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Dakota Books In Order

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Publication Order of Dakota Books

Dakota Born (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dakota Home (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Always Dakota (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Buffalo Valley (2001)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dakota Farm / The Farmer Takes a Wife (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon

Dakota is a series of women’s fiction novels written by Debbie Macomber. The books follow the exploits of the women of Buffalo Valley as they try to find love and romance in a challenging world.


The Dakota series is often classified as romance. However, while romance is a significant aspect of the books, the Dakota series places even more emphasis on the lives of Debbie Macomber’s heroines and the challenges they face as women.

Debbie primarily writes women’s fiction. The author has a desire to explore the trials of real people dealing with real problems. While some of the scenarios she crafts are unrealistically idealistic and exaggerated, she makes an effort to keep the stories around them grounded.

The Dakota series begins with Lindsay Snyder, a jaded woman whose relationship with her boyfriend has stagnated. Lindsay wants to take the next step in life but the love of her life has refused to marry her.

He is content to simply keep her around for all the comfort she adds to his life. Lindsay spent many of her vacations as a child in Buffalo Valley ND, and she has many fond memories of the small town.

So once she finally decides to break things off with Monte—the boyfriend—she flees to Buffalo Valley in the hopes that she can heal from the ache of the breakup, learn to live without Monte and then carve out a new life.

But the small town is currently in a state of decline. Businesses are closing, crop prices are falling and people are selling their property and moving out in alarming numbers. By the time Lindsay comes to town, Buffalo Valley risks becoming a ghost town.

Any other sane individual might have seen the signs and immediately relocated to a more prosperous town. But Lindsay was determined to make something of Buffalo Valley. And her opportunity came when she became the town’s only high school teacher, a figure responsible for satiating Buffalo Valley’s many educational needs.

Lindsay never thought the town would become her one true home. But then she met a man who changed her life and made her realize that she could finally start the family she always wanted.

While the Dakota series initially throws Lindsay into the spotlight, she only ever acts as the tool through which readers are introduced to Buffalo Valley. It is in this small town that all the Dakota stories play out.

And once Lindsay brings to the attention of readers the layout of the town, its social, political, and economic structure, not to mention the people that inhabit it, she takes a backseat while the supporting characters that were first introduced in Lindsay’s debut novel are allowed to shine.

Each novel in the Dakota series explores the trials and tribulations of a new hero and heroine, characters that were first introduced in previous novels. The women are often painted as the most competent members of the community.

They have lived relatively difficult lives. They have struggled to overcome their past weaknesses, failures, and mistakes. However, as determined as they are to move forward, obstacles keep rising to block their progress, in many cases threatening to force them back into the pits from where they escaped.

The heroines’ lives do not really change until they meet the men they love. More often than not, the women know exactly what they want and they waste little time in pursuing the heroes.

However, the heroes always have staggeringly immature personalities. Many of them grew up in Buffalo Valley and they are hard workers that have spent their lives working on their ranches.

And while they do have a desire to marry, they only wish to mate with women that are strong enough to work their ranches with them. Despite knowing exactly what they want as well, it takes the heroes of the Dakota series a long time to realize that the heroines are the women they need in their lives.

Not only are the heroes romantically challenged, unable to understand, accept and act on their feelings but every action they take only serves to sabotage their burgeoning relationship with the heroine.

In fact, most of Macomber’s readers have admitted to not liking the heroes she writes in the Dakota novels. But on the flipside, Macomber’s heroes have such immature personalities that the author’s readers have expressed a lot of love and praise for the heroines in the series because they never stop pursuing these men even in light of their immaturity.

The Dakota series has been criticised for being predictable. Though, Debbie Macomber’s fans will argue that her goal isn’t to tell wholly original stories but, rather, to take some of those overused tropes and ideas and utilize them in a manner that makes the resulting stories just as appealing.

+The Author
Debbie Macomber is an American author that writes women’s fiction. The author struggled with dyslexia when she was young. She never went past high school but that never stopped her from pursuing her publishing dreams.

Even when she had four children, Debbie always found the time to produce new manuscripts using a typewriter she had leased. Her big break came when one of her manuscripts got the attention of an editor at a writer’s conference. That particular editor had nothing but negative things to say about the manuscript.

Determined to prove him wrong, Debbie sent that same manuscript to the editor’s rival company and they bought it, eventually publishing it.

+Dakota Born
No one in their right mind would go to Buffalo Valley, ND. The small town is on the verge of becoming a ghost town. But Lindsay isn’t in her right mind. She just ended things with her boyfriend and she just wants to get away.

In Buffalo Valley, Lindsay finds exactly what she needed to start over.

+Dakota Home
Maggie is Lindsay’s best friend. Lindsay was only supposed to vacation in Buffalo Valley for a few months. Maggie was on leave at the time so she followed her. Maggie had no idea that her life would change so drastically.

She never imagined that she would abandon everything, plant new roots in Buffalo Valley, and find the same satisfaction that her best friend found.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Dakota

One Response to “Dakota”

  1. Name (required): 2 years ago

    I have liked the Dakota series, was born in South Dakota and understand why my parents left when I was four, in 1940. I find it interesting, have heard many stories about my Mother growing up there, being born in a sod house, moving in with her their grandparents to help with the farming. After she married my Dad they tried to raise there family on the family farm, had to give up, and heared for WA. state. Thank you Debbie Macomber


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