High Mountain Trackers Book 1
Feb. 21st, 2022
High Meadow by Freya Barker has strong independent women facing off against alpha-males. It is a modern-day western suspense with added doses of romance.
“I wrote Alex, the heroine as independent, motivated by idealism, emotional, passionate, strong, determined, big-hearted, and pragmatic. She is a bit of an earth-mother type. She has preconceived ideas which can make her a bit naïve. She relocated herself to a place where she knew nobody so I would say she is also adventurous. The main drives in her life were to raise her son after her husband was killed and to build up a business.:
Contrast that with the hero, Jonas, who is a traditionalist and old fashioned. He has lived in a male dominated environment, being surrounded by ranchers and having been in Special Forces. He is considerate and can be a charmer when he wants to be. Jonas can also be open-minded. I have had military angles before. I group of my friends are ex-military. I use the veteran component. Readers get a certain picture of an alpha male. It is a quick way for people to identify with the characters. It is also a way to honor them. A lot of skills learned in the military can be used, for example tracking. Jonas was in Afghanistan, Alex’s late husband fought in Afghanistan, and Alex’s son is fighting in Iraq. It made for a credible source since they step up to the plate and would not sit by the sidelines. I also tried to make it realistic. I asked people who knew and did research to find out information.”
The story is set in Libby Montana where Jonas Harvey has the High Meadow Stud Horse Ranch, which neighbors with Hart’s Horse Rescue. When one of Jonas’ horses goes lame with a leg injury, Alex Hart is asked to help heal him. Jonas did not expect Alex to be a female but finds a woman who is confident in her abilities to heal horses a la the HeartlandTV show.
The suspense comes when two escaped convicts begin working with nationalists and homesteaders who are setting bombs. Because Jonas also has a business, the High Mountain Trackers, they are asked to find the domestic terrorists and help to assist the arrogant FBI and DHS agents. After retiring from the Special Forces Jonas had set up the High Mountain Trackers with his ex-military buddies, Fletch, Sully and Bo. This elite team uses all the special talents and knowledge acquired during their military careers to track and rescue, or recover, the lost, or the hiding.
Alex and her friend Lucy have a business that rescues abandoned and abused horses as well as dogs and a donkey. New to the area, they would have to build the rehabilitation reputation of their farm. But everything is put on hold until the convicts are found because they have decided to set up their terrorism operations on Alex’s land.
The hero and heroine are respectively in their fifties and forties. While working together both Jonas and Alex realize there is a chemistry between them. Although they did not seek out a romance it seems to have found them. Now Jonas must use his gruff skills to protect her, while she shows him that nobody will push her around and she will not avert danger.
“The relationship is mature. Neither is looking for a partner, yet there was some chemistry both could not ignore. There is not a lot of angst, emotional situations, in the relationship, but more a cerebral approach. I am not a fairy tale writer and want it to be real. I hope I reflected that they could talk about misunderstandings and their feelings. I put in my books how others see the relationship before the hero and heroine and will tease them. Because they are slightly older characters people around them can see what is happening first. In the beginning Alex is guarded but not for long, because she was willing to open to a possibility.”
Readers will enjoy learning about the characters while getting a riveting mystery/thriller. This first in a four-book series is filled with action and great banter between the characters.