Murmur in the Mud Caves (2023)

About the Book

Book: Murmur in the Mud Caves

SeriesChaparral Hearts, #4

Author: Kathleen Denly

Release Date: May 16, 2023

He came to cook for ranch hands, not three single women.

Gideon Swift, a visually impaired Civil War Veteran, responds to an ad for a ranch cook in the Southern California desert mountains. He wants nothing more than to forget his past and stay in the kitchen where he can do no harm. But when he arrives to find his employer murdered, the ranch turned to ashes, and three young women struggling to survive in the unforgiving Borrego Desert, he must decide whether his presence protects them or places them in greater danger.

Bridget “Biddie” Davidson finally receives word from her older sister who disappeared with their brother and pa eighteen years prior, but the news is not good. Determined to help her family, Biddie sets out for a remote desert ranch with her adopted father and best friend. Nothing she finds there is as she expected, including the man who came to cook for the shambles of a ranch.

When tragedy strikes, the danger threatens not only her plans to help her sister, but her own dreams for the future—with the man who’s stolen her heart.

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My Thoughts

Kathleen Denly writes excellent Historical Fiction stories, and Murmur in the Mud Caves is no exception. This story is really, really good. I was hooked from page one and hated when I had to put this book down. I enjoyed Ginny and Biddie’s arduous journey to sisterhood. When the reader first meets Ginny, she is harsh and abrasive and callous. I found her off-putting and rude, but I understood that it is due to years and years of horrific trauma. My heart really hurt for Ginny. Yes, I wanted her to soften up a little — she can be a mite too unyielding and intense — but I fully get why she is hesitant to do so. When you survive what she has survived, trusting anyone or anything is not easy to do. I love how Biddie tries and tries and tries again to break down some of Ginny’s walls in order to get Ginny to understand that she is loved just because they are sisters. Biddie’s persistence with her sister is endearing and lovely, and it reminded me of God and how He loves and accepts us all even when we are hurting and damaged and untrusting. In addition to breaking down Ginny’s emotional walls, Biddie works hard to break down Gideon’s as well. Gideon is a great hero. He is a good man who has a protective streak a mile long. I love how it’s his nature to protect Ginny, Biddie, and Lucy even when Ginny is constantly on him to leave. I also love that he knows when to talk and when not to. There is a fantastic moment in the story when Biddie is sad and Gideon wants to help her but he doesn’t know how, so he just sits next to her so she knows she is not alone. Favorite moment in the book! I wish more people were like this when sad things happen. 99% of the time no one needs words or actions in sad moments, they just need someone to sit next to them. As far as the chemistry between Biddie and Gideon, let’s just say this is a slow-burn kind of a romance. It takes a while for the two to recognize and acknowledge their feelings for each other. Overall, their relationship is endearing and sweet, and I did cheer for their HEA the whole time.

Murmur in the Mud Caves is an excellent read that I highly recommend and very much enjoyed. If you are a fan of well-researched, impeccably written Historical Romances filled with excellent themes then you have to purchase a copy of this story today. You won’t be disappointed you did!

I received a copy of this novel in eBook form from the author, Kathleen Denly, in order to review. In no way has this influenced my review. The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

3 thoughts on “Murmur in the Mud Caves (2023)

  1. I just saw this book on FB yesterday. It looks good and your review is enticing. Like you, I wish there were more who would just be willing to sit quietly and be there during the tough times.

    Liked by 1 person

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