The author and Goddess Fish Blog sent me a copy of this ebook to read for review (thank you). You can purchase a copy on any of the ebook sites now.
Jackson was to inherit the plantation from his father and had a fiance when he went to war. He came home without his leg, his older brother died during the war, and his father declared him unfit to run the plantation. His young brother not only inherits the plantation, he gets his fiance too. There's no reason for him to stay on the plantation any longer and he moves to a hotel in Missouri run by his cousin to start over. What he encounters there will change his life forever.
As he sits on the porch at night brooding about what he might have had and where he's going now, he ends up becoming friends with a black free woman. He's not proud of it, but he does admire her and they have intelligent conversations. His connection with her will cause him pain and change who he is.
Belle is young woman living with an abusive father and brother. Beulah (the black woman) is teaching her to read and that ends up in a beating that almost kills her. In a desperate move to protect her, Jackson offers her marriage.
Ms. Bush always takes unlikely characters and puts them together in a fragile romance. I really enjoy watching her characters dance around each other. Her men and woman are tough and opinionated and don't compromise easily; but they'll protect each until death.
Since the author set this in the south right after the war, there are race epitaphs, violence, and a lot of hatred to go around. This is a vital part of this story based on history, so I didn't find it offensive. It did make me sad.
I truly enjoyed reading this story. Why not give this historical romance a read and watch Jackson and his wife grow into a warm, loving relationship?