What happens when the realization of a dream isn’t what you imagined… and the secret you’ve spent a lifetime guarding is finally laid bare?
Determined to become one of the country’s premier newspaper photographers, Elizabeth Westbrook travels to the Colorado Territory to capture the grandeur of the mountains surrounding the remote town of Timber Ridge. She hopes, too, that the cool, dry air of Colorado, and its renowned hot springs, will cure the mysterious illness that threatens her career, and her life. Daniel Ranslett is a man shackled by his Confederate past, and he’ll do anything to protect his land, and his solitude. When an outspoken Yankee photographer captures an image that appears key to solving a murder, putting herself in danger, Daniel is called upon to repay a debt. He’s a man of his word, but repaying that debt could reveal secrets from his past he would prefer remain buried.
Forced on a perilous journey together, Daniel and Elizabeth’s lives intertwine in ways neither could have imagined when first they met from a distance.
This may be one of the most captivating novels I’ve ever read. Tamara Alexander’s characters are as beautiful and broken as the Rocky Mountain setting. Racism, addiction and honesty all come into play through the story of Elizabeth and Daniel.
A brave woman bound to overcome a physical ailment that threatens her life, Elizabeth is far from the beautiful, perfect heroine you normally see in historical romance. Likewise, Daniel isn’t the suave charmer. Both have real flaws and a strong draw for the reader.
In the aftermath of the Civil War, a country with deep scars struggles to heal much like the boy’s who had to become men so quickly in the war. The bitterness, the hate and prejudice all lingered for so long. Elizabeth’s assistant experiences this hatred and rises above it with the help of his friends.
Overall, this is a superbly written novel and an author I’ll read over and over again. She’s been on my to-read list for years and I wish I’d found hear earlier!