The Yellow Rose is an impressive, authentic Western, filled with the usual tropes of war and Revolution and romance, but with enough of its own charm to be fresh and new while still feeling familiar. I found it to be a very thrilling read.
The lead, Sam Houston, is a hero straight out of the old westerns, and I could easily see him standing toe to toe with the likes of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. Or for a more contemporary comparison, I also saw a bit of Mel Gibson’s Maverick in him too. Especially with his playful interactions with the secondary lead, Emily West, a tough, smart, sexy free woman who’s always far more intelligent than anyone gives her credit. Both characters are very well realised and it was fun and interesting to live with them for the duration of the book.
The writing is relentlessly authentic, and was a joy to read. I could tell that a lot of research, time, effort and care went into this book, and reading about its history and development raised my appreciation of it even more.
There is a somewhat jarring shift in voice between the chapters, third person for Sam’s chapters, and first person for Emily’s, but it’s not such an issue that I didn’t become accustomed to it soon enough. I would also have liked for some of the supporting characters to have been fleshed out a bit more, and to have spent a little more time with them, as some seemed like very interesting and complex people, while the focus mostly stayed with Sam and Emily. Aside from a bit of a lull around the middle, the pacing and story keeps moving enough to hold interest and maintain its charm.
I would highly recommend this book to any lovers of westerns, history, romance, and good old-fashioned frontier fun.
Thanks for the read!