Review + Giveaway: Donners Bend by Alexa V. James

Summary/Cover Image from Author's website:

Eliana Mae Henderson was young and beautiful, though not convinced of the latter. She faced her life knowing that she had her work cut out for her, but she was excited at all its possibilities.

Leaving home at an early age had its share of difficulties, but she knew this was her life, and there was no looking back. Fortunately, she was not afraid of hard work or anything that accompanied her seemingly uncertain future.

Now, as she navigates through the challenges, she finds joy, unwavering friendships, and courage; but more than anything else, what Ellie least expected... an amazing, extraordinary love.

When I was first offered the chance to read and review Donners Bend by Alexa V. James, I quickly said yes. It sounded like it would be a heartwarming and fun historical fiction read, and luckily, it was just that.

Donners Bend tells the story of Eliana Mae Henderson, a young sixteen year old girl who has just left home to pursue her own life in a small town called Donners Bend. Donners Bend is unlike Ellie's old town in most ways possible: it rains nearly every day, it's secluded as well as tiny, and most imporantly, it doesn't contain everything she's grown accustomed to in her old life. To tell the truth, Ellie's a little scared to be out on her own. She's never been the smartest or the prettiest girl out there- especially since she's always lived in the shadow of her best friend- and she's always had a hard time making friends. However, as it happens, Ellie lands on her feet quite well..she starts making friends, gets a job she adores, and begins to find love in a place where she least expected it. What happens, though, when Ellie experiences a life changing event? Will she be able to recover, or will everything be lost? Only time and more pages can tell in the romantic and heartwarming Donners Bend.

There were a lot of things I enjoyed about this one, and one was without a doubt the fine set of characters introduced. I liked Ellie from the start. I could relate to her needing to start a life of her own as well as her need to break out of her old mold. Plus she was just an all around nice person...I loved seeing her find her place within her new job as well as make friends and come to terms with old ones. I also enjoyed the characters of Jon and Jamie. Both had something different to offer Jamie, and more times than one, I found myself rooting for both of them to win Ellie's heart. Therefore, it was fun to see who did manage to do so by the end. I also enjoyed the secondary characters introduced such as the Rhodes family (who always managed to put a smile on my face) and the rest of the friends Ellie made in Donners Bend.

To tell the truth, the plot in this one was a wee bit predictable, but I still loved it nonetheless due to the characters as well as the occasional little twist and turn the story would take. I really enjoyed seeing Ellie thrive in her new life and her find love. Also, I really enjoyed how Alexa had this one in a third person omniscient kind of way...it allowed for me to really get to know the characters in a way that a sole first person POV wouldn't have.

Alexa's writing was also decent. I felt some improvement could have been done in fleshing out the story as well as the characters a bit more and making the dialogue a little less stilted but regardless, I thought Donners Bend was a great story.

In all, I really enjoyed Donners Bend..it was a fun little story, one that I really feel will appeal to readers who enjoy historical fiction type reads with a little romance thrown in.

Grade: B+

Donners Bend (Amazon, Goodreads) is now out!

Source: Author- thanks Alexa!

Thanks to Alexa, I have one copy of Donners Bend to giveaway to one winner and one $10 Amazon GC to giveaway to another! To enter, just fill out the Rafflecopter giveaway form below. This giveaway is open to US residents only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. AWWWW, this sounds SO sweet! <3 An extraordinary love indeed, I'm swooning already >_< Even though it was predictable for you, glad to hear there were still a couple of turns just to keep from having a completely straight-line plot. It's awesome that Ellie was easy to relate to as well!! I'm definitely going to check this one out, it sounds quite lovely! lovely review, Lauren!

    (sorry I haven't been around, going on "semi"-hiatus since school's going to start)

  2. I would love to read this book. It sounds very good. Please enter me in contest. Tore923@aol.com

  3. Historical fiction is something I've not read abundantly yet, but this sounds like a suggestive beginning to hopefully a lot! Hey, I love history + romance. The result should be good :) Thanks for offering this giveaway!

  4. I love historicals and this sounds like a really good story! Thanks for the chance.

    mlawson17 at hotmail dot com


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