Sunny Landers is utterly devoted to her father’s dream—a transcontinental railroad that would run from Chicago to the Pacific. Journeying west on a wagon train, she discovers for herself the glories of the unsettled country…and the unsettling half-Cherokee, Colt Travis. He was like the land of his birth: handsome yet wild, imposing, and dangerous. Against an endless horizon, Colt opens her heart to a passion she never dreamed possible. But in a country torn apart by war and progress, can they ever find a way to stay together?
Rosanne Bittner is no stranger to Western romances. Thunder on the Plains takes us back in time to the American frontier in the days before the railroad. Despite all the naysayers, Bo Landers, a wealthy Chicago business man, is determined to see his dream of building a transcontinental railroad fulfilled. So he takes his only child, a fifteen year old daughter named Sunny, with him on a journey to the American west to survey the landscape to determine the best routes. He hires Colt Travis, a handsome and wild young man, half native, half white, as scout. When Bo notices the sparks between Colt and Sunny, he sets out to keep them separated. He did not want his wealthy white socialite daughter marrying a poor, lone, half-breed below her class. But as much as Colt tries to stay away from Sunny, as the years pass, they continue to be drawn together.
Although classified as a romance novel, I felt this novel resembled more of a pure, mainstream historical novel. There is a great deal of historic fact pertaining to the development of the railroad, the politics, and the wealthy magnates of the time. Equal emphasis was placed on the history as it was with building the romance. A fact I liked since this makes the novel more realistic. Sometimes, the storyline slowed due to an overabundance of historic facts presented, but the relationship between Colt and Sunny kept me involved and reading. Bittner has a knack for writing strong, believable characters who truly seem to jump off the pages. I enjoyed this novel very much and look forward to reading more of Rosanne Bittner’s wonderful stories and characters.