Sophie has spent a lifetime guarding her heart and a long-held secret. It will take all of her courage to speak the truth and embrace the future God has planned for her.
The year is 1886, and Sophie Robillard returns to
Hickory Ridge, Tennessee, after living in Texas for 15 years as the ward
of Ada and Wyatt Caldwell. Now that the town's population has exploded,
her intention is to reopen the long-defunct newspaper office that so
captivated her when she was still an orphan. The rejection she
experienced as a child because of her mixed parentage has left deep
scars that she hopes can be healed by succeeding in this new venture.
Heyward was uprooted from his home as a boy following an unspeakable
tragedy. Horace Blakely, a millionaire businessman, took Ethan under his
wing and eventually put him in charge of the construction and opening
of Blue Smoke resort in Hickory Ridge.
They meet when Sophie
arrives at Blue Smoke to interview Ethan for her newspaper. As their
attraction deepens, each hides a secret that, if revealed, could end
warrants a 3 1/2 stars. I loved the way this book tied into the past
and characters we're familiar with. There is a lot of explanation about
those relationships but they are side plots that don't interfere with
the main story. It also has a truly beautiful cover that I kept looking at over and over.
Sophie is a bit of a puzzle to me. In some
regards she seems a strong and determined woman. She moves away from
home to own and run a newspaper. That was a brave and atypical move for a
woman in that era. She has constant doubts though. She doesn't think
people will accept her because of her biracial status - but there aren't
any incidents in the present to indicate that. She actually receives a
lot of support (other than those who believe her work is unacceptable).
She doubts Ethan's love and forgiveness despite his visits, gifts,
kisses, smiles . . . After a while I wanted to yell at her that it was
obvious he loved her and had moved past it. I admired the way she stood
up for her friends and for what she believed was right.
Ethan is a
good man who is very talented at his work - but finds his boss (and the
boss' methods) frustrating and unacceptable. He also has a past that
This was a satisfying and enjoyable end to a wonderful series.
was offered an e-book of this title for review by BookSneeze - but I
had already purchased it for myself. Their offer has in no way
influenced my review.