Historical Romance Review: River of Love by Rosanne Bittner

book review historical romance
River of Love by F. Rosanne Bittner
Rating: five-stars
Published: 1984
Illustrator: Robert Sabin
Imprint or Line: Zebra Historical Romance
Book Series: Savage Destiny #3
Published by: Kensington
Genres: Historical Romance, Western Romance, Native American Romance
Pages: 413
Format: eBook, Paperback
Buy on: AmazonAbeBooks
Reviewed by: Blue Falcon

Historical Romance Review: River of Love by Rosanne Bittner


The Book

This review is of River of Love, book #3 in the “Savage Destiny” series by Rosanne Bittner.

River of Love begins in 1853. Abigail Trent Monroe, her husband “Cheyenne” Zeke Monroe, and their three children, son Little Rock, and daughters Blue Sky and Young Girl, are living in Colorado. Abbie is also expecting a fourth child.

Happiness, however, will continue to elude the Monroes, as trouble will find them from multiple sources.

The Plot

Part One of River of Love

The first of these troubles is Zeke’s half-brother, Red Eagle. Red Eagle is an alcoholic, and one day he sells his wife, Yellow Moon, to a white outlaw, Nick Trapper, for whiskey.

Trapper and his men repeatedly rape Yellow Moon, kill her and Red Eagle’s son, Laughing Boy, and sell Yellow Moon into prostitution.

Red Eagle begs Zeke to find her. He is especially motivated when he learns that Trapper’s partner is the infamous female outlaw “Lady Z,” aka Dancing Moon. She is Zeke’s former lover who has a history of terrorizing the Monroe family.

Zeke will find “Lady Z” in this book, but once again, won’t kill her, and again, he will regret that decision.

The second source of trouble for the Monroes is the U.S. government and white settlers, whose westward migration causes trouble for Zeke and Abbie, their Cheyenne brethren, and all Indian tribes.

Part Two Of River of Love

While searching for Yellow Moon, Zeke encounters two women who will play a role in his life. They are: Bonita “Bonnie” Beaker, a missionary who Zeke saves from outlaws and who later falls in love with him; and Anna Gale, a prostitute-turned-madam.

Bonnie and her future husband and Anna help Zeke and Abbie when they have issues.

In other developments, Danny, Zeke’s white half-brother, falls in love with and marries a woman, Emily Epcott. Their marriage, however, is not a happy one, and Danny has a brief affair with an Indian woman. Danny and Emily reconcile and have a child later.

By the end of the book, Zeke and Abbie are parents of seven children. There is their son, Little Rock, who later takes the name Wolf’s Blood. He is the only one of the Monroe children who refuses to be baptized and given a white name. Two other sons, Jeremy and Jason, and daughters Margaret, LeeAnn, Ellen, and Lillian round out the family.

For a time, Zeke and Abbie are happy. But, as always, fate and society have other plans.

river of love by rosanne bittner


As always, Ms. Bittner’s writing is full and emotional. It’s hard to come up with different ways to say how exceptional Ms. Bittner’s writing is.


The only downside was the pain I felt for Zeke, Abbie, and some other characters since they were treated so poorly by society.


Ms. Bittner’s love scenes were a little hotter this time around, but she will never be accused of writing erotica.


Ms. Bittner writes very violent scenes for a romance novel, and the pattern continues in River of Love: multiple scenes of assault, battery, and killings, which are mildly graphic.

river of love bittner

Bottom Line On River of Love

No author I’ve read pushes my emotional buttons–good and bad–the way Rosanne Bittner does with the “Savage Destiny” series. River of Love is just one more shining example of that.

5 Stars

Rating Report Card
Fun Factor
Overall: 4.7


Abigail Monroe had been pierced by an arrow as a young girl…and pierced even more deeply by the love of a half-breed Cheyenne brave named Lone Eagle. But now Abigail and Lone Eagle could lose everything–and each other. Trouble was coming across the Plains to challenge them and test their love. No longer could they hide in a paradise of their own making. Yet even as the hardships of frontier life grew, nothing could diminish their passion. Together they would tight to forge a dynasty In a harsh, unyielding wilderness and fulfill their daring dreams. 


1 thought on “Historical Romance Review: River of Love by Rosanne Bittner

  1. Susan

    Great to see Blue Falcon’s review of the third book in the Savage Destiny series by Rosanne Bittner. It was spot on!! Although I’ve read dozens of Bittners I hadn’t read these until recently. This review says it all .. excellent! I always look for BF reviews on goodreads these days as I know they are straightforward. Ty!!


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