All is not well in Wyoming. Katie Macauley gave up her life-long dream of returning to Ireland in order to make a home for herself in Hope Springs, but her future has never been so uncertain. The town is more divided than ever, with both the Irish and the Reds stealing property, burning buildings, and endangering lives.
Katie’s heart remains sharply divided between her love for playful Tavish and steady Joseph, a decision she feels ill-prepared to make. In the midst of the growing unrest, temperatures drop quickly, too quickly, and Irish nightmares of famine and cold resurface as the little Wyoming town struggles to beat the harsh winter.
Katie makes one sacrifice after another to keep the peace and help see her loved ones through the difficult days ahead, but will it be enough? Can the town make amends before their hatred consumes them all? And will Katie find the love she has been searching for as well as a home to call her own?
I was so glad there was a second book to this which I am secretly hoping for a third because I fell in love with these characters. I just loved Katie. She is such a strong wonderful character – so strong and striving. And my dear sweet Tavish – oh how I loved your teasing and humor. He always put a smile on my face when he graced my pages. My heart was pulling for him from the beginning an I felt Kate’s pain on who she’d choose – I wouldn’t want to hurt either Tavish or Joseph. In this book Joseph comes more alive and makes his feelings more visible to Katie. When he does this my heart pulls for him just as it does for Tavish. I was in a pickle for my heart growing for both just like Katie.
“Are you talking sweet to me, Joseph?”
He turned her hand over and pressed a kiss to her palm. She blushed red as a strawberry. “Keep doing that, Tavish O’Connor, and I’ll begin to suspect you fancy me.” He loved when she teased him back. The first few weeks he’d known her, she had been far too serious. “What do I need to do to get you from ‘suspecting’ to ‘believing’?”
“Do you never stop flirting, Tavish O’Connor?” “Of course. But I needed to see that smile of yours, Sweet Katie.” He spoke quietly, his breath tickling the hair near her temple. “Everything’s right in my world when you smile.”
“I wish I could help. I’d offer to put a day in at the mercantile, but I can’t clean worth anything.” “I know,” she muttered. He smiled a bit. “And I am absolutely certain no one would buy a loaf of bread I made.” “Especially if they knew you mixed it on the floor.” “A very good point, Katie.” He laughed through the words and felt her chuckle against him. He kept her close, hoping doing so didn’t make him selfish. She needed comfort and had turned to him. She was being courted by someone else. Yet, she’d turned to him. He was very confused. But, Katie was there, with him. He’d made her laugh. That was something.
“I believe Joseph may be courting her.” “There’s no ‘may be’ about it, son. There has long been a fondness in Joseph’s eyes when he speaks of her.” “I’ve noticed that myself.” But that hint of fondness had grown into something more of late. “I can’t like the idea of being set up to compete with Joseph Archer. He has every advantage.” “Is that so?” Da scratched his chin and gave him a look of deepest pondering. “Here I was thinking you had the advantage of being the first to court her, of sharing a heritage with her. And I could have sworn you had always had an easy way with women, a handsome enough face to turn heads wherever you go, and a personality one can’t help but grow fond of. And, fool that I am, I believed you were the one to whom she’d first opened her past and her heart.” “Then why is it, Da, I can’t shake off the worry that I might be losing her?”
About 75% through the book, I had a hunch on who she’d pick by how she said each other made her feel. Joseph turned out to be a sweet man – a little reserved but very sweet. You can tell his feelings for Katie grew tremendously by what he does for her to help her heal and come to terms with her her past. I also loved Katie’s relationship with Ivy and Emma – how they grew attached to Katie.
Tavish stepped directly up to the man, nearly nose to nose. “Who put you in charge of Katie’s welfare?” Granny shushed them loudly. “I declare, the two of you are worse than a couple of tomcats fighting over a molly. If you’d stop your screeching for one minute I could open the window and listen in.” Tavish didn’t look away from Joseph. The man didn’t look away from him, either. They’d never spoken their rivalry out loud, but Tavish knew it was well and truly there.
“You do know, Katie, that you aren’t allowed to give up, don’t you? Even if you choose Tavish, even if you decide to go back to Ireland after all, you have to pull through this.”
He brushed his hand along her face. “I love you, Katie.” He kept the whisper almost inaudible. Her eyelids fluttered and she smiled a bit. Had she heard him? “Katie? But she didn’t answer, didn’t stir.
This book along with the first is definitely a keeper- this story and characters were just amazing that I devoured it quickly wanting more. Sarah is such a great story teller she does wonderfully on making you believe her characters really hailed from Ireland by how she phrases their dialog. I only hope and pray there will be a third book.