Sierra is available at:
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Amazon (paperback or Kindle)
Have you ever been lost in the woods?
Alyssa Fontaine’s life, loved ones—everything familiar and dear—are brutally taken from her.
Taken captive by two men, she endures a horrific nightmare. A new life is forced upon her and even a new name.
Just when it appears that no hope is in sight, she is saved by an unlikely twist of fate. Trapped in the beautiful Sierra Nevada Mountains, life will open its arms to her again and she will embrace it. She will find love such as she never knew existed.
Sierra is a heart-wrenching story of the power of the human spirit to survive amidst impossible circumstances and severe losses. It is a story of survival . . . and hope.
Sierra Book Trailer
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Behind the Story
I received my inspiration for Sierra from the true story of the abduction of Olympic medalist, Kari Swenson. As I watched the 1987 TV movie of her ordeal, Abduction, it sparked a "what if" story in me. What if the kidnapping had been successful? What if she was taken deep into the woods? What if she was rescued there? What if she had to stay with her rescuer through the winter?
During one adventurous day I sat down to write my "what if" story, longhand mind you, long before I ever dreamed of actually becoming an author.
Thoughts on Sierra rumbled around in my imagination for the next sixteen years until I finally took the plunge and started to write the novel. Although it is written very differently than those pages hastily written so long ago (I still have them, and they're awful), it is the same story that exists today.
Upon starting to read Sierra, many have said to me, "I'm not quite sure how this is a romance." Although the beginning is rather nightmarish, the story is, in the end, a heartfelt romance.
Sierra was my first novel, and I was the most surprised of anyone when I actually let my friends and family members read it and they loved it, and couldn't put it down. I haven't stopped writing since.
THE OLD COVER
Let me begin by saying that any review I leave here will never do this book justice. Not since "Hunger Games" has a book so captivated me and taken me on such an emotional roller coaster! I thought I had read romances before, and books like "Jane Eyre" and "A Tale of Two Cities," I had always considered the peaks of romantic literature. Let me say this. This is the most romantic book I have ever read in my 38 years on this planet! In case you have not guessed by now, I loved this book!
When I began this book, I had no idea what I was getting into. I was horrified right off the bat, but I was so intensely drawn into the story that I savored every word on every page. Alyssa and Alex are fantastic characters, and Taylor Dean has made them truly three-dimensional. I connected with both in ways I never dreamed possible that I could connect with fictional characters. Alex gets my award for the most romantic character in a book--right alongside the Dumb as a Box of Rocks Award. No spoilers--read the book yourself.
I found myself tingling in unexpected ways and moaning (even when there were students in the room with me). More than once, I found myself crying over this story, and once I even threw the kindle down on the desk, determined to not finish it. It was too painful to read. Why? Well, let's just say that while I have not experienced anything like Alyssa did, I long for so much of what she and Alex expressed. And the book was so real to me that I found myself longing for what I don't have. Very rarely does a book ever affect me like this. I am a romantic at heart (which the majority of people would never guess), but so far, I can't find anyone who wants to share that romance with me. At least I was able to have some vicarious pleasure with this story.
Let me end by saying there is basically no profanity. No misuse of God's name--always makes me happy. And no sex before marriage. What? Really? What an amazing idea in this day and age! And I am glad the author had the decency to give the characters privacy in the bedroom. In fact, that makes it even more romantic, in my opinion. This book brought out the true romantic in me that often gets neglected.
~Ruth of My Devotional Thoughts
This is quiet frankly the best clean romance novel I've ever read in my whole entire life. Finally a “love story” I can recommend to my mom without blushing or her thinking I'm some kind of freak. This was such an emotional read. Sierra tells the story of a woman targeted by madmen on a mission. Her family is brutally taken away and she is held captive in the wilderness. In the mist of her suffering she finds a hero. I was outraged. I was hopeless. I cried along with the main character, Alyssa. I cast the e reader away swearing to not finish this novel. But at last, my curiosity got the best of me. This was such a charming story. Even in the super gushy parts, I hung to every word as if it was oxygen, I needed to see what would happen next. In the end a part of me wished this was a true story and that fairy tale romances like this could actually exist. Yet at the same time, I wouldn't wish the horrors she faced on my worst enemy. I would recommend this to any and everyone. This is a few readers away from an "American classic”!
~Katrina at Kindred Dreamheart
If you look at the cover of this book, you may think you are getting a light hearted winter tale. That's definitely not the case here.
This is the kind of story that grabs you from the first page and makes you hold on until the last page is turned.
I always find books like this hard to review because of that whole spoiler thing.
