stewart, the patriarch of his family, was not as well-developed as one might have expected.   But Johnston did a fantastic job of revealing his arrogant, domineering, personality by detailing the results that his stern, unforgiving upbringing had on his three daughters, and, in particular, (for this book) Cricket.   The prologue is particularly telling about Rip's state of mind.
His eldest son would be named Sloan.   Sloan would be strong and brave, a proud, capable heir to take Rip's place.   Bayleigh would be Rip's surety.   He would be the educated one, bred to be a loyal and steadfast help to his elder brother.   Rip's youngest son would be named Creighton.   Creighton would be the child of Rip's heart, the child he played with an indulged and lavished with his love.   Creighton and would be fiery-tempered and bold, demanding everything the Texas frontier had to offer a man, and getting it.

Unfortunately, Amelia gave Rip three daughters.   That did not deter Rip Stewart.   He named the eldest Sloan, the second Bayleigh, and the youngest Creighton, and set about to make his dreams come true.   (page 1)
Although they both played minor, but important, roles in Cricket's book, Johnston began fleshing out the personalities of Cricket's older sisters, Sloan and Bayleigh.  
The thing that struck Creed, now that he'd met them all, was how very different the three sisters were from each other.   Their choice of clothing, perhaps told the story better than words.   Bay wore the purple chintz long-sleeved dress of a proper plantation owner's daughter.   Sloan wore a plaid gingham shirt with a tan linsey waistcoat and dark-brown fitted osnaburg trousers tucked into knee-high black Wellington boots, a working-man's costume, to be sure.   Cricket wore the skin of a wild animal.   (Creed, page 63)
The revelation of Sloan, the oldest, was the most surprising member of the cast.   Nineteen year old Sloan was exactly what Rip made of her -- the capable heir and overseer to Three Oaks, Rip Stewart's cotton plantation.   Sloan, who was Cricket's closest confidant, was only 5'4" tall but her presence and confidence made her seem taller.   She exuded self-confidence, had a sense of who she was and what she wanted from life.   Sloan was intelligent and beautiful with dark, chocolate-brown eyes and waist-length sable hair that was her crowing glory.   But the surprising thing about Sloan was that she was just as susceptible as any other motherless daughter who wanted to be loved and desired for herself.

Sloan was having a secret affair with Antonio Guerrero, the youngest son of a nearby rancher, Señor Juan Carlos Guerrero, of Castilian Spanish descent, whose family had lived in Texas over one hundred years.   Although the appearance of Sloan in close proximity with Antonio never appeared on the pages of the book, the affair played a very important and integral role in the plotting of Creed's and Cricket's story.   The thing that was the most difficult for readers to swallow was that it was obvious that the haughty, self-centered Antonio cared nothing for Sloan but was using her to courier messages in his role as the leader of a small band of Mexican Revolutionaries.   One could wonder how such a confident young woman could fall for such charming and insincere blandishments, but then, again, Sloan had Rip for a father, no mother, and was still quite young.

Then there was the brief appearances of the middle daughter, Bayleigh.   Bay came across as being the most solitary character in the book because she was so very different from Rip, Sloan, and Cricket.   While Sloan and Cricket quickly and easily mastered the art of being crack shots, riding horses like a vaquero, and excelled at Rip's survival lessons, Bay had a softer, gentler, more feminine nature.   The beautiful, most distinctive sister, with violet eyes and hair that was red and brown and bronze all at the same time, had just returned from school in Boston.   Johnston had readers chomping at the bit to read the second book in the series (Bay's book, Comanche Woman) because readers were left with a cliffhanger ending regarding Bay being captured by the Comanche.

Johnston was spot on when it came to the historical accuracy of her book by introducing the bold and vivid presence of the Penateka Comanche into the story.   The Comanche were on the war path because of the massacre of Comanche leaders, warriors, women and children when a peace chief went to the San Antonio Council House (see: graphic to right) in March of 1840 to make peace with the Texans.   (See: Historium and Wikipedia).   Using this event in history, Johnston introduced three other threads regarding the Comanche into the story.

