Carlyn Kearney has spent two lonely years not knowing whether to mourn or