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Wild Horses: Sadie's Montana    by Linda Byler Amazon.com order for
Wild Horses
by Linda Byler
Order:  USA  Can
Good Books, 2011 (2011)
Softcover
* *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Wild Horses, the start of Linda Byler's Sadie's Montana series, is a wonderful, clean YA romance with a little bit of suspense and a lot of life lessons. Set in an Amish community in Montana, it also has a bit of a Western feel to it, making it one unique read.

When Sadie Miller was fifteen, her family moved from Ohio to Montana, forcing her to leave her beloved horse, Paris. Now twenty, Sadie is enjoying her life in Montana, working at the Aspen East Ranch as a cook and housekeeper, but what she really wants is a horse to make her life complete. Everyone else in the Amish community, though, thinks what she needs is a husband.

She finds a horse first, when one darts out in front of the truck driving her to work one morning. It is a sickly paint. Sadie and two passersby, one being a very secretive and handsome man named Mark, get the horse to the ranch, and Sadie's boss tells her she can keep him if he recovers.

For a while, her thoughts are filled with the horse, which she names Neveah, and the mysterious Mark who keeps popping up in the oddest places. But feeling some pressure from her family and community, she agrees to date Ezra again, since her old boyfriend seems to have come down from his high-and-mighty ways which caused her to the end their relationship in the first place. Then a band of wild horses causes an unforeseen tragedy which will forever change Sadie's life, but Sadie's spirit cannot be easily broken.

Byler's writing has really grown from her first series, Lizzie Searches for Love, to her second series, Sadie's Montana. The book is not perfect especially noticeable when Neveah changes gender for a few pages. Also, the lack of italics can be disconcerting at first when Sadie's thought are expressed, as it seems to shift from third person to first person for a bit. However, the story is very coherent with its numerous plotlines, Sadie is extremely likeable, and the pacing is perfect.

While Sadie is a little older than a typical YA protagonist, the themes and writing style put this firmly in the YA section, but leaning towards the new New Adult category. But Wild Horses is a fun read for anyone who would like a good, clean, Amish romance regardless of their age. Linda Byler left a nice opening for the next book in the Sadie's Montana series, and I cannot wait to see what lies ahead for Sadie in Keeping Secrets.

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