So rather than try to sum the book up, I'll tell you this. When I first saw the cover and saw the genre as romantic suspense, I almost dismissed it. The cover gave it a kind of Harlequin-y look. A cozy suspense novel. (Not my favorite genre in the harlequin imprints) But something in the blurb made me give it a try.
It is nothing like the cover. And it isn't cozy.
This book will definitely surprise you and Taylor Dean will be an author you'll be adding to your must read lists!
~Andrea at A Chick who Reads
“Sierra” Blew me away. The book started as a sort, cute, happy story and then bam tragedy struck and I didn’t see it coming. The whole feel of the book changed. It was suck an amazing thing to do and a very hard thing to do in writing. The more work of Taylor Dean’s that I read the more that I am impressed. She really knows how to tell an amazing story and how to grab your attention and hold it.
Alyssa’s life goes from picture perfect to horrid in a flash after her, her husband and her two year old son are all taken hostage by two crazed mountain men while they are on a vacation.
After brutally killing her loved one the proceed drag Alyssa through the forest with them so she can become the mother of their new community. Alyssa’s worst nightmares quickly become a reality.
But when the mountain men stumble upon a cabin in the mountains they are caught off guard by the man who lives there and the fact the he may be willing to risk his life to save Alyssa.
Taylor Dean’s writing is amazing. I love that her romance novels have other aspects. Like “Sierra” had the suspense/mystery theme to it as well. It wasn’t just a romance novel it was so much more. A very powerful, profound book! Another great read from Taylor Dean!
I read Sierra in less than 24 hours. I cried, I laughed, I experienced happiness, anger and envious during my reading. Taylor Dean has become one of my favorite authors and Sierra will forever be added to my list of favorite all time books.
Taylor eloquently writes of loss, love and hope in this book. It is not just 'another romance novel', not by a long shot. The loss that Alyssa endures was so painful to me, yet the turn around that happens in her life made me absolutely giddy. Taylor writes from the heart and you can really tell with each chapter.
I WANT everyone I know to read this book, it is that amazing. I love when I am blown away by a book and I was by Sierra. I didn't want it to end, but I was happy with the way it did. I love happy endings, I won't lie. It's an amazing story that will stay with you for a long time. Taylor Dean is an exceptional writer and one that will be around for awhile!
~Brandy of Book Worm Brandy
This is another one of those books that I started and finished in one sitting. I am finding a lot of those lately. Before you have this picture in your head of my kids running around like wild people and laundry and dishes piling up around me while I read, let me tell you that I read at night when my kids are in bed. Now, I may still have laundry and dishes piled up, but it's not because I read too much!!
This was a fantastic story and I will say again that Taylor Dean is a wonderful story teller. There were times during this story that I was in tears, times that I was yelling at Alyssa to run, times that I was on the edge of my seat and times that I was praying for her safety. This story literally goes from one extreme to the other. I don't want to give anything away so I will keep my comments brief.
Alyssa goes from the high of coming home from a great mini vacation with her family to the lowest low in literally a couple hours time. She is taken hostage by two "mountain" men, think Deliverance and you have the right idea. They have bizarre reasons for taking her and forcing her to walk for days in the mountains to where they are building a new life. Just when she thinks that she would rather die than endure another day like this, she is given a chance to start again in the only way that she really can given her circumstances.
I adored Alex from the minute he is introduced into the story. In an attempt to run away from things that have happened in his life he finds himself seeking the solitude that he finds in the mountains. He has created a very simple life for himself and he is completely content with it. That is, until Alyssa walks through his door. In an instant his life is changed.
This story spans the space of a year and there are so many things that happen to each of them. This is a story about love and loss and second chances, but more than that it's about how you can survive even when it seems like all hope is lost. It's a beautiful love story, but it's so much deeper than that. I think this is a story that every woman should read.
I would recommend this to anyone who likes a good love story. It a story that I would definitely read again! I can't say enough nice things about Taylor Dean and I am looking forward to reading and recommending more of her work.
There are no content concerns in this book really. I don't really remember any profanity and all the love scenes are tastefully done in a fade to next scene kind of way.
~Shelly of House of A La Mode
This book is my favorite book of this genre ever. It was such a sweet story after the horrible tragedies and terrible horror that the heroin went through. But to be saved by such a wonderful hero who had so many problems of his own and a love that grew between them that would endure so much. I loved every word of this book from the first to the last. I hated for it to end. Wonderful, gripping, heartfelt, loving story. I had to give this one 5 stars and would have given it more if possible.
