A Treasure Concealed by Tracie Peterson

Sapphire Brides, book 1
Category:  Christian fiction, historical fiction, romance
Publisher:  Bethany House Publishers
Release Date:  March 1, 2016
My Rating:  4 stars

Description

Bestselling Author Tracie Peterson Launches Exciting New Series Set in 1890s Montana

Emily Carver wants a home where she can put down roots instead of following her gold-hungry father from one mining camp to another. She also longs for tenderness and love, both of which are missing in her life. Yet when she realizes she's losing her heart to the intriguing new man in camp, she fiercely fights her feelings, afraid that love will only result in disappointment and heartache.

Caeden Thibault, a young geologist, comes to Montana to catalog minerals indigenous to the state. He's a serious and guarded young man trying to escape the pain of his past. He has avoided all romantic entanglements, fearing he might become like his abusive father. But something about Emily Carver has caught his attention, something he never expected. . . .

Will these two broken souls allow God to bring healing and hope to their hurting hearts?

Review

I have found A Treasure Concealed to be a gem of a find (pun intended).  I snatched up this book because as a Montana native I love to read books based upon the history of my favorite state.  It is evident that Tracie Peterson invested time in research for this book.

Montanan’s love many things about our state.  It’s open spaces, ruggedness, and abundance of outdoor recreational activities.  It’s rich yet truly heartbreaking history related to westward expansion and the exploitation of the Indians.  The Lewis and Clark expedition commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson in the early 1800's and more.  Peterson adds richness to A Treasure Concealed with well researched insight into two other attributes, one of which is the primary setting for the story.


A Treasure Concealed is set in the historically rich Yogo City in central Montana near Lewiston.  The mines in this area didn't produce much gold but they did produce something just as valuable...sapphires.  Those same mines are still rendering sapphires.  I remember going out to the sapphire mine Gem Mountain when I was a kid and panning for sapphires.  I am wearing a ring right now with three beautiful sapphires that my uncle found during one of our visits.  He had the sapphires set in a ring for my grandmother which I have inherited.

There is quite a bit of information about Yogo City and Yogo Gulch, the site of the famous mines mentioned in the story.

  • Yogo Gulch is a ghost town that you can visit.  Travel MT provides information about visiting the ghost town.
  • For more information on Yogo City take a look at the article Images of the West: Yogo City or Bust in the Big Sky Journal.  

Charles M. Russell (1864-1926) was born in Missouri but moved to Montana when he was sixteen.  If you come to Montana I highly recommend a stop in Great Falls to see the C.M. Russell Museum which calls him “America’s Cowboy Artist”.  Charlie Russell's admiration of the Northern Plains Indians is evident in his work along with that of the cowboys and soldiers of the time.

Peterson gives Charlie Russell a quick mention in A Treasure Concealed.  If you don't know who Russell is you would just run on past his historical significance.  You would likely also miss that Jake Hoover, a more prominent character in A Treasure Concealed, is also a very real person that Peterson has fictionally fleshed out.  The following quote from Hoover gives a hint to their relationship.

"I figure the name Charlie Russell is gonna be famous one day. Sure a far sight from that scrawny kid I found half starved on the trail. I’m right proud to call him friend.”

Russell and Hoover have a rich history.

“In 1880, Russell came to the Judith Basin of central Montana a few days after his 16th birthday to try his hand as a cowpuncher. After a brief, unsuccessful stint on a sheep ranch, Jake Hoover, a hunter and trader, took Russell under his wing and taught him the ways of the wilderness. Russell spent two years as Hoover’s apprentice, working with and living in Hoover’s cabin on the South Fork of the Judith River.” 
Source

Peterson is just giving us a teaser, a taste if you catch it.  Russel is not central to her story and neither is Hoover’s history with him but it was fun for me to find that historical nugget in A Treasure Concealed.  If you are interested in more information about Charlie Russell, Big Sky Fishing has a biography on their website.

You can also find a gallery of his artwork at Art.com


It is quite obvious that the historical information grasped my attention greatly.  A Treasure Concealed is not a history text though but a beautiful story with an adventure, a bit of romance, and some powerful lessons:

- The need to not give in to pride...the killer of hope, dreams, friendship, love, acceptance, etc.
- That we all need to be content in the blessings of today.
- We need to have a love and desire to help those who are struggling.
- The blessings found in community.
- Most importantly, the power of God’s forgiveness and saving grace.

The name of the story, A Treasure Concealed, reveals three treasures.  Two are of earthly value and one that has the greatest value of all and is of eternal significance.  A Treasure Concealed is a beautiful historical love story.  Plus, I know I know, I’m doing it again… The characters love Montana so how can I not love them in return?

I received a review copy in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. My thanks to the author and publisher.

the Sapphire Brides series

The Brides of Gallatin County

Tracie Peterson

Tracie Peterson

Tracie Peterson is the bestselling, award-winning author of more than one hundred books. Tracie also teaches writing workshops at a variety of conferences on subjects such as inspirational romance and historical research. She and her family live in Montana.