Date Published: 6/13/12
Alyssa Fontaine’s life, loved ones—everything familiar and dear—are brutally taken from her.
Taken captive by two men, she endures a horrific nightmare. A new life is forced upon her and even a new name.
Just when it appears that no hope is in sight, she is saved by an unlikely twist of fate. Trapped in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains, life will open its arms to her again and she will embrace it. She will find love such as she never knew existed.
Sierra is a heart-wrenching story of the power of the human spirit to survive amidst impossible circumstances and severe losses. It is a story of survival . . . and hope.
Read an excerpt:
Stay strong, Alyssa. Another opportunity for escape will come, you just have to wait for it. And yet, she wondered if she would live through the next day.It wasn’t a matter of being lost in the woods, it was a matter of being totally, and utterly, lost.“WE HAVE TA find our community today. We’re out of food,” Pa said at lunch as they ate the last of the granola bars. “I know wur close.”As they hiked, Adam walked behind her and pushed her every time she slowed down. They were all slow today. He never walked behind her. The trip was getting to all of them.Alyssa felt as though she could simply lie down and die. Her pain, which had been significant, seemed to have diminished into a dull, anesthetized feeling that enveloped her. Maybe this is what death feels like—a sluggish, agonizing death, that is, she thought numbly.As they hiked down the mountain through a heavily wooded area, a deluge of rain descended upon them. They did not stop or seek any shelter, they hiked right through it. The noise of the storm hid the fact that Alyssa sobbed out loud. The moisture hid her tears. She didn’t even try to rein it in—she just let it out and was glad for the cover of the storm. Lightning and thunder roared around them and still they walked. Pa was sure the community was just below them.Alyssa knew that life—as she knew it—was over.Her fate was to be with Adam.The thought set in and her heart sank. She couldn’t remember ever being so terrified in her entire life.It soon became obvious they were nowhere near their precious community, however. Pa cursed and yelled in a fit of temper. They were all hungry and tired. When they stopped for breaks, Alyssa fell asleep each time, hardly able to hold herself in an upright position.That evening as they walked through an area dense with pine trees and foliage, to their surprise, they came across a cabin in the woods. Pa and Adam stood in the trees staring at it. It was obviously occupied. Smoke wafted out of the chimney, the smell of fresh bread was in the air, and the tinkle of music could be heard if you strained your ear.As Alyssa's eyes alighted upon the cabin for the first time, she thought perhaps she was dreaming. It was like seeing a mirage in the desert. It couldn’t be real—the sight, the sound, the smell. It was . . . charming. She was seeing things. It must be her imagination. After all, who lived up here in the middle of nowhere? But if she was seeing things that weren’t really there, then so were Adam and Pa.They decided to pay the occupant a visit and cautiously began the walk up to the door of the cabin. Alyssa suddenly felt like Dorothy along withtwo cowardly lions approaching the wizard. The cautious music from the movie played in her befuddled brain.Yep, she was losing it.Puffs of smoke shot out of the chimney and she wondered if Adam would turn around and run.Maybe the wizard would grant her deepest wish.Freedom . . .
When I saw that a book by Taylor Dean was available for review through Reading Addiction Book Tours, I knew I had to jump on it. I greatly enjoyed her book Lancaster House, which I reviewed several weeks ago. I am glad that I picked up this one, as well.
This story feels highly unlikely, yet makes for a wonderful escape. I had a hard time pulling myself away from it to get other things done. Even being aware of what the plot entailed, I still felt myself being emotionally pulled into the fear, sadness and despair that both Alex and Alyssa are dealing with. Some of the plot points are predictable, but then there are some big twists in their story that I didn't quite see coming. Perhaps other people will. They still tugged at my heartstrings, almost bringing me to tears at a couple of points. The intense feelings and emotions felt by the characters sometimes feel like they are over-dramatized. Sure, to a "normal" person, it may be that way. But we have never been in the kinds of situations that these characters find themselves. Psychologists would say their reactions are normal. I found myself almost imagining how I would respond in such a situation.
Sierra is a nice departure from all of the popular paranormal that is out there right now. I do enjoy those books, but it was nice to have something a little different. I continue to enjoy Taylor Dean's work and will look out for even more in the future.
Taylor Dean lives in Texas and is the mother of four grown children. Upon finding herself with an empty nest, she began to write the stories that were always wandering around in her head, quickly finding that she had a passion for writing, specifically romance. Whether it’s paranormal, contemporary, or suspense—you’ll find all sub-genres of romance in her line-up.
Twitter - @taylordeanbooks