~Linda Moore (review posted on Smashwords)
I look at the cover and it conveys a feeling of peacefulness. I can picture myself in the warm, snug cabin, sitting in front of a cozy fire burning in the fireplace, with my feet up and a cup of hot chocolate (or a hot toddy) in one hand and a book in the other. A deep quiet settles over the cabin as the snow floats softly to the ground. Well, if you think that is what this book is going to be like, you better brace yourself.
This was a hard review to write. By the time I got to page 20, I wanted to stop giving any clues as to what was to come. It was a kidnapping, but the cruelty went way beyond that. It was very intense and I feel you need to read it for yourself to get the full effect of the events.
Riveting from beginning to end. Be prepared to read straight through. I couldn’t put it down. It was hard to keep from skimming ahead. I just had to know what was coming. It was killing me waiting for it.
I thought Alyssa was an idiot, when she took off from Alex on her own. I hate when women are depicted as being so stupid. But then, Alex said, “sometimes you have to see and know for yourself how impossible something really is.” It made sense to me. The scene helped to develop the personalities of the characters.
A man and a woman alone in the woods, of course sex is going to be an issue. A knight in shining armor? Well, the armor might be a little tarnished, but a knight nonetheless. A woman with a family to go back to. A man who had felt such loss, he had isolated himself in the mountains, with human contact only once a year, when supplies were brought in.
I watch a lot of the Alaskan reality shows on TV. Some of those people are pretty far off the grid. If it wasn’t for friends checking on them and helping them out, who knows how long they could be dead before anyone found out. Some of them live in places that are almost inaccessible. Because of this, who knows if a story like this could be real or not.
But, it is a fantasy, a book. Just like in the movies, some things are put in to make it work the way the writer wants, or to make the reader (or watcher) become more involved in the story and up the level of intensity. And why not? It is fiction, not a true story. I want the story to take me to a place I would not otherwise go. To me, books are an escape. I want to be so engrossed in them, that the world around me is nonexistent. taylor dean seems to do that exceptionally well for me.
I loved this book, it was one I hated to put down. I also went through many emotions through out the book.
Alyssa and her family Sam her husband and Clay her two year old son were returning from a wonderful vacation at Lake Tahoe when something unthinkable happened. Two mountain men kidnapped them and made them drive into the mountains. When they finally stopped the two man killed her husband and son, and then forced Alyssa to go with them. This part of the story was so brutal and showed what strong spirit that Alyssa had she continued on to push on escaping a couple times only to be caught again by Pa and Adam. They kept her roped up at night and dragged her by a lease during the day. She was so tired. When trying to find their home they stumbled upon a cabin and a man living out in the wilderness by himself. Alex is a kind man and wants to help Alyssa, he will not let her leave with Pa and Adam.
I do not want to spoil the story so will go into no more detail, but this is a wonderful story about love and second chances. Its about continuing when you thing there is no hope and nothing to live for. It is about finding happiness even through the bleakest moments. I can't wait to read more books by Taylor Dean, she is a great story teller.
~Kay of Kaisy Daisy's Corner
Sierra is an unforgettable story of loss, hope, survival, love and second chances.
On the way home from a family outing, Alyssa Fontaine's world is turned upside down when her husband and son are brutally taken from her and she is abducted by two mountain men, who take her forcefully into the Sierra Nevada Mountains to start a new life with a new name, Eve.
Alex Kendrick has had a lot of tragedy in his life, and in order to get rid of the ghosts from his past, for the past three years he has called his mountain cabin retreat home. In the mountains he is at peace, he loves the simple solitary life that he has made for himself away from everyone.
Just when Alyssa thinks her life is over, an unlikely twist of fate brings a chance to escape from her abductors, and be saved by an unlikely savior, Alex. For Alyssa and Alex, it is a journey that will forever change their lives.
Every now and then you come across a novel that profoundly takes your breath away, and Sierra is that novel. Masterfully written and told in the third person narrative, Sierra is a story of two people who have known tragedy in their life, who are brought together under very unlikely circumstances to have a second chance at love and happiness. It is an amazingly compelling story of the power of the human spirit to survive tragic life circumstances, it will captivate you and take you on an emotional roller coaster ride while pulling at your heartstrings. Rich in details and vivid descriptions, the author masterfully weaves a tale that engages the reader and draws them into the characters' lives. The reader will feel the palpable suspense, drama, loss, hope and love in this riveting tale that is both heart-wrenching and redemptive.
Sierra is so much more than a romantic suspense story, it is an amazing testament to the resilience and power of the human spirit to survive, have hope and gain a second chance when they are dealt with unexpected life circumstances. This is a story that will resonate with you long after the last words have been read.
