As a military surgeon, Joe is used to keeping his professional distance. But, despite Susanna's understated beauty, he's drawn to this woman who carries loss and pain equal to his own and has a heart that is just as hesitant and wary...
Comment: This is the last book I've had in my TBR by Carla Kelly. Although all her books weren't perfect reads for me, most of them were and I will cherish this author forever, even if some of her more recent work doesn't appeal to me. I might try some of her older titles one day, though.
In this story we meet Susanna Hopkins, a young women who is traveling to fulfill a teaching post hoping to get away from her ex husband in order to support herself so she can pay a lawyer to help her get her son back. But in the 1800s, a divorced woman isn't considered polite and when the people in her new town find out about her status after a cousin made out the lie she was a widow, her position is no more.
Her rescuer is Joseph Randolph, a Major in the town where she went to work. Somehow he wants to help her and convinces his superior to let him pay for her position for she will teach the children of those who have no prejudice against her as soon as she tells the truth about her marriage.
These two souls have had trouble, disappointments and pain in the past but they still maintain their professional and warm smile. Can they find happiness together as well?
This is an interesting book by the author. She, as always, presents a down on her luck heroine who somehow emerges from the lowest point on her life to someone worthy and deserving of happiness. Not that her heroines are superwomen or have magical powers but their caring and hardworking natures allow them to become superior to everyone who ever tried to bring them down. This is one element I really like about the author, how she can turn someone from a bad place to a great one without resorting to billionaires or wealthy people all the time.
Susan is a great heroine although I must say here and there I didn't think she was always as shy as I imagined she would after what happened to her and the situation she is in. I guess I always look for that moment where being timid, shy or quiet isn't what stops someone from reaching a HEA. In this book, Susan wasn't shy, only someone living in a time where being divorced closed many doors to her. But it was great to see her never lose her poise and be as humble and practical as ever even after people started to treat her different. She had a weak moment but I can't really say it's inconsistent. When people are in a bad position, a bad moment in life and everything seems doomed, who hasn't weak moments...Susan took hers to an extreme but her personality made her rebound quite well as did the help and support of the hero.
The hero, Joe, is obviously great too. He is a doctor in the army, he is attracted to Susan but he respects her above all and when she's at her lowest, he helps and protects her. He also had his bad moments, from a reprimand of a superior to the death of his wife, but he keeps helping others and Susan specifically.
I like the writing of this author, the story comes to life but never in a unnecessary way, all scenes have a purpose, a place, a goal. I think the style is quite good and the subject, despite difficult at times, convinced me to read. I enjoyed this book a lot, but it's not my favorite.
But the author can captivate us with the details used and even the secondary characters were intriguing and well done, not there just because.
I would recommend this book, all the subjects addressed are interesting, some are difficult to read about but of course everything is dealt with care and the author doesn't go above what it's supposed to and the story gains from that.
I was glad they HEA happened, I wish a little bit more passion between the main characters could have been more obvious to us but, all in all, a great story for me.