Natchez, MS; 1791
Anxious for his brothers to join him on the rugged frontier along the Mississippi River, Connor O’Shea has no choice but to indenture himself as a carpenter in exchange for their passage from Ireland. But when he’s sold to Isabella Bartholomew of Breeze Hill Plantation, Connor fears he’ll repeat past mistakes and vows not to be tempted by the lovely lady.
The responsibilities of running Breeze Hill have fallen on Isabella’s shoulders after her brother was found dead in the swamps along the Natchez Trace and a suspicious fire devastated their crops, almost destroyed their home, and left her father seriously injured. Even with Connor’s help, Isabella fears she’ll lose her family’s plantation. Despite her growing feelings for the handsome Irish carpenter, she seriously considers accepting her wealthy and influential neighbor’s proposal of marriage.
Soon, though, Connor realizes someone is out to eliminate the Bartholomew family. Can he set aside his own feelings to keep Isabella safe?
When I found out that author Pam Hillman’s newest offering had an Irish hero, I said, “Yes please!” I really enjoyed this novel of life that takes place in 1791 Mississippi. This was a time in which slavery was still in progress and very dangerous highwaymen roamed and terrorized the people. We have a story of a family who has had some very bad things happen to them. And as we read we see that some of these things may have been done purposely. When Isabella goes to purchase the indenture of Connor O’Shea she does not realize that she purchased the indenture of a real hero.
I really liked the family closeness of both the main characters. Isabella is trying to run the plantation and the home while taking care of her father and very pregnant sister-in-law. Connor just wants to make enough money to send for his brothers that are still in a poverty stricken state in Ireland. There was also the unity of the community that without I wonder how any of them could have survived.
There were some really interesting historical aspects to this story. One was that Connor had lived in the old world of Europe with its stages of classes and prejudice, however as he finds out America was quite different. It was interesting to learn that while a lot of slaves came from Africa, there were other countries that had their citizens sold as slaves as well. Ireland was one that was forced to add to the human trafficking conditions of the day.
This story really got to me and I enjoyed reading every minute of it. It is one that will stick with me for a long time to come. The romance was delightful, the danger was real even though we were unaware of the source, and the history was deep and rich.
I was provided with a copy of this book for free. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions expressed are my own.