Review: Little Treasure At Rainbow’s End


Rainbow’s End: A Romancing America title from Barbour Books
by Valerie Comer, Annalisa Daughety, Nicole O’Dell and Cara C Putman
Paperback US$7.99/Kindle US$6.99 on Amazon

I’ve read more Mills & Boon-type love stories over the years than I care to admit but Barbour’s new title Rainbow’s End is the first to ever feature geocaching.

The latest release in its inspirational Romancing America series is billed as “a geocaching adventure in the spectacular wilderness” of Missouri’s Lake of the Ozarks.

Inside, we meet Lyssa, “an enthusiastic church volunteer who can’t see past her own plans”; Madison, “a city girl paired with an outdoorsy guy who gets on her nerves”; Hadley, “who doesn’t know enough about guys to realise she’s met a womaniser”; and cautious Reagan, “who meets an equally cautious guy” before learning whether they will all  “find the treasure they’re looking for … or something else entirely”.

Sounds a little corny, right? The four-part collection was also my first Christian romance, with each novella preaching messages of faith, loving oneself and trusting in God. Not exactly my cuppa but not totally unpalatable either.

Considering the lack of bodice-ripping – or anything raunchier than a kiss – among its 352 pages, I mistakenly presumed this was a young adult title.  But no, it’s actually targeted at clean-living American wives and mothers who don’t have much time to read.

Thanks to Barbour, they can get a quick fix of romance, religion and real-life settings (aka the three Rs) without having to keep track of a complicated plotline. And to those means, Rainbow’s End  is a success: I dipped in and out of my e-copy before bed, on the bus and while waiting at a cafe with relative ease.

But what you really want to hear about is the geocaching, I’m guessing. For the most part, it’s pretty accurate, though not a perfect depiction of our hobby – just as you’d expect from mostly muggle authors. Every character uses a basic GPSr, their cellphones are purely for talking on. Each cache has a stupid, “non-rhyming” poem as its clue; there are no hides mentioned except those placed by the church; and one ammo can is poorly secreted “in the darkness” under a picnic table.

Worst of all is Nicole O’Dell’s contribution, Welcome Home, Love, in which her heroine Hadley carries a shovel in her geokit for digging up buried caches and unexplainedly moves most of the containers after she’s found them.

It also seems odd that so many of the main characters are willing to up-sticks and relocate for a two month-long church-run geocaching contest but maybe that’s normal for an American summer.

I’m willing to overlook all those foibles, though, for some light fiction that features my favourite hobby without needing one or more dead bodies to boost its plotline. If Barbour prints a sequel, it can definitely count me among its readership.




*Barbour Books is offering a free excerpt from Rainbow’s End  here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Switch to mobile version