Grace Mallory is tired of running, of hiding. But when an old friend sends an after-hours telegraph transmission warning Grace that the man who has hunted her for nearly a year has discovered her location, she fears she has no choice. She can’t let the villain she believes responsible for her father’s death release his wrath in Harper’s Station, the town that has sheltered her and blessed her with the dearest friends she’s ever known.
Amos Bledsoe prefers bicycles to horses and private conversations over the telegraph wire to social gatherings with young ladies who see him as nothing more than an oddity. His telegraph companion, the mysterious Miss G, listens eagerly to his ramblings every night and delights him with tales all her own. For months, their friendship–dare he believe, courtship?–has fed his hope that he has finally found the woman God intended for him. Yet when he takes the next step to meet her in person, he discovers her life is in peril, and Amos must decide if he can shed the cocoon of his quiet nature to become the hero Grace requires.
Why This Book:
It was written by Karen Witemeyer. Sometimes knowing the author is all it takes to make me read a book. Karen Witemeyer is one such author.
It also helped that this is another book set in Harper’s Station – a nineteenth century women’s colony – which I loved reading about it Witemeyer’s first book in the series, No Other Will Do, and her in-between-novella, Worth the Wait.
I did receive a free advance copy of this book from the publisher, however, I was not obligated to review it, only to give them feedback. As always, my review is honest, sincere, and entirely my own.
The cheerful tinkle of a bell alerted Grace Mallory to the arrival of a guest.
The prologue for this book was included as a teaser at the end of the preceding novella, Worth the Wait, and tease it did. From the first page, Grace Mallory is someone you want to root for and hers is a story you want to follow.
Grace Mallory – the heroine. Despite her shy demeanor and natural reluctance to be in the spotlight, she is independent, courageous, and has an inextricable determination to do what’s right no matter the cost to herself.
Amos Bledsoe – the hero. Skinny, introverted, and academically inclined, Amos views himself as odd and distinctly different from what the typical female is looking for in a husband. For that matter, so do the women of his town. Amos has yet to meet a female who finds his uniqueness attractive, so when he finally works up the courage to suggest a meeting with the mysterious “Miss G” he has been conversing with across the telegraph wires, he braces himself for rejection.
Helen Potter – One of the ladies of Harper Station introduced to us in the first book, Helen gets a significant subplot role in this novel. As with most of the women in this colony, Helen’s troubled past has left her with many emotional scars, clouding her view of the world, and even a little of her sense of right and wrong. When a certain situation arises, Helen is forced to decide if she will let those scars dictate her decisions.
Elliot Dunbar – A Pinkerton agent… or is he? There are many questions surrounding this man’s appearance and his true motives.
Emma & Malachi Shaw – Fans will be happy to know that the (now) happily married couple from book one are very much a part of this second book. (Especially Malachi in his capacity as lawman for Harper’s Station.)
Tori (Victoria) Adams & Ben Porter – This couple’s story began in the first book as a subplot and held center stage in the novella. In this book Tori is in a few scenes and Ben certainly lends a hand when danger looms, but they are not a large part of the story.
The rest of the ladies of Harper Station all have their small supporting roles to play and it’s lovely to see them. Amos even comes up with some humorous nicknames for a couple of them.
Emotional Engagement & Pacing of the Story:
As I mentioned in my First Impressions, section, the heroine is someone you immediately care about and root for. The hero is thoroughly likable and you want him to succeed as well. While this story did not take me as deep nor as high as some other novels, there were times when I laughed out loud and audibly gasped, so I can confidently say I was emotionally engaged.
I enjoyed the pacing of this novel. There is a steady tension to it which appropriately ratchets up as the reader nears the climax. Following the climax there is a bit more tension, though not as intense, prior to the conclusion of the story.
Elements I especially liked/disliked:
I enjoy the unique setting of a women’s colony and the problems that come along with it. I liked that the hero was not your typical hero and he knew it, yet he didn’t even try to change himself to fit expectations. He simply kept looking for the woman who would love him as he was.
The theme of this novel is best summed up in this quote:
In the end, all the loose threads were tied up nicely, though not so easily as to seem implausible. I was satisfied and I closed the book with the expected happy sigh.
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4 out of 5 stars
Have you read any of Karen Witemeyer’s books? Has God woven dark and light threads for beauty in your life?
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