Proper English governess Eleanor Morgan flees to the colonies to escape the wrath of a an angry duke. When the Charles Town family she’s to work for never arrives to collect her from the dock, she is forced to settle for the only reputable choice remaining to her—marriage to a man she’s never met. Trapper and tracker Samuel Heath is a hardened survivor used to getting his own way by brain or by brawn, and he’s determined to find a mother for his young daughter. But finding a wife proves to be impossible. No upstanding woman wants to marry a murderer.
I have never read a book by Michelle before, but for some reason the plot of this book really interested me and I am so glad I chose to buy it and read it. By doing so, it reminded me of why I love books set in the late 1700’s during the wilderness / frontier time. I love the purity and unknown of this era, plus the interactions, the characters face when they encounter Native Americans. It is just so entertaining and enthralling to me.
This is a first for me to read a book where the heroine is an English governess who crosses the Atlantic to the unknown to find a position to a family in the back world wilderness of the colonies. She is used to things and people being a certain way – all prim and proper – but she gets a big shock when she loses her reference letter and money and ends up being married to a backwoods man who looks like a wild savage, Samuel Heath. She accepts his offer to be his wife and mother to his two year old daughter – it was either that or prison. Both are not fond of the idea of being married, but what is done, is done, it was for the sake of the child. Samuel is a bit harsh with her at first, but soon regrets his actions and grants Eleanor with more patience and kindness. He also dubs her Tatsu’hwa – Red Bird – as her hair is red and he feels like it suits her.
As the book progresses, Samuel warms to Eleanor, he enjoys teasing her and making her blush. He also faces a few harsh moments – being whipped, almost attacked by a bear, and being shot which leads Eleanor into questioning herself on staying – , she feels like she isn’t a good enough wife and mother, plus she feels bad for Samuel getting hurt due to her mistakes. In the end, she realizes her true feelings for him and knows where she belongs.
I really enjoyed both Eleanor and Samuel. I liked how he wouldn’t let her get by with not telling him whats wrong, how she feels, or answering his questions. He wanted her to be frank and speak freely with him. There was a bit of Cherokee phrases throughout the book – Samuel is half as his mother was full blooded – which I thoroughly enjoyed and caught myself flipping to the back pages to see what they meant. I just love reading about the Native American culture as I find it highly fascinating and entertaining.
After finishing this book, it makes me want to seek out more books that I haven’t read yet set in the 1700’s frontier wilderness era. well done Michelle, I will make sure I check out more of your books in the near future.