Review: Paint the Wind by Cathy Cash Spellman

ccs_ptwCalled The Gone With the Wind of the West…

Paint the Wind

Wide as the continent and wild as the West, Paint the Wind is the epic saga of one unforgettable woman and the three strong men who risk everything to possess her.

1864. A plantation is ravaged by border raiders. Ten-year-old Fancy Deverell is saved by a wise old slave named Atticus, who sets her on an extraordinary journey that will lead her headlong into the rough-and-tumble days of the Old West. From a westering circus train to the gold and silver fields of Colorado, from the cutthroat world of the New York Stage and the arcane shadows of magic and mysticism to the last legendary and tragic struggles of Geronimo and the Apache Nation, the novel sweeps along with the relentless rhythm of those turbulent times…

To survive, Fancy must learn what it takes for a woman to climb from poverty to fame and fortune in a universe that belongs to the ruthless and the male. Before she’s through, there isn’t much that Fancy won’t have done, or bargained, or sold for her dreams… and the price of her deliverance. For Paint the Wind is first and last the story of feisty, tempestuous, and vulnerable Fancy Deverell. Far too beautiful for her own good, she wants it all — love, power, money, security — and she’ll get it, too, if she can keep her heart out of the way of the three men who so desperately want to possess her.

CHANCE McALLISTER — his gambler’s luck is legendary, like his prowess in bed, and Chance is precisely the kind of rogue Fancy wants.

HART McALLISTER — a giant of a man with a soul and talent to match, Chance’s brother is an artist whose paintings of the dying Apache Nation will hang in the Louvre… but it won’t mean a damn to him if he can’t have Fancy.

JASON MADIGAN — a wizard at making deals and breaking lesser men, he’s someone who kills for sport. And Fancy, is the only woman he has ever needed to own, whatever the cost.

Fancy’s journey is a tale of self-discovery and of spiritual growth that takes as many strange turns as life itself. The men and women who bring their dreams and drives to it are as colorful and various as the thousands who journeyed west: the stalwart, honorable madam and the gunfighter who loves her… the brilliant dwarf with the secret past… the cunning Chinese wise man who knows the cure for opium addiction… the old prospector who would sacrifice everything but integrity for the Mother Lode… the thespian who yearns for one last great role to play… the mysterious Gypsy who mastered the forbidden arts and now must win back her immortal soul.

Against this huge, vividly rendered, multi-character canvas, three resolute men do battle for the woman called Fancy in a novel that for its scope and grandeur belongs on the shelf with the classic epics of our time.

I found this book about a year ago at the local used bookstore. Their was a brief review on the back cover which likened it to Gone with the Wind, set in the west. It intrigued me, so I decided it was worth bringing home, to see if such a review was merited.

It was.

I can’t recall many specifics now that so much time has passed since I read it, but I do remember very clearly being enthralled by the story, and read late into the night before exhaustion would force me to set it aside. The characters and settings of the story were richly detailed, and as I read it, I became lost in the story.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading historical fiction/romance.

Author: Cathy Cash Spellman

Title: Paint the Wind

Published: January 1, 1990 by Delacorte Press

Rating: ★★★★


This review was originally published on Goodreads on March 4, 2012.