West for the Black Hills - My Review  | The Engrafted WordI’ve not read many westerns, but this story hooked me. With a title and cover like that, how could I not be drawn in? I knew from this author’s previous work that I was in for a historical adventure. West for the Black Hills delivered a vivid backdrop of 1887 Dakota Territory and a likeable cast of characters (Not counting a few bad guys, of course!) πŸ˜‰ As soon as I picked up the book, I really felt like I’d traveled to the wild west.

I felt like the novel had all the right elements. The plot kept building with tension and twists along the way. I sympathized for our hero – the reluctant gunslinger – and all the troubles he kept falling into. And the chapters had a way of pulling me right into the next one without missing a beat.

However, there were still some things I struggled connecting with as a reader. I didn’t feel there was a lot of spiritual growth in Philip. I wanted more of that. I also wasn’t entirely convinced in his love for Anna. I liked them together. I just needed a bit more time with them, to watch them fall in love and better understand their feelings for each other. I also was confused a few times where we jumped from his voice (first-person POV) to Anna’s in third-person. But overall, the book was a very entertaining read.

It ended really strong too. Prepare to be left intrigued. πŸ˜‰ I’ll be watching for the second in the series and waiting for my chance to travel out west for real someday. Now I really want to see those Black Hills!

Thank you toΒ Mountainview Books and the author for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.



Philip Anderson keeps his past close to the vest. Not many people in Mitchell, a small town in the Dakota Territory, would understand him living with the Sioux Indians who rescued him as a boy. Haunted by the murder of his parents as they traveled West in their covered wagon, he knows it wasn’t Indians who killed them, and his many unanswered questions about that night still torment him.

His only desire is to live quietly on his homestead and raise Arabian horses. Until he meets Anna, a beautiful young woman with secrets of her own. Is it his eery and unusual wolf eyes that draw Anna to him? Falling in love was not part of his plan. Can Philip open his heart and tell her how he feels before it’s too late?

With Anna a pawn in the corrupt schemes brewing in Mitchell, Philip is forced to become a reluctant gunslinger even as his inner battle gets in the way. Will Philip’s uncannily trained horses and unsurpassed sharpshooting skills help him free Anna and find out what really happened to his family out there in the wilderness?


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West for the Black Hills - My Review  | The Engrafted Word


Peter Leavell, a 2007 graduate of Boise State University with a degree in history, was the 2011 winner of Christian Writers Guild’s Operation First Novel contest, and 2013 Christian Retailing’s Best award for First-Time Author. Peter and his family live in Boise, Idaho. For entertainment, he reads historical books, where he finds ideas for new novels. Whenever he has a chance, he takes his wife and two homeschooled children on crazy but fun research trips. Learn more about Peter’s books, research, and family adventures atΒ  www.peterleavell.com.