When her father disappears in war-torn Mississippi, Hannah Dandridge finds herself responsible not only for her younger siblings but for the ranch her father recently acquired on the Texas plains. Though a marriage of convenience could ease her predicament, she determines to trust God for direction. Wounded soldier William Barnett returns to his home only to discover that his family's ranch has been seized. Though angry and bitter at this turn of events, he's surprised to discover that it is a beautiful young woman with amazing fortitude who is struggling to keep the place running. Hannah, desperate for help, and William, desperate to regain his family's land, form an uneasy truce. But nearby Comanche tribes, the arrival of Confederate soldiers, and a persistent suitor all threaten the growing attraction that builds between them. Will they be able to set aside their own dreams and embrace the promise of a future together?
The year is 1863 and twenty-four-year-old, Hannah Dandridge is holding down the fort at the ranch her father acquired on the Texas plains. Her father had set out for their old homestead in Vicksburg to see his ailing mother but it seems he never made it and is now missing in the war-torn area of Mississippi. Hannah is caring for her younger brother and sister: eight-year-old, Andy and five-year-old, Marty. Her father was a lawyer and shared the business with one, Herbert Lockhart and he is determined to marry Hannah.
William Barnett, a wounded soldier, shows up at the ranch one day to find Hannah and her siblings living at his ranch! Hannah doesn’t understand what is going on and tells William that her father was given the ranch for his help with the Confederacy. William informs Hannah that she is living on his ranch and that a terrible mistake has been made. Hannah is sure her father is now the rightful owner of the ranch, but William tells her that her father was given the ranch in error. This causes a somewhat uneasy relationship between the two. Hannah had a heart and wouldn’t see William put out so she allows him to stay at the ranch until the matter can be sorted out. She realizes if her father doesn’t return home, she will need help to keep the ranch running and marrying would mean a way to guarantee her future and that of her siblings. Will she accept Herbert’s proposal as a way to ensure her future or is Hannah feeling more drawn to William even though their relationship feels awkward?
There is a lot of action is this well-written novel. I absolutely despised Herb Lockhart as he was an extremely arrogant, rude, uncouth, and egotistical man. I was rooting for William throughout the story.
This is my first Tracie Peterson novel and although the story was well-written, I found it to be a bit preachy but that wouldn’t prevent me from reading another of her novels. I would recommend this novel to other folks.
"Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
Available at your favourite bookseller from Bethany House, a division of Baker Publishing Group".