Date of Release: September 1, 2013
Wanda's Review: Wow! This is definitely a 2013 favorite!
1942 - Iti Taloa, Mississippi - Millie is awaiting her marriage to Kenneth (Bump) Anderson, but she isn't sure she is deserving of his love. The Anderson's are such a kind, genuine family and Millie is struggling with her past, dealing with a storm of emotions. Millie has been living in a barn for the last six weeks, doing everything in her power to stay away from Bill Miller. She had been taken in by the Miller family, but the unthinkable happened and Millie left the posh Miller home without even saying goodbye. She knows she should tell Bump her secret, that happened against her will, but she is afraid things would get out of hand.
Bump and Millie are married at a simple gathering of those they loved, and now it is her duty to love and obey. Millie enters this new marriage struggling to develop a fully open and trusting relationship with Bump. Her intentions are to protect Bump from the truth that would surely hurt him more.
Bump has just finished vet school and is asked to launch a ranch in the Rockies, arranged by Mr. Tucker. He and Mollie start their cross country move from Mississippi to Colorado. Bump and Millie have three years to turn a profit and develop a top breeding facility - stock horses and beef cattle. Millie and Bump are faced with many challenges that have the potential of tearing them apart. And the story unfolds ---
The beautiful Katharine Fitch Garner (Kat) is an interesting character who adds drama to the storyline. Kat and Millie become friends. Millie admires Kat and wants to be like her in so many ways, but soon Millie realizes Kat's friendship is superficial. Millie is betrayed by Kat and hurt by her deceitful actions.
River Greene enters the story as a rougher cut of the man Millie remembers. River is still able to tempt Millie. Does Millie have the power to pull away? Is she willing to settle for less than what she really wants?
Oka, Millie's grandmother, was one of my favorites. Oka is filled with strength and wisdom and has a very genuine spirit. She teaches Millie much about forgiveness and grace.
This is storytelling at its best - a delightful read that will touch your heart. The ending has a strong crescendo of suspense and a satisfying conclusion. This is truly a compelling and emotional novel by a gifted writer. My rating is 5 stars.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions shared are my own.