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The Last Ride ~ Review

The Last Ride: An Andrea Carter Book
Circle C Milestones #3
By Susan K. Marlow

Andrea Carter is soon to turn 16 years old.  Her older sister Melinda is planning her wedding.  Justin and Lucy have a delightful baby - Samuel.  Life is about as good as it can get, until a letter from Aunt Lydia arrives.

Aunt Lydia and Uncle Benjamin are sending cousin Daniel out for the rest of spring and summer. Worse he'll be accompanied by Aunt Rebecca!  Andi doesn't remember much from Daniel's last visit, which was years ago.  But she has hopes that he'll be another friend with whom she can race and share adventures with.

But Daniel is not whom he pretends to be.  He refuses to do his share of the work and is more than happy to the exact opposite of what he is told to do and then pass the blame.  And Aunt Rebecca is more than willing to champion "poor Daniel who has never been subjected to such harsh conditions and uncivilized manners".   

Andi is willing to stand-up for her wayward cousin in town - after all Daniel is family but will he ever be a Carter in more than just his name?

But when Andi discovers exactly how Daniel is spending his time she is horrified.  And Daniel is determined that she keep his secrets.  Just how far is Daniel willing to go to keep Andi's silence? Andi is about to find out.

Get ready to take The Last Ride and be prepared to shed a few tears along the way as Andi and the Carter family faces a crisis that could forever alter their family.  As Andi struggles with her anger and bitterness she draws into herself pushing her family away.  

This is indeed another milestone in Andi's life and one that she'll need a little non-Carter help to get past it.  But who can reach Andi when she refuses to listen?  And can a broken-heart ever heal?

I really enjoy watching Andi grow with each new "adventure", though at times I hurt with her.  This is an excellent book and series to introduce young people and especially girls to history and life in 1880's California.  Life isn't sugar-coated and idealized, rather it is true to life with its hurts and pains, its joys and delights.

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher Kregel in exchange for my honest review and tour participation.

About the book:
Andi's newest adventure may be more than she can handle--even with her family's help

Andrea Carter is turning sweet sixteen and life could not be better. School's is almost over for good, and there will be plenty of time to train the colt of her treasured horse, Taffy. Best of all, big brother Chad is giving Andi more responsibilities on the ranch.

Her first job is to teach city-slicker cousin Daniel how things work on the Circle C. There's just one big problem: Daniel wants nothing to do with ranch life. Charming one minute and outrageously rude the next, he ignores common sense, defies authority, and proves to be a danger to everyone including himself.

Then Andi stumbles onto a horrify secret about Daniel, warns her to stay silent or face the deadly consequences. But all bets are off when Daniel's actions set off a chain of events that leave Andi brokenhearted and bitter.  Can anyone break through the wall around Andi’s bitter heart and help her find healing?

Loyal long-time readers of Susan Marlow's historical fiction will line up for an older Andi's newest adventure, and her discovery of how powerful love can be.