The first thread involved the hero's tie to the Comanche.   When he was eight years old, our hero, Jarrett Creed, ended up spending nine years living with the Penateka Comanche after he and his mother, Mary Creed, were taken captive.   Jarrett, the boy, grew to manhood, adopting the teachings and culture of the Comanche.   Jarrett, known as "Wolf" to the Comanche, had one friend during his years with them.   Long Quiet, who is the hero of Comanche Woman, is a half breed, who was raised in the same village as Jarrett.   Again, like Bay, Long Quiet stayed mostly in the background, appearing rarely, but tidbits of his personality wore cleverly and intricately woven into the fabric of the story.

The second thread was the introduction of Creed's nemesis and arch-enemy, Comanche war chief, Tall Bear.   Creed (Jarrett's sobriquet throughout the book) and Long Quiet had to prove themselves tougher, stronger, and better than all the full-blooded Comanche boys during their formative years.   Because they were successful, they were not the most popular boys in camp.   To top that off, Wolf married Summer Wind, a Comanche maiden that Tall Bear desired.   Johnston peppered the book with several exciting action scenes that featured Tall Bear in his efforts to make Wolf pay for his actions towards Summer Wind.

Which introduced the third thread of the story -- Creed's reaction to his father's stance regarding the treatment of women captives of the Comanche.   Five years ago, when Creed and Summer Wind stumbled upon Simon Creed, his father, Simon forced Creed to send his pregnant wife back to Comancheria for her safety.   Any time Creed tried to go back home (to the Comanche) Simon threatened to hunt Summer Wind down and kill her.   When Long Quiet arrived at Lion's Dare (Simon's cotton plantation) to help his friend, Simon shipped Creed and Long Quiet off to Boston for an education and to erase the Comanche from within them.

Creed found Simon's thoughts regarding Mary Creed's well-being offensive.   Simon did not want his wife back because she had been defiled by too many Comanche bucks to be worthy of being Simon's spouse.   And while this behavior was the norm for the times, what was interesting about the telling of Creed's story is that although he found Simon's mind-set abhorrent, he was not overly concerned with his mother's well-being either.   Readers would remain totally in the dark regarding Mary Creed's future.   Yes, she eventually became wife to Buffalo Man, a war chief of the Quohadi, but Creed made no effort to find out what happened to his mother after he returned to the white man's world.   Was she still alive?   Did she die like Creed's father, Simon?

Creed returned to the white man's world and became a Texas Ranger when he and Long Quiet returned to Comancheria after their four years in Boston and Creed learned that Summer Wind and his son died of cholera.   Thus it was that Creed meet Cricket when his captain, Jack Hays, sent him to Three Oaks when Rip requested help with the theft of his horses.   Creed's mission was two-fold.   Not only was he to stop the Comanche from stealing Rip's horses, but he was to investigate the rumor that someone in Rip's household was aiding the Mexican Revolutionaries.

The issue of a husband's reaction to his wife after she had been raped by Comanche warriors after being taken captive was presented in greater detail by the introduction of Creed's brother and his wife.   Creed took Cricket to Lion's Dare, now the home of his older brother, Tom Creed.   Creed asked Tom and his wife, Amy, to help him teach Cricket some feminine deportment because he was taking her to New Orleans with him to meet with Beaufort LeFevre, the chargé d'affaires appointed by Andrew Jackson regarding the San Antonio massacre at the Council House.
She was alive!   But lost to him all the same.   She was soiled with the kind of dirt that wasn't ever going to wash off, just as his mother had been.   He'd never be able to hold her in his arms without remembering that her legs had been spread for an entire band of filthy Comanches.   (Tom, page 320)
It was while Creed and Cricket were at Lion's Dare, that the romance that had been blossoming between them since their first meeting developed into full-fledged love.   Johnston did a fantastic job of keeping the desire and romance bubbling between Creed and Cricket after their first meeting.   Cricket was too young and headstrong to understand why she was resistant to having a man in her life, but Creed was astute enough to recognize that Cricket's whole life revolved around pleasing her father.   Since Rip wanted sons, Cricket did everything in her power to hide her femininity.   Creed was determined to bring the woman that was hiding inside Cricket into the light of day.
he turned her senses upside down   (Cricket, page 13)

