Natchez, MS; 1791
Anxious for his brothers to join him on the rugged frontier along the Mississippi River, Connor O’Shea has no choice but to indenture himself as a carpenter in exchange for their passage from Ireland. But when he’s sold to Isabella Bartholomew of Breeze Hill Plantation, Connor fears he’ll repeat past mistakes and vows not to be tempted by the lovely lady.
The responsibilities of running Breeze Hill have fallen on Isabella’s shoulders after her brother was found dead in the swamps along the Natchez Trace and a suspicious fire devastated their crops, almost destroyed their home, and left her father seriously injured. Even with Connor’s help, Isabella fears she’ll lose her family’s plantation. Despite her growing feelings for the handsome Irish carpenter, she seriously considers accepting her wealthy and influential neighbor’s proposal of marriage.
Soon, though, Connor realizes someone is out to eliminate the Bartholomew family. Can he set aside his own feelings to keep Isabella safe?
I felt as if I was right there on the porch of that beautiful antebellum home, sipping on tea and then strolling along the grape arbor. Pam writes such a beautiful captivating story. A story with realistic, flawed characters that touch your heart and linger in your mind long after you’ve read the final pages.
Isabella has suffered great loss in her family, and she is shouldering the weight of not only the future of the plantation but that of her family as well. Her focus is on that of bringing in this next crop of cotton, and in rebuilding the wing of their plantation home that was burned out.
Connor hides his past hurt and distrust of others behind a strong work ethic and a desire to reunite with his brothers. It isn’t often that you find a male heroine who has self-doubt, but I found that it really made him more realistic and gave the reader a deeper glimpse into who he is. Connor is now on my list of favorite unconventional hero’s. I must add that I really enjoyed the teasing side of him, that showed his fun personality.
The historical setting of this book along the Natchez Trace isn’t a place I’ve read about before, and I really enjoyed learning about this piece of American history. Some day I’d like to travel the National Park highway along the Natchez Trace and see the sights.
Bottom line, this is a fantastic book. The characters are dynamic and realistic, the story is well researched and written. The plot moves along and kept me turning the pages long into the night. I highly recommend this delightful story!
(I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including NetGalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own.)
“She trembled at the realization that God had been merciful to her even as she wallowed in her grief. Even as she had lashed out at Him, blaming Him for everything that had ever happened in her life, when she should have run toward him, just as Job did.”
About the Author:
CBA Bestselling author PAM HILLMAN was born and raised on a dairy farm in Mississippi and spent her teenage years perched on the seat of a tractor raking hay. In those days, her daddy couldn’t afford two cab tractors with air conditioning and a radio, so Pam drove an Allis Chalmers 110. Even when her daddy asked her if she wanted to bale hay, she told him she didn’t mind raking. Raking hay doesn’t take much thought so Pam spent her time working on her tan and making up stories in her head. Now, that’s the kind of life every girl should dream of.