Set in 1750's Pennsylvania, INTO THE WILDERNESS depicts life in the Allegheny Mountains and the Northeast at the beginning of the French and Indian War. Noah Wilde is a "long hunter," a man who hunts game for settlements and forts and is sometimes gone for months at a time.
Sixteen-year-old Jessica Matthews is attacked by Ottawa Indians and is saved by Noah, who is wounded in the encounter. As Noah recovers at Jessica's mountain cabin, he and Jessica fall in love, but Noah, who is secretly spying for the English government, has a mission to fulfill and is forced to leave once he recovers.
Noah's role in an earlier French versus English battle forces his imprisonment, and he is unable to return to Jessica in time to save her and her family from an Indian attack that leaves her parents and brother dead and sees Jessica captured by Delaware Indians.
After his release, Noah is sent on a new mission with a young George Washington, and when he discovers what happened to Jessica, he leaves to search for her. He once again risks his life to free her.
Although Noah and Jessica are fictitious characters, INTO THE WILDERNESS is filled with real history, characters, and adventures that depict the courage and determination necessary for the birth and growth of the United States of America.
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Popular historical romance writer Bittner (Mystic Warriors) is off to a solid start with the first of her Westward America! series, which will examine the settling of America, moving progressively westward with each novel. Her tale begins in Pennsylvania's Allegheny Mountains in the 1750s, against the backdrop of the French and Indian War. The author's extensive research into 18th-century Native American life as well as the dire circumstances faced by the New World's early settlers add zip to the budding romance between 16-year-old frontier pioneer Jess Mathews and heroic hunter Noah Wilde, who saves Jess's life during an Indian attack. Noah is a spy for the English; he's on top of French strategy and also knows which tribes favor the French or English in their territorial conflict. Bittner ably captures early colonial life, portraying among other historical figures a young George Washington, appearing as a scout for the British and guided by the able Noah. The drama peaks when most of the Matthews family is massacred during an Indian raid; Jess is kidnapped by a group of young warriors while other Indians take her toddler brother. The author's clever juxtaposition of fierce warrior behavior with touching acts of tribal kindness result in a three-dimensional picture of Native Americans. The powerful dual portrait of Jess, a remarkable survivor, and Noah, an experienced hunter and canny diplomat, gets this series off to an auspicious start. National advertising.