First Published (AU) 1989
Reissued (AU) in The Mackenzies 1999
Wolf Mackenzie: The loner had a way with horses and a deep mistrust
for outsiders. Until one woman dared to venture onto Mackenzie's
mountain, determined to tame the rugged half-breed.
Linda Howard’s tale of a prim and proper schoolteacher who falls in love with the town’s pariah - a half-breed Indian called Wolf Mackenzie. He is a loner who works with horses and lives with his son, Joe, on their mountain ranch. When Joe quits school, Mary (the new schoolteacher), turns up at his house to try and get Joe back into school. But instead she has to be rescued from her broken down car by his father, Wolf. The instant these two meet sparks fly.
Mary Elizabeth Potter, Mary, is as sweet as they come. Raised by her late Aunt Edith, she is fascinated by this big, complex man. Released from prison for a crime he didn’t commit, he holds a grudge against the people Ruth, Wyoming. When a few local women are attacked and raped, it doesn’t take long for the people of Ruth to point their finger at him. Incensed by their bigotry, Mary steamrolls ahead, tutoring Joe, and trying to open people’s eyes to truth about the Mackenzie men. It doesn’t look too good for Mary’s plans until she herself is attacked and is able to identify the assailant as a white man. This puts a bee in the bonnets of the residents of Ruth, who now have to look within their own to find a rapist.
Mackenzie’s Mountain is a rare combination of romance and action. Wolf’s initial reaction to Mary and her acceptance of it will nearly have you in tears. Joe, as a teenager, is far more mature than his years but you can see the type of man he will become (and read about it in Mackenzie’s Mission) and the drive and determination that he has to get him there. Wolf is wonderful as the standoffish cowboy who desperately tries to keep Mary safe and free from speculation regarding her attraction to him. Mary is a kitten who thinks herself a tiger. I loved them. I wouldn’t have Ms. Howard change a thing about this book.
Although this was first published in 1989 as a single story Mills & Boon book, my copy includes both Mackenzie’s Mountain and Mackenzie’s Mission (Joe’s story) so I wasn’t aware of its origins. That doesn’t matter. I would still be unashamed to sit on the bus with this book be it with a sappy M&B cover, or the tartan monstrosity that I've got (pic above). It is one of the best romance books that I’ve read in a long time. Once I finished this volume I immediately searched for the other title in the series.
This book is a fantastic start to what is a wonderful series. In future books you follow the stories of Joe (Mackenzie’s Mission), Zane (Mackenzie’s Pleasure), Maris (Mackenzie’s Magic) and even Chance has his own story (A Game of Chance).
There are audio books for this series available (Audible.com and CD), however paperback copies of the books are hard to come across. I stumbled upon mine at a local second hand bookshop – and managed to find the other three there as well over a 2 year period. Amazon and Book Depository may have a few left on occasion, but you have to get in quick or they'll be gone ASAP.
If you are addicted to romance books, or are a fan of Linda Howard's other titles, then I recommend that you try this book. Great for the bus or train, or even a lunch hour escape.