In all her years, this horse thief was the first man to treat her like a woman.   And she despised him for it.   (Cricket, page 19)

there wasn't one feminine thing about her.   So how could he find her so desirable?   (Creed, page 39)

the Ranger showing up, treating her like a woman, arousing her curiosity about kissing and touching and leaving it unsatisfied.   (Cricket, page 78)

"Rip can and will do anything he pleases.   Look at you.   You're manipulated by your father like a puppet.   He pulls the right strings and you respond.   . . .   You can never satisfy Rip, because no matter how hard you try, you can't be a son . . . only his daughter.   (Creed, page 161)

"If you can learn to do those things, you can learn to be a woman."   (Creed, page 203)

She was aware of him as a man now.   (Cricket, page 220)

He wanted to bury himself deep inside her and stay there.   He'd begun to feel a husbandly possessiveness that was entirely inappropriate under the circumstances.   (Creed, page 245)

Despite outward appearances, she cared deeply what others thought about her.   He now knew she'd kept all those feelings hidden because she'd been hurt by the painful criticisms, like his own.   (Creed, page 249)

"Touch me, Brava.   I need for you to touch me as much as you need to touch."   (Creed, page 344)

he was determined to prove to her she was all the woman he ever wanted or needed.   (Creed, page 348)
The sensuality in Frontier Woman reflects the understated descriptions that were featured in love scenes back in the 1980s and 1990s.   Back then it came across as very sensual and sizzling.   Now after reading the crop of romance books that fill book stores today, it is easy to see that the loves scenes are not as graphic and sizzling as today's works.   Be that as it may, the love scenes between Creed and Cricket were well-written and full of emotion and passion and fit the story and the characters well.

If not for her youth and immaturity, Cricket is my kind of heroine.   All tomboy!   She wore buckskins, could shoot, ride, and curse like a man, but still the hero found her attractive and desirable.   In fact it was because she was the perfect helpmate for a man who must conquer the wild Texas frontier that Creed found Cricket so suitable.   Still, in spite of her manliness (if you will), Cricket was not without compassion.   She had three wolves that she had raised from pups that she showered her affection and attention upon.   She fell in love with Tom and Amy's cute, adorable two year old son, Seth.   It was amazing to read about an intelligent, skilled tomboy, who was just as attractive as a girly-girl who cared more about her appearance than her actions.

Creed was the perfect hero for Cricket.   All Texas Ranger, alpha, macho man.   He was the epitome of a Frontier Man.   Not only was he gorgeous and a hunk, but he could take care of his woman.   He was strong enough to fight his enemies for her and stand up against her father.
The Texas frontier wasn't kind.   It wasn't even merciful.   If you survived, it was because you didn't make mistakes.   You kept your gun handy.   Your never rode far from water.   You treated your horse like family.   And you didn't trust strangers.   (Creed, page 84)
The story moved along at a fast clip as Creed and Cricket were riding all over the Texas Frontier, fighting and loving, and coming to terms with their relationship.   There was also a slight degree of suspense to the story because there were so many different threads interwoven into the fabric of the story that had to be kept in sequence so the resulting picture was cohesive and coherent.   They included, {1} Rip negotiating with Señor Juan Carlos Guerrero to marry off Cricket to his eldest son Cruz; {2} Sloan's ties to the Mexican Revolutionaries, even though she was being duped by her lover, Antonio Guerrero; {3} Creed's and Cricket's numerous encounters with Tall Bear and his band of Comanches; {4} Creed's and Cricket's interactions with Tom, Amy, and Seth at Lion's Dare; {5} Creed's and Cricket's interactions with Beaufort LeFevre and his beautiful, selfish daughter; {6} Long Quiet's interest in Bayleigh; and, finally, {7} Luke Summers secret regarding his childhood.