~Kathleen of Jersey Girl Book Reviews
What intrigued me to read Sierra was the plot; I’ve never read a book about two men captivating a woman for a different purpose. These two men did not want any of her fancy stuff, money, or car. They wanted something else, something you wouldn’t think of, and that is why I love this book! I got hooked on to it and I couldn’t predict what would happen next. I usually see movies with men kidnapping a woman or a family, but this time I get to read it! The beginning of the book would have to be my favorite part. I caught myself gasping and surprised because there was so much stuff going on and like Alyssa, the main character, I was shocked with the events that were taking place. I was literally like :O “NOOO WAAAY!” “OH SHOOT!” “OMG ” yeuup. Her family was shot right in front of her guys.
I loved all the characters, well except for the two psychopaths and Alyssa’s father. They were so real and Alyssa is such a great heroine. Man, if I was in her situation I would be shaking like crazy and freak out. She was so headstrong and fought her best to get away from those two retards. For our leading man- Alex – he’s awesome as well! He was very mysterious in the book and that added a little more suspense to the story. You’ll be like “Who is he? How does he even live there? Why is he living there?” I kept asking those questions to myself while reading it and was finally answered towards the end of the book.
The romance part was good! I thought it was cute but sometimes it got just a little bit cheesy. Also I think Alyssa says ‘I love you’ too much and I’m like “girl I get it and your husband just past away…”. Only thing I didn’t understand though was how come Alex couldn’t contact his helicopter to pick Alyssa up? I know there’s no signal when you’re on the mountains but I’m pretty sure Alex and Alyssa can travel and find a signal somewhere, even if it’s 5 miles away, that is, if Alyssa really wanted to go home. It looked like she didn’t though, and I know she was recovering from that leg injury but if I were her and after I recover, I would’ve walked back to my family even though it was far away. She didn’t though.
Sierra is one of those books that gives you something to think about with a lot of romance and sweet stuff thrown in it which I liked! Being trapped for months with the boy you love, that was good stuff for her lol. I recommend this to everyone especially if you like a novel with romance and suspense.
~Leigh of Little Book Star
"Sierra" is a well written suspenseful romance with plenty of twists and turns that flows nicely from page to page. Taylor Dean pens her characters extremely strong and realistic. I was totally surprised at how much I enjoyed reading this book. Highly recommended for all who love the suspense/romance genre.
~ Susan of My Cozie Corner
How much can the human spirit stand before it is broken and shred to pieces? That is the ultimate question of this book. Alyssa finds herself stripped emotionally and mentally. Your heart breaks when you think of all that she is going through. And then out of the blue, things start to change.
She embarks on a different journey which helps her recognise love once again. But is this love genuine or is there another disaster looming ahead for Alyssa? The romantic elements have a very strong Nora Roberts feel to it and of course there are all the twists and turns that are worthy of Stephen King's earlier books.
Really good read and I can't wait to read the author's other books.
~Andrea of Mommy Adventures with Ravina
The major part of Sierra was set in country I would love to see. The writer's description of the scenery--forests, waterfalls, etc,--were fantastic. The story depicts the heroine as an individual with a great deal of endurance who does not give up when things go bad, but deals with the hardships life throws her and keeps striving forward. It also gives a strong example of how the media can impact someone's life when they coin unjust "labels" for individuals and keep bringing them up to make news.
V. Taylor, Folsom, California
Sierra is the best book I have ever read. I am not someone that likes "Romance Novels." Taylor Dean writes adventure and romance. Dean's books are novels, not cheesy Romance books with Fabio on the cover. She writes the way women really think about Romance and True Love, and appeals to women of all ages. She captures the feeling of falling in love. If you like to see the man you love chopping wood with his shirt off, save you from any situation you encounter, and then go inside and make you dinner, Sierra is the book for you! Those popular vampire books don't hold a candle to Sierra.
R. Schwartz, Phoenix, AZ
Action and adventure and yet very romantic. I loved this book! Taylor Dean writes in a style that is very easy and enjoyable to read. The book takes many twists and turns and kept me wanting for more! I highly recommend it.
S. Allred, Beaverton, Oregon
Sierra is a spine tingling novel full of mystery, danger, and romance. It held my interest with all the twists and turns of events it contained. It is a great read and I highly recommend it! Men or women would love this novel.
C. Newgren, Canby, Oregon
I love every one of Taylor Dean's novels. Once I start one, I can't put it down until I'm finished. I look forward to reading her newest novel.
R. Burns, Clovis, NM