I received an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of this book.
This was the story of Cadence Hurley, A young woman with a limp who has just arrived in Shallow Springs, Wyoming Territory. She came as a mail-order bride, however the man she came to marry has fallen on hard times. He no longer has the means to support a family and so offers to pay for her return trip to Baltimore on the next day’s stagecoach.
Rather than leaving the next morning, Cadence decides to remain in Shallow Springs. She hopes to make a new start there rather than return to a town where she has no one and no job waiting for her. In fact, her situation in Baltimore had even been so bad that at times she had been forced into living on the streets. Deciding to remain in town, she hopes to find employment before her existing funds run out.
As luck would have it, the town’s teacher is retiring. Cadence has never officially worked as a teacher, but she has had experience in teaching the children in a household where she had at been employed as a governess. After passing a few tests to prove that she has the skills and knowledge required to teach the town’s children, she is immediately hired.
Cadence is offered space at the Winding Path Ranch during her first 6 months as the school’s teacher. During her stay there, she gets to know a Ranch hand by the name of Beau. He has worked there for the past 6 years, and while there is an attraction between them, neither is willing to give into it. They have each lived with years of disappointments and hardships. In the face of their pasts, how can they trust that the future might offer anything different?
One of the things I really liked about this book was the strong and capable main character we see in Cadence. She is determined not to allow her injured leg to hold her back. While she does have her weaker moments, she far more often stands up for herself. She is no “shrinking violet” to feel lost or to give up in the face of hardships or the lack of a husband. She possesses a strength and a tenacity that I haven’t often seen in a mail-order bride story.
I did catch a very few typos in the book, but only a very few. There were definitely not enough to truly distract from the story. Overall, it was a very good book and I enjoyed reading it a great deal. This is definitely one book I would recommend, especially for those who enjoy reading mail-order bride stories.
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