There were four other secondary characters that added a richer flavor to the broth that was Creed's and Cricket's story.   First, was the introduction of the young Texas Ranger, who worked with Creed, Luke Summers.   Luke was working in the Guerroro household.   This very tall, attractive young man with dark brown hair and hazel eyes was intriguing and you can't help but want to know more about him and the secrets hiding behind the desolation on his face.   Loved the description of his accomplishments.
He's a dead shot with a Paterson.   He can ride any horse you stand under him.   And he uses a rope like a third arm.   Never saw a woman he didn't love or a woman who didn't love him.   Never heard of him gettin' riled either, 'cept for once, oh, 'bout a year ago."   (Jack Hays, page 82)
Second, there was the vain, brazen daughter of the chargé d'affaires in New Orleans, Angelique LeFevre.   Angelique met Jarrett when he was going to school in Boston and was determined to became Mrs. Jarrett Creed.   Thankfully, Cricket was going to have none of that.   In fact, there was a wonderful scene highlighting Cricket's ability to win loyalty among the sailors she sailed with when Creed left the Austin to greet Angelique when they arrived in New Orleans.
Cricket was unaware that the sailor next to her bristled in outrage.   Nor did she notice that the entire crew of the Austin had gone silent.   The eyes of every seaman on board shot from the embracing couple to Cricket.   Her face paled, but her back stiffened noticeably.   (Cricket, page 355)
Then there was the inclusion of a tear-inducing scene caused by Angelique's selfishness and determination to have Creed at all costs near the end of the book.

Third, there was the real-life man who commanded the ship that Creed and Cricket took from Galveston to New Orleans.   Johnston did an extraordinary job of bringing Commodore Edwin Ward Moore to life as he interacted with Creed and Cricket during the trip.   She further educated readers about this respected, true-life hero by detailing events of his career in the "Author's Note" in the back of the book.

Fourth, was the brief, but important inclusion of the eldest son of Señor Juan Carlos Guerrero, Don Cruz Guerrero.   Johnston provided readers with revealing little details about Cruz's interest in Sloan whenever the Stewarts' had cause to visit the Guerrero hacienda.   The minute details about Cruz, the attractive, proud Spaniard, and his obvious interest in Sloan, who was totally oblivious to him, causes one to wonder how he is going to win her over in their book, the last of the trilogy, Texas Woman.

Finally, one must not forget the brief appearances of the three wonderful wolves that Cricket raised from pups.   Rogue, Rascal, and Ruffian were loyal to Cricket and endearing to readers.

In closing, Frontier Woman, the first book in The Sisters of the Lone Star Trilogy, is an example of why Joan Johnston's books grace the shelves in my home.   This book contains all the elements that make it a must read for fans of the American Western.   {1} Jarrett Creed, an attractive hunk of an alpha hero, who is more than worthy of the title Texas Ranger (or as they were know in 1840, the Texas Devils).   A hero who was strong enough to stand up to the overwhelming personality of our heroine.   {2} Creighton "Cricket" Stewart, a wonderfully strong heroine who inspired admiration, loyalty, and love as she marched without apology through the pages in her less-than-feminine buckskins.   {3} A fast-paced story moved along by an abundance of "wild, wild west"-type action scenes, featuring Comanches, Mexican Revolutionaries, and bold Texans.   {4} A deep abiding emotional connection to Creed and Cricket as they dealt with the events life threw into their paths.   Readers were moved to laughter and tears during the telling of this story.   {5} An abundance of romance embraced the readers as desire and a soul-binding connection developed between Creed and Cricket.   {6} An aura of suspense underlaid the framework of the story as Creed and Cricket had many obstacles to overcome before they could have their requisite happily ever after.   {7} An understated sensuality assaulted the senses whenever Creed and Cricket made love.   {7} A strong historical flavor permeated the entire story as the author wove details about Texas in the 1840s into a Western-rich story.   {8} The inclusion of interesting, intriguing, vibrant secondary characters that added greatly to the tapestry that was woven into Creed and Cricket's life.   Being a Joan Johnston fan makes it easy to keep this book on my "to be re-read" list.
--Vonda M. Reid (Saturday, October 11, 2014 : 7:32 p.m.)     [341]

Books In The Series: "The Sisters of the Lone Star Trilogy"
# Date Title Hero Heroine
01.08-1988Frontier WomanJarrett CreedCreighton "Cricket" Stewart, youngest sister
02.04-1989Comanche WomanLong Quite / Walker CoburnBayleigh "Bay" Falkirk Stewart, middle sister
03.10-1989Texas WomanCruz Almicar GuerreroSloan Stewart, eldest sister
  secondary:Luke SummersRefugia Adela Maria Tomasita Hidalgo

