Return to Red Castle is a true stand-alone novel by Dorothy Keddington.
Return to Red Castle was first published in 1981. And I found two book covers for this book, one a paperback edition and the other a hardcover edition.
I have the paperback edition, with this cover, which happens to be a larger paperback, 9x6 inches with 234 pages instead of the pocket book size of 4x6.5 inches.
This story is written in 1st person, but it's so well written that you aren't annoyed with the POV like so many other 1st person written stories. It's the POV of the character Missy Heydon.
I found another cover edition, published in 1998.
When you look at this book on Amazon, you'll find that on one spot it's classified as a contemporary romance and another has no classification!!
I think it's fun that it's so old that even Amazon has a tough time classifying it.
I'd classify it as a contemporary romance with modern thinking of the time that it was written. And if you think about the time that it was written, say the early 90s (with it being published in 1998) then it has the thinking of the characters with the standards of the timeframe.
And that includes the language and conduct of the people in the 80s and 90s.
No matter what genre it is, it's still a well-written story about finding the love you've been looking for was always right in front of you.
This book is called Return to Red Castle because the main character, Jesse must return to Red Castle and face what happened to him in order to fully heal.
I noticed on Amazon that if you look for this book cover for this book, you might be able to get an autographed copy from the author.
And that would be awesome. Considering that the author of this wonderful book passed away in the summer of 2020.
There are no connecting characters from this book to any of her other books.
This story is about Melissa Heydon and Jesse Chisholm.
Melissa (Missy) Heydon and her family started visiting Trail's End in the Uinta Mountains in Wyoming when she was just a child. There, they vacationed with the Chisholm family and it became a yearly tradition for the their two families to holiday together.
And even though there was a 11yr difference between Missy and Jesse, they became instant friends. She helped him to heal and he helped her to grow up. She loved him as child, now as an adult, she's desperate to not have things change, but hoping that they will.
And then the story jumps a few years and Missy has come back to Trail's End to see the Chisholm family and to face Jesse.
And to help her face Jesse, her brother's friend Travis has come along. She's tried to fall in love others, but there's always been this emptiness that wouldn't go away.
The mountains were always calling her to come back.
Now as an adult and an amateur photographer, she's ready to face the Jesse and to see the life that he's made for himself.
Instead she finds a man that takes her breath away.
On impulse, Missy, Doug (her brother), Travis (brother's best friend) and Jesse all decide to take a camping and hiking trip into the mountains, hiking up to Red Castle lakes.
And then this is where the story changes and becomes more of a thriller than a romance. A couple of hikers stop by Trail's End with an injured man that they found on the trail. Only he's not injured, he's dead.
And that's only the beginning of the encounters that they find on this hike.
Unbeknownst to them, there's a group of men that have come to the mountains to find a lost plane that's filled with a cargo that these men don't want anyone else to find.
And as luck would have it, Doug's the first one to find this plane.
Then things start to turn scary! Travis stayed behind at the first camp due to altitude sickness, while Doug, Missy and Jesse went up to the higher lake and found the plane.
And when they got back to camp, Travis has been convinced that these men are cops instead of the drug dealers that they actually are.
Doug, Missy and Jesse take off hoping to be able to get down the mountain before dark and to notify the authorities. Unfortunately that doesn't happen!!
And they become embroiled in this mess and their lives are at stake.
And it's during this time that Jesse shares how he's always felt and they clear up any misunderstandings they have and decide that they're meant to be together.
Now they just have to get out of this mess in one piece.
Sadly it's not all a happy ending. They do end up together and get married, but things happen beyond their control.
This is a different type of story than others Keddington has written. And even though the characters are very different in ages, there's no barrier between them other than the emotional.
This story has stayed with me for many years. I loved how the characters came together and were finally able to find closer and healing together.
And even tho it's written in 1st person, it doesn't feel like it is. Keddington has done a great job of making it feel so much more.
Check out the other books by Dorothy Keddington here!
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