Review of Ella's Choice by Ruby Merritt

Ella’s Choice
Spirited Hearts Series Book 1
By Ruby Merritt
Historical Romance

This book was given to me for an honest review.

Ella’s father takes her west for a better life.  They are ambushed on the way to
their destination.  The Blackfeet kill Ella’s father and take her.  Fast-forward
ten years.  Ella, now known as Little Brave, lives with the Lakota as the
daughter of the chief Grey Owl.  She is loved by some and hated by others
because of her white skin.  The army, aided by scout Beech Richoux, comes to
move her people to the reservation.  Beech, half-French half-Sioux, is a man who
straddles two worlds, but those two worlds do not accept the man they consider a
half-breed.  His native side knows what the army is doing is wrong.  His white
side knows what is happening to the Plains People is inevitable and it’s best if
Grey Owl and his tribe agree to go peacefully.  Beech, enamored with the white
Lakota woman, literally steps between her and the cruel army commander, Captain
Baldwin.  Beech does what he can to protect Little Brave and her people from men
who view them as nothing but savages.  A battle ensues as they make their way to
the reservation, braves slaughter their army escort, and Little Brave finds
herself thrust back into the white man’s world, a world she does not remember.
 Little Brave would rather stay with Beech, the man who worked his way into her

Beech knows he can’t take Little Brave (Ella) as his woman.  The world would
never accept a white woman with a half-breed.  He does what he thinks is best
and leaves her with his white Aunt and Uncle to care for her until her
grandfather comes for her and so she can once again learn the ways of society.
 During a time when breeding and the color of your skin means everything, Ella
must decide what world she wants to live in.  Does she accept that she must
become Ella Hastings, granddaughter of Colonel Russell, remain Little Brave,
adopted daughter of Chief Grey Owl, or does she make her own way with the man
she loves?  When Beech is arrested for aiding the enemy and leading Captain
Baldwin and his men to their deaths, will he find himself swinging at the end of
a rope or will they get their happily ever after?

Before I give my review, I feel I must let you know that I have a love/hate
relationship with historical romances.  My love (or hate) depends on how the
author portrays the heroine. The challenges women have faced throughout history
proves we have always been strong, especially women of the old west, but some
still feel the need to portray them as the weaker sex.   If the author portrays
the heroine as a weak simpering woman whose entire existence depends on the big
strong man, I won’t even finish the book.  Ella (Little Brave) is neither
simpering nor weak.  She is strong, fierce, and loyal.  She has a caring heart
and a determined will.  She encompasses all the qualities that make up the
perfect romance heroine.

Ella’s Choice is a gem.  I absolutely loved this story.  It grabs you from the
very beginning and does not let go.  The strong narrative allows the scenes to
unfold in your mind, as if you were watching a movie, instead of reading a book.
I found myself holding my breath anticipating what would come next.  Ella’s
Choice does not shy away from the reality of prejudice during the late 1800’s in
regards to Native Americans, who, according to civilized society, were nothing
but savages who have no place in the white man’s world.  The story is very
realistic in its portrayal of life on the plains, the newly settled west, as
well as the struggles of the hero and heroine.  The conflict between Beech and
Ella as they find their way to each other is not “over done.”  You don’t find
yourself wishing the author would “get on with it already.”  I pulled for them,
cried with them, and found myself completely invested in their lives and future
happiness.  You will not want to put it down.  A word of advice, have a box of
tissues ready to mop up all the tears you will shed.  The only disappointing
part of the book was that it ended.  This is definitely one I would read again
and I highly recommend that you purchase a copy.

Five Stars!  Well done Ruby Merritt!
Anna J.

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