Former Union soldier Radford Grayson returns to his small hometown, looking for a stable and comforting place to raise his young, motherless daughter. Despite his troubled past, his hopes are to reconcile with his family and put his dark secrets behind him. But he doesn’t count on falling in love with Evelyn—his brother’s financee…
When Evelyn Tucker accepted her childhood friend Kyle Grayson’s marriage proposal, she thought it was the best way to make her ailing father happy. But after Radford arrives home, the fiery and independent Evelyn realizes that the comfort and friendship Kyle gives her will never hold a candle to the instant, undeniable passion she feels for Radford. Now their forbidden desire threatens to shatter family ties and destroy newfound dreams—unless their love has the power to overcome all obstacles…
Five Stars * * * * *
Top Quality Sweet Romance—
Radford has wounds from the Battle of Gettysburg that goes beyond the piece of shrapnel healed beneath flesh. He’s promised Evelyn’s father (whom he went into battle beside)that he would be a man to rise above the terror from the flashbacks he endures while raising his daughter after the war. His brothers aren’t exactly welcoming, either. Especially the brother who took his place as elder and is running their family’s lumber mill.
Evelyn has promised her heart to one brother, but when Radford is assigned by her father to man the livery that has been bestowed to her care, it’s an insult she has trouble recovering from.
While Radford has to choose to honor his brother or betray his own heart, Evelyn is stuck with knowing the man she must marry is not the one whose kisses set her soul on fire. The heated “monkeyshine” kisses come from the tortured brother who is more dangerous tamping his desire in the orchard than on the battlefield.
This was a very sweet romance and had the standard “back and forth” internal and external struggle concerning the two lead characters. Many things keep them apart, but I was happy to see the story end in a way that all the loose ends were tied. Not too pretty, but just enough for a happy ending. You’ll love this book if you enjoy historical romance with a touch of family angst and a rustic, tortured hero.
Review by Laurie Kozlowski ~ Also posted to Goodreads.
More books by Wendy Lindstrom
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