Favorite Line: “She was aware only of how badly she hurt and of Nicholas–the reassuring sound of his voice, the strength of him behind her, the mercies he showed her as he held her hand, pressed cool cloths on her cheeks or gave her sips of water.” (p. 63)
Everyone of the frontier knows that the most important thing is survival. Do what ever you must to live another day. Nobody knows that better than Nicholas Kenleigh. After being held hostage and tortured by the Wyandot Indians and surviving by treachery, he’s not above holding a pregnant woman at gunpoint and making her tend to his wounds.
Pregnant and alone in the wilderness, Elspeth Stewart was frightened when the stranger appeared and forced her to care for his injuries. But she quickly took control of the situation and tied him to her bed. Unprepared to care for him along with herself and her unborn child, she freed the man, but kept his weapons.
Bethie constantly watched the stranger, waiting for a sign of aggression as he began to heal. Instead she began to see an honorable man willing to save her from rampaging Indians and her inner demons. Little did she know that her very presence was reviving him and healing the invisible scars within.
It is a fast paced story set in the American wilderness in 1763. It races until the final few chapters. Before chapter three a man is vividly tortured by Indians, strangles his sister during a nightmare, has sex with a prostitute, is attacked and injured by two men, and holds a pregnant woman at gunpoint. During this time we also learn that someone molested the pregnant woman (either her stepfather or stepbrother), married her off to an older man, and that her husband died, all while an Indian uprising took place.
The realistic depiction of frontier life works to move the story forward while emphasizing how short life is. The bond between Nicholas and Bethie is strong and enviable. Watching them come together and beat the odds is unforgettable.
In the end: I really enjoyed the story. I would recommend it to people wanting to read a historical romance that emphasizes overcoming the negative in order to create a future.