Originally posted on These Pretty Words.I went in to this story very intrigued and excited. When it comes to picking books, I’m a relatively easy catch. Pretty cover? *tosses in the cart* Fun summary? *starts flipping through the pages* When Kristin first e-mailed me about this story, I jumped all over it. I’d recently caught the period romance bug and this sounded like just the right brand of medicine. Coming out of the last chapter…I have very mixed feelings. I actually paused once in the middle and quit reading for about a week because it just wasn’t keeping my attention. Usually when that happens, I never go back. With White Dawn, there was just enough there to draw me back in. I will say that the latter half was much more to my liking.In White Dawn, we find ourselves in Michigan in the early 1800’s with a young girl named Emily Ambrose. Our introduction to Emily is not a pretty one as she is senselessly beaten by her religiously zealous father. Unjustly accused of tempting a holy man (when in fact said “holy man” tried to rape her), Emily’s father attempts to abandon her in the middle of the back woods. He and Emily’s mother are attacked and killed by savages only minutes later, successfully leaving Emily alone with practically nothing.And here enters my first major drawback. I’m expecting Emily to be rescued by a handsome trapper (like the story summary tells me will happen) when instead, she is saved from hungry wolves by a handsome savage. The two frolic through the countryside for a few weeks and fall desperately in love even though their language barrier means they never share a single conversation. On top of that, Emily has been raised to be extremely sheltered…yet right off the bat she enters into a very sexual relationship with Swift Foot (the savage) with hardly a thought. It bothered me that her virginity was taken so lightly by the author and protagonist. To me, it didn’t seem fitting of the timing or the character’s background. I digress.Eventually Swift Foot too abandons Emily, realizing that she’s a test the spirits have given him to see how devoted he is to becoming the next chief of his tribe. He returns to his people, destined to marry one of his own. *insert not-surprised face here*What is surprising is that our leading lady and handsome rogue don’t even meet until halfway through the fourth chapter. By that point, Emily is confused and (understandably but frustratingly) has major trust issues. John Cartier, a local trapper, finds Emily the same morning she finds herself alone again; a noble act by Swift Foot as he purposefully drops her right into John’s hands. John and Emily’s relationship is very slow to progress. She’s still hung up on her warrior and doesn’t want to get attached to another person, only to have them leave her.John is a gentle giant. He’s lived a fairly solitary life, removed from society in his early teen years when his parents died and his grandfather decided John and his useless cousin, Willy, needed the lessons that the life of a trapper would teach them. He’s kind to Emily and very sweet, though he’s completely lost as to how to help her. It isn’t until an unfortunate accident with an axe that Emily finally snaps out of her funk and their friendship begins to take form. Gramps and Cousin Willy are off in the city when John finds Emily, giving our lovers just enough time to form a romantic bond before they return and Willy starts trying to steal her away. Willy’s well written in that he’s annoying to the point where you want to rip out pages just to get rid of him. His part of the storyline was actually an interesting conflict and I was disappointed that it wasn’t really resolved in a satisfying manner.Yet one more seemingly insurmountable conflict later and we finally see John and Emily happy, in love, and ready to ride off into the sunset and live happily ever after. No spoiler warning needed, right? It’s a romance novel, they’d better end up together. Just saying.