Characters Found In "Frontier Woman"
Character Description
Jarrett Creed[Hero] one of the most proudly handsome men Cricket had ever seen; powerful hands; angled cheekbones; jutting chin; heart-shaped nostrils; broad chest; rugged looking (9) topaz eyes; blatant virility (10) powerful, stalking form (12) ropes of muscle in chest and shoulders (13) a long, thin scar that ran diagonally from under his left nipple across the bronzed expanse of muscle-ridged abdomen to the jutting hipbone on the opposite side; another scar curved along his sinewy flank (13) strong (14) agile (15) hard muscular thighs (19) long Kentucky rifle; 2 Colt Patersons; Bowie knife; beautifully beaded buckskin; round brimmed black felt hat with a turkey feather stuck in its leather band (20) Texan (26) a spring coiled for instant action; wide chest; narrow hips; casual stance disguised brute strength (34) Texas Ranger; lieutenant (49) ruthless (65) "Wolf"; 8-y-o when he and his mother captives of Penateka band of Comanche (85) mellow Tennessee voice (155) Comanche upbringing made him stealthy; iron-hard abdomen (156) [~26-y-o: 8-y-o, with Comanche 9 years; 4 years in Boston; left Boston 5-y-a (353)]
Creighton "Cricket" Stewart[Heroine] Rip's third born; the child of Rip's heart, the child he played with and indulged and lavished with his love (1) raised as a son; at 17, possessed all the skills necessary to survive on the Texas frontier; had excelled at Rip's survival lessons (3) raising 3 half-grown wolves (4) had a volatile temper; Rip's bullheadedness (5) golden skin; soft deerskin shirt belted at slender waist; fringed leggings hugged her lithe frame; knee-high moccasins; gray eyes (9) tall; well-curved form; flashing smoky eyes (10) fierce, wild one (11) lightening quick reactions (14) an expert shot; could ride like the wind; could break a wild bronc; could track like an Indian; 'always strived to win, never settled for second best'; 'never failed at anything she set her mind to'; 'ready to try anything once' (31) almond-shaped gray eyes; eyelashes were a black fringe on honey-colored skin (39) aquiline nose; arrogant; high, proud cheekbones; gaunt thinness of her face; thick braid of rich, auburn hair; didn't fit the feminine mold at all (40) arrogant as a man; spoiled and willful as a child; totally unconscious of her femininity; beautiful (64) unpredictable; mulish; infuriating (122) gutsy; opinionated; willing to fight for what she believed (362)
. . .. . .
August[Rare Appearances] one of Rip Stewart's slaves; Negro; wiry hair frizzed into a gray halo around his coal black face; perceptive dark eyes (34) toothy grin (35)
Belle[Brief Appearances] Tom and Amy Creed's slave (192) tiny Negro woman (197)
Bluebonnetsoon to have Valor's foal (35)
Buffalo Man[No Appearance] husband to Creed's mother; a war chief of the Quohadi (89)
Buffalo Waters[One Appearance] one of Comanche who raided Three Oaks with Tall Bear (422)
Clemencio[Brief Appearances] worked for the Guerroro's; anomaly of fine clothes and fresh young face in this poor, hard-working village; gambling with Cricket (129)
Amy Creed[Secondary Character] Tom's wife (186) blue eyes; blond hair (207)
Mary Creed[No Appearance] Creed's mother; Simon judged her for laying beneath those filthy Comanche animals; should have killed herself (90)
Seth Creed[Brief Appearances] Tom and Amy's 2-y-o son; long, golden lashes; eyes clear blue of the summer sky (206) blond hair; chin jutted like Tom's; inherited the Creed men's high angled cheekbones (207)
Simon Creed[No Appearance] Creed's father; found Creed 9 years after living with Comanche (88) ornery; grizzled old man (90) Tennessee stock (93)
Tom Creed[Secondary Character] Creed's older brother; served a buffer between Creed and Simon (90) owner of Lion's Dare (183) 6 years older than Creed; advantage of age and experience; wise and all knowing; could solve any problem (198) long legs; understanding; wisdom (199)
Crooked Trail[No Appearance] Comanche; Creed's adopted father (85) mean sonofabitch (160)
Manuel Flores[No Appearance] Mexican plotting against Texas (65)
Antonio "Tonio" Guerrero[Secondary Character] Juan Carlos Guerrero's youngest son; seeing Sloan (75) haughty disdain (109) more handsome than his brother, with large hazel eyes and soft, boyish black curls that fell over his brow; his mouth was full and sensual above a smaller version of the cleft the rent his older brother strong chin; as tall as Creed, but still 2 inches shorter than his brother (110) chafed under brother's criticism (125) leader of a small band of Mexican Revolutionaries (182)
Don Cruz Guerrero[Rare Appearances] [Hero of "Texas Woman"] Juan Carlos Guerrero's eldest son; fought with Sam Houston at the battle of San Jacinto (68) too attractive; too proud; two vital; gracious friendliness (110) Spaniards English was only slightly accented, which made him sound as aristocratic as he looked in the tight black pants, black boots, white frilled shirt, and matching waste length black jacket (114)
Señor Juan Carlos Guerrero[Brief Appearances] not Mexican; Castilian Spanish; family lived in Texas over 100 years (68) thousands of hectares of land; largest herd of Spanish longhorn cattle in Texas (69) tall, lean Spaniard; bronzed face; pleasant smile (108)
Lucia Esmeralda Sandoval de Guerroro[Brief Appearances] Señor Juan Carlos Guerrero's wife; lush; strikingly beautiful in a layered, wine-colored silk gown that gave the impression of royalty; and ivory column, set in the raven tresses gathered at the crown of her head, held a delicate black lace mantilla; patrician profile; didn't like Cricket (109)
Jack Hays[Actual Historical Character / No Appearance] captain of Texas Rangers in San Antonio (49)
Jim[Rare Appearances] one of Rip Stewart's slaves; bald Negro man; elderly (34)
Amber Kuykendall[Brief Appearance] Sam's daughter; invited 8-y-o Cricket to her 9th birthday party (27) // beautiful, perfectly dressed young woman (111)
Martha Kuykendall[One Appearance] Amber's mother (30) gray hair (111)
Phillip Kuykendall[No Appearance] Sam and Martha's son (111)
Sam Kuykendall[One Appearance] Amber's father; acquaintance of Rip Stewart (27)
Mirabeau Buonaparte Lamar[Actual Historical Character / No Appearance] President of the Republic of Texas in 1840 (66)
Angelique LeFevre[Secondary Character] Beaufort's daughter; knew Creed (177) in love with Jarrett (201) small feminine blond (251) digger-poor preacher's daughter knew how to fight for what she wanted; wanted to be Jarrett's wife; beautiful; blond (354) 'Individually her features were each a bit too large or too small or oddly shaped. Together they made her stunning. Add to that her education, her proper Boston manners, and her insatiable sexual appetite, and she was the perfect wife. (358)
