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Thursday, June 30, 2022
Hunted in the Wilderness Kick-Off Package
About the Book
Book: Hunted in the Wilderness
Author: Kellie VanHorn
Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense
Release date: June 28, 2022
Protecting the evidence means facing down assassins and an unforgiving wilderness…
Framed for murder and corporate espionage, future aerotech company CEO Haley Whitcombe flees in her plane with a camera full of evidence that could clear her name—until she’s shot out of the sky. Now trapped in North Cascades National Park, her survival in the wilderness depends on park ranger Ezra Dalton. Yet escaping the wild will mean nothing if they can’t outrun their merciless hunters…
Kellie VanHorn is an award-winning author of inspirational romantic suspense. She has college degrees in biology and nautical archaeology, but she’s always found her sense of adventure most satisfied by a great story. When not writing, Kellie can be found teaching her four children, camping, baking, and gardening. She lives with her family in west Michigan.
More from Kellie
One of my favorite things about being a writer is living out wild adventures in my imagination. I get to enjoy all the action and feels without any of the unpleasant real-life problems I’d face if I were actually being chased by bad guys with guns. The more exciting and far-off the setting, the better! My family loves to travel and to camp, so we’ve spent a lot of time visiting national parks around the U.S. Our favorites include Grand Teton, Rocky Mountain, Devil’s Tower, and Badlands. We pile our four kids into the car, fill it to the brim with gear, and tent our way from park to park for weeks at a time in the summer.
For Hunted in the Wilderness, I wanted to explore a park we haven’t had the chance to visit yet—North Cascades National Park in Washington state. In fact, my first glimpse of the story came to me when I was scrolling through my Facebook feed and saw a picture of a lake in the Cascades. Inspiration struck, and I knew the heroine of my next book had just crash-landed her Cessna airplane in those mountains, and she needed a handsome, single park ranger to come help her escape the bad guys.
What makes this park such a perfect setting for a romantic suspense is not only the gorgeous scenery, but also the fact it’s very remote. The region is easy enough to access via road from Seattle, but most of the protected land can only be reached on foot, horseback, or float plane. Because I hadn’t been there myself, I relied on a topographic map and lots of research to help me craft the setting and make it an indispensable part of the plot.
Of course, now that I’ve studied the trail systems so extensively, I’d love to visit the Cascades in person one day. One of my teenaged sons who loves hiking has all sorts of plans for us to take a long backpacking trip out there, even though neither of us has ever backpacked before. I might have to work up my courage a bit before I’ll be ready to hit the trail without our minivan full of gear. 😉
I think what I really liked about the story was the setting. Now I’m not a big hiker at all but I do enjoy being out in nature. With a picturesque view of the forest it is the perfect place for an adventure. The opening pages sets the tone for a fast paced cat and mouse game. It has a nice amount of suspense with a touch of romance.
Haley is running for her life as she stumbles upon a plan to get rid of her so she can’t take over her dad’s company when he retires. I don’t think she had a clear picture of what she wanted to do when she takes off in her plane. While I liked her I thought she made a few decisions that put her directly in danger. Why would you run away from a ranger who was trying to help you?
Ezra is a good character who witnesses a plane go down in the North Cascades National Park where he works. I was impressed with the supplies he took with him and how he came to Haley’s aide. The author describes the weather so well, that I found myself grabbing a blanket to keep warm. As a side note it is over one hundred degrees where I live, so a blanket is unnecessary but with the author’s details I felt chilly. The men after Haley and Ezra won’t give up and continue to get closer to capturing them.
I was not surprised at who was behind everything but it still made me sad. Greed, power and jealousy runs deep in this story. The author illustrates how Haley has been a little lax on her faith. When she is at her most vulnerable moment, she realizes, “it is time to step aside and let Him be in charge,” Reading this was a reminder to trust God and to have a strong relationship with God.
The ending is good but not surprising. The action in the story kept my attention enough that I had to see how the author would wrap up the story. The story is good but maybe needed a little more character development and less emphasis on how Haley and Ezra were trying hard not to be attracted to each other. Overall a nice clean read with a happy ending where the good guys win.
I received a copy of this book from Celebrate Lit. The review is my own opinion.