After reading this book, I was pulling up the book cover online and stumbled across some pictures from the photo shoot from the cover. Those led me to the author’s website. Interestingly, she addressed something that I had thought about while reading this book Several times, I would flip to the cover and think “That’s not what I picture Charlotte looks like”. In fact, I believe I’m in the minority when it comes to people on book covers. I prefer to create my own image of what the characters look like. But, I’m off topic here, let’s talk about a really fun and entertaining book.
Charlotte Atherton flees the school where she’s been teaching for the past three years under the cover of night. The school is closing, and Charlotte has promised to protect one of her students from her grandfather. When someone comes looking for them a couple months later, Charlotte doesn’t know what to do. The stranger seems to believe her story and want to do the right thing, but again, she knows nothing about the man. Well, other than he appears to be a character right out of Lily’s dime store novels. Then Stone Hammond saves another child in Charlotte’s care and he opinion of him improves. Stone Hammond is the best retriever out there. What he goes after, he gets. So how were his instincts so wrong this time? He realizes Charlotte is telling the truth about being the rightful guardian of the girl he’d been sent to bring home. Now, the children as well as Charlotte are making their way into his heart.
This book was hard to put down. I actually picked it up Friday night after a long work week and relax before bed. Yeah, the next thing I knew it was one in the morning and I was forcing myself to turn off the light and get some sleep with the promise of finishing it when I awoke. And finish it, I did. The attraction between Charlotte and Stone is almost instantaneous. Both feel the pull, both try to resist. In addition to his tough exterior and swift mind, Stone’s protectiveness of this little group he’s stumbled upon makes him more swoon worthy. Charlotte’s nurturing personality, her willingness to give up everything to help three children, and her own heartbreak make her someone you will cheer for. Now if only the two can overcome several obstacles (Charlotte’s past, Lily’s grandfather, a lack of trust), they can get on with their HEA.
What I like about Witemeyer’s books is that while they are considered historical fiction because they are not set in the past, they are not bogged down with historical facts and figures. Her stories carry themselves. This one had the fun addition of the three children, each special in their own way. Lily’s love of dime store novels and her infatuation with One Eyed Dan (who I’m hoping gets the Witemeyer treatment) is contagious. John’s quiet and shy manner is sweet. Stephen’s big brother protectiveness of those around him is cute. There was one plot twist regarding Charlotte’s grumpy caretaker that I imagined happening that never came to fruition. But, I can pretend it did.
***Bethany House provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. All opinions expressed are my own.