Beaufort LeFevre[Actual Historical Character / Brief Appearances] chargé d'affaires; appointed by Andrew Jackson; lives in New Orleans (176) enjoyed arguing and made a worth adversary; black, serious eyes; chipped front tooth that made him look foolish when he grinned (363) white hair (380)
Long Quiet[Rare Appearances] [Hero of "Comanche Woman"] Creed's friend; half breed; lives with the Comanche (83) dangerous (84)
John Lothrop[One Appearance] captain of the Zavala (335)
Commodore Edwin Ward Moore[Actual Historical Character / Brief Appearances] man Creed was to meet in Galveston (178) quiet, authoritative voice; commander of the Texas fleet; 2" shorter than Cricket; skin was fair for a seaman, an indication he had spent more time in his cabin plotting strategy in courses than he had on deck; ordinary brown hair; nondescript features; bright blue eyes which sparkled when he smiled (334) exceptional seamanship; ruled by sheer dent of his personality; well-liked by his subordinates; 'small man with a big heart' (335)
Felicia Myers[Brief Appearance] made fun of Cricket at Amber's 9th birthday party; dainty satin dress; curly black hair (29)
Oscar[Brief Appearances] worked for the Guerroro's; anomaly of fine clothes and fresh young face in this poor, hard-working village; gambling with Cricket (129)
Timothy Owen[Brief Appearances] seaman aboard the Austin; got into fight with Alexander Trigg; broken up by Cricket (347)
Paco[Brief Appearances] worked for the Guerroro's; face and behavior both reflected the hard life he'd lived; his visage was seamed in lines of fatigue; curt and unfriendly almost to the point of surliness; gambling with Cricket (129)
Wilmer Peatman[One Appearance] tall; heavy framed gentleman; attended Tom and Amy's party; had his eye on Cricket (287) dashingly dressed (290)
Teddy Perkins[No Appearance] Ranger's contact in the rebel camp (83)
Mammy Pleasant[No Appearance] one of Rip Stewart's slaves; looked after the children (33)
Rascalone of Cricket's half-grown wolves (7) raised when a pup (8) gray beast (16)
Thomas Riley[Brief Appearances] seaman aboard the Austin; manned the grog-tub (346)
Rogueone of Cricket's half-grown wolves (7) raised when a pup (8) gray beast (16) black tipped silver fur (38) golden eyes (96)
Ruffianone of Cricket's half-grown wolves (7) raised when a pup (8) gray beast (16)
Alejandro Sanchez[Secondary Character] the unofficial leader of the motley band of bandidos; gravel rough voice; sat tall in the saddle; gave an impression of insolent superiority; dressed like a vaquero in a wool shirt overlaid by a vibrantly striped poncho and leather calzoneras covering buckskin breeches; wore a white silver bracelet; huge sombrero put his entire face in shadow; bushy mustache covered his upper lip; held his broad shoulders ramrod straight (168) cruel (169) one of Antonio Guerroro's men (387)
Starhorse Bay was riding (7)
Amelia Stewart[No Appearance] Rip's wife; the only daughter of a Scots family with seven healthy children (1)
Bayleigh "Bay" Stewart[Secondary Character] [Heroine of "Comanche Woman"] Rip's second born; to be educated, loyal, and steadfast; to help eldest with plantation (1) raised as a son; at 18, had failed at Rip's survival lessons (3) heart too soft for killing (5) deep, violet eyes; bright coppery-red hair that curled naturally around her milky-white skin (43) wore the purple chintz long-sleeved a dress of a proper plantation owner's daughter; most timid of the three; kindhearted; unsure; unsatisfied with herself (63) beautiful; the most distinctive; violet eyes; hair-like father's, was red and brown and bronze all at the same time; tall and still growing; just returned from Boston; decorated Three Oaks (64)
Rip Stewart[Major Secondary Character] owned cotton plantation along the Brazos River; dreamed of having three sons (1) richest gentleman planter in Texas (4) bullheadedness (5) mammoth man; girls over both brow and caller; blunt features; reputation for being a notorious bully, stubborn, and opinionated; clever; cunning; started with nothing and now controlled the flat boat trade on the Brazos River; known to be a bit of a scoundrel, albeit a likable one; loved his children (45) has several cotton agents in Galveston in his pocket; rich as Croesus (200)
Sloan Stewart[Secondary Character] [Heroine of "Texas Woman"] Rip's first born; taught to be strong and brave, a proud, capable heir to take over for Rip (1) raised as a son; at 19, possessed all the skills necessary to survive on the Texas frontier; had excelled at Rip's survival lessons (3) smallest of sisters; 5'4"; dark chocolate brown eyes (50) work-hardened hands (62) wore a plaid gingham shirt with a tan linsey waistcoat and dark-brown fitted osnaburg trousers tucked into knee-high black Wellington boots, a working man's costume; exuded self-confidence; mature (63) had a sense of who she was and what she wanted from life; beautiful; presence and confidence made her seem taller than she was; dark, chocolate-brown eyes offered intelligence and humor; waist length sable hair, captured with a black ribbon at the base of her neck was a crowning glory (64) the person Cricket was closest to (75)
Spirit Talker[No Appearance] traveled to San Antonio to talk to white man; murdered (86)
Summer Wind[No Appearance] Creed's Comanche wife (86) Creed had taken her to wife just to thwart Tall Bear; fell in love with her (88)
Luke Summers[Major Secondary Character] young Texas Ranger working in the Guerroro household (80) 'had a way of knowing what a person was thinking' (81) a dead shot with a Paterson; can ride anymore she stand under him; uses a rogue like a third arm; never sigh woman he didn't love her a woman who didn't love him; never heard of him getting riled except for wants (82) shoulder length hair (83) mother killed by Comanche (84) dark brown hair; hazel eyes; very tall (184) thin, with sharp, high cheekbones; a narrow nose over a wide, full mouth; desolation on his face (185) a loner; polite but distant (194) Rip's son (413)
Tall Bear[Major Secondary Character] shared animosity with Creed (85) rippling shoulder muscles (87) Comanche war chief (316) burnt sienna skin that blended with the earth; shiny black hair was braided with her and decorated with feathers that floated out gently behind him; wasn't as tall as Creed, but his body was equally muscled, lean and wiry; black eyes were intense, deadly (425)
Alexander Trigg [Brief Appearance] seaman aboard the Austin; got into fight with Timothy Owen; broken up by Cricket (347)
Two Foxes[One Appearance] tried to lessen the animosity between Creed and Tall Bear (86)
ValorCricket's pinto stallion (7)
Enrique "Riqui" Vasquez[One Appearance] Juan Carlos's head vaquero; won second place in bronc riding (128) leather face; dark kind eyes; polite deference; bushy brows; constant smile; narrow black mustache (128) dark brown hands with blunt, dirty nails (130)

