Author: Maureen Willett
Title: Near the Wild
Genre: Historical Romance & Magical Realism
First Published: June 2015
Where I Got It: My shelf (Given to my by the author/publisher for my honest and unbiased opinion)
COWBOYS AND LEPRECHAUNS. Both occupy Maeve MacKeighry's world in 1870, and she must decide which will win her heart. Leprechauns are feared, even in Ireland, but that doesn't prevent Maeve from striking up a friendship with one who lives near her village. But once Maeve becomes a young woman, the local villagers start to gossip, especially since the MacKeighrys are known to practice magic in their home. It's just for entertainment, but the town folk don't see it that way. Rather than be outcasts, the MacKeighrys set off to America to homestead in Kansas, vowing to leave their magical ways and friends behind. Little do they know that Maeve's friend follows and protects them on their journey.
The MacKeighrys encounter many adventures along the way to Kansas, only to find a simple sod house on their new farm at the end of the journey. The untamed land offers a fresh start for the family, as well as two very interesting men who both compete for Maeve’s attention. Pretty young women in a wild western town are a rarity. But can she forget her magical friend, and turn her attention to two of the most interesting men she has ever met? Perhaps cowboys and outlaws have a certain charm that a leprechaun doesn't, after all.
What a fun and different book. I certainly loved the magical realism added to this historical romance. It was a nice little spark to the story. I do wish that Finn, the leprechaun (which don't call him that....he is a sprite) had more spotlight. He kept good on his promise and only stayed in the shadows and protected the family. I want more of Finn!
Even though it is impossible with a capital I for magical beings and humans to be together, Maeve is still in love with Finn, but then trouble comes when two other good looking fellas meet her and fall in love. One is a rich railroad monger and the other is an outlaw in the making who seeks adventures. Now, her poor heart is pulled in three directions. Girl can't catch a break.
I wasn't quite sure what was going to happen and who she was going to pick, so that was refreshing. Honestly...I'm not sure who I would have picked...I would like to say Nikki, but I like Maeve I would have a hard time fitting in the American version of the ton. Rich people can really be such assholes especially to those not only poor but not "American". *shakes head* Pity, because the Irish are awesome.
There were a slow couple of spots, but other then that I could hardly put the book down. I would have gotten it done in one sitting, but sadly I had housework to do because company was coming over.
In the end, I really liked it. I wished that Finn had more airtime....I do want to learn more about him. Same with Maeve's brother Gavin. There were a couple spots that slowed me up, but the majority was one I could hardly put down. I high recommend this for this that like a touch of magic with historical romance. Out of five stars, I stamp this with 4.