Back in August 2009, something reminded me of a book I had read a LONG time ago. I asked and posted it everywhere in hopes somebody else could help me identify the book. Thanks to everybody who sent a suggestion or a possible author. Finally, I got the correct answer thanks to “Needle in a Haystack” online newsletter, although some of the other suggestions I got were close. It was Lost Pueblo by Zane Grey. My description below was wrong because it was a dude ranch, not her father’s ranch, and we the readers and the heroine, Janey Endicott, find out about the set up nature of the kidnapping a lot earlier than I remembered, but other than that it was just like I described. The hero is an archaeologist named Phil Randolph I’m including the description I posted before below so you’ll remember which one I mean. Thank you very much.
OK, this is officially driving me nuts. I’m trying to remember the name of a Western I read about 10 years ago. The story was about a spoiled brat of a young woman who is kidnapped and taken out into the wilderness. Eventually we find out that her father hired the kidnapper to keep her from marrying this total idiot in a fit of rebellion. They end up having to stay out in the wilderness longer than originally planned because of a flood. She resists, but they fall in love. She finds out her father was behind it all and pretends she doesn’t really love the guy who kidnapped her, but makes him marry her “to protect her reputation.” She then hires some thugs of her own to kidnap him and throw him on the train with her of the end, to get them back on an even footing. It’s a true love happy ending.
I enjoyed this book just as much as I did the first time and it just edges out Riders of the Purple Sage as my favorite Zane Grey book. Zane Grey wrote great Westerns, but doesn’t get beyond a kiss for the hero and heroine. As a warning Riders of the Purple Sage is almost as rabidly anti-Mormon as A Study in Scarlet, but it’s a great yarn.
UPDATED November 5, 2015: I added my current signature block and edited a couple of sentences for clarity. Then I added a final paragraph.
Sarah S. Uthoff is the main force behind Trundlebed Tales striving to bring the History, Mystery, Magic and Imagination of Laura Ingalls Wilder and other greats of children’s literature and history to life for a new generation. Uthoff is a nationally known Laura Ingalls Wilder authority and has presented at five of the Wilder homesites, many conferences and numerous libraries, museums, and events around the Midwest. Attend one of her programs, schedule one yourself, watch her videos, listen to her podcast, and find her on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Academia.edu. Professionally she is a reference librarian at Kirkwood Community College and director of the Oxford (Iowa) Public Library.