Settings, Locations, Etc. Found In "Frontier Woman"
Location / Organization Description
1840year in which story took place (3)
Archer170-ton schooner in Galveston harbor (334)
Atascosito Road: the road Cricket took looking for thieves; ran through Victoria to Goliad (155)
Austin600-Texas Navy sloop-of-war; ship in the Galveston harbor (333)
Brazos Riverthe river near which Three Oaks can be found (4)
Goliadtown populated by tejanos (155)
Lion's Darecotton plantation on the Brazos River; Simon had won from owner wagered on a horse race; Tom ran the plantation (90)
San Antonio170-ton schooner in Galveston harbor (334)
San Bernard170-ton schooner in Galveston harbor (334)
San Felipe de Austinwhere Creed went to meet with Ranger spy (71)
San Jacinto170-ton schooner in Galveston harbor (334)
The Republic of Texasbook setting (3)
Three Oaks Rip Stewart's cotton plantation (10) description (61)
Victoriatown populated by tejanos (155)
Wharton170-ton schooner in Galveston harbor (334)
Zavalaoceangoing steam side-wheeler; ship in the Galveston harbor (334)

"Frontier Woman" Quotations
84The Texas frontier wasn't kind.   It wasn't even merciful.   If you survived, it was because you didn't make mistakes.   You kept your gun handy.   Your never rode far from water.   You treated your horse like family.   And you didn't trust strangers.   (Creed)
165Nobody should put his life that fully in another's hands.   (Creed)
210It was awful to fail and fail and fail, when her whole life had been a series of one success after another.   (Cricket)
337It was far safer not to care, far safer not to love.   (Cricket)
344"Touch me, Brava.   I need for you to touch me as much as you need to touch."   (Creed)

Joan Johnston's Frontier Woman -- Review and Information Links
Rated Posted Site Notes, Comments, Etc.
----Joan Johnston's WebsiteAuthor
----Joan Johnston's FacebookAuthor
. . . . . . . . .. . .
F / Hot09-03-2001All About Romance--Noelle Leslie de la Cruz // excellent review {disagree with rating}
3.06 average{36 reviews}Amazonas of: October 11, 2014
4.20{15 ratings}Barnes & Nobleas of: November 1, 2014
5.0012-26-2013Book Crossing{gr7}
----Fantastic FictionList of Joan Johnston's Books
----Fict FactList of Books In The "Sisters of the Lone Star" Trilogy
----Fiction DBList of Joan Johnston's Books
4.17 average{634 ratings}Good Readsas of: October 11, 2014
3.79 average{24 ratings}Library Thingas of: November 1, 2014
41 out of 100--Mrs. GigglesOuch! Very negative, particularly about Cricket!
3.50 average{12 ratings}Paperback Swapas of: November 1, 2014
3.00 average{2 ratings}Shelfarias of: November 1, 2014
4.3511-01-2014Wolf Bear Does Booksshorter post on Amazon, Fiction DB, Good Reads, Library Thing, Shelfari

♥   Disclaimer:   I Purchased This Book
♥   Very Subjective Rating

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