She seeks a home. He seeks redemption. What they find is each other.
Leah Mundy has spent her life dashing from town to town, one step ahead of her father’s dreadful reputation. Now, she wants to create a home for herself and build a medical practice in Coupeville, a cozy village nestled amid the majestic isles and mountains of Washington Territory. But her neighbors are loath to trust a newcomer, especially a woman doing a man’s work.
On the run for a crime he didn’t commit but can’t deny, Jackson Underhill is desperate when he holds Leah at gunpoint. He needs her doctoring to mend his wounds, but he soon realizes that she is also capable of healing his soul. But Jackson has been hardened by life as an outlaw, and Leah knows that a future together is impossible…unless they confront his past and learn to trust the redeeming power of love.
©1998 Susan Wiggs (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Narration is solid, but the story could have been better. Good premise, reminiscent of Linda Howard's Touch of Fire, where a female doctor strives for professional acceptance in gender-biased America, and an innocent outlaw eludes a US Marshall. The book is set in about 1895 on Whidbey Island off the coast of Washington, near Seattle. The story is told in 3rd person POV, hopping from heroine to hero to the US Marshall.
I liked the "drifter" hero despite his blind (idiotic) devotion to a psychotic friend from the orphanage they both endured in childhood. His white-knight complex was extreme. Overdone. But I liked everything else about him, including his interactions with the boy in the wheelchair, and his ability to interact with the townspeople, helping Dr. Leah Mundy gain professional acceptance and esteem.
My primary complaint is that the heroine thinks too much: worrying, guarding her heart, remembering her coldhearted father, etc. In the middle of action scenes -- even in the midst of lovemaking -- we would veer off into Leah's mental meanderings. Her thought life is repetitive. It pulls me out of the scene, making the narrative go gray, not vivid. It slows the pace. I wish writers would avoid the temptation to stuff a book with mental dialogue.
Contents: Several sex scenes, some swearing, too much profanity, some violence, arson, etc.
I really like the story, the writing and the characters. I always love Susan Wiggs way of telling a story. The only complaint I have is the explicit sex scenes in it.
Warning: There are three sexually explicit situations.
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