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Reviewed by Gisela Dixon for Readers' Favorite
Was It Fate Or Destiny? by Raymond Cook is a fiction Western novel set in the late 19th and early 20th century in Colorado. This book portrays the grand Western landscape of those times and the lives of the people who made a living off the land. Was It Fate Or Destiny? starts with Emily Brown, a young widow with two small children, being rescued from an accident by Sam Bates, a ranch hand. Emily had lost her husband, Jess, only a few years ago and is now running and managing a home on her own while raising her two children. The story is mostly about the development of Emily and Sam’s relationship and their experiences surviving the times and the harsh climate of the Colorado winter and nature.
Was It Fate Or Destiny? is a typical Western novel with its plot and narrative. Although I liked the portrayal of how Sam comes to occupy a role in Emily’s life to her two children and being a father figure to them, I did feel some of the exchange between Sam and Emily themselves was a bit too clichéd. However, the writing is engaging and the plot keeps moving at a fast pace. I enjoyed reading about the encounter with a grizzly bear and the real threat that they can be for anyone living in the wilds in those regions. The Colorado scenery is spectacular and has been portrayed as such, although I felt it could have been highlighted even more. Still, this is a good read for fans of the historical romance or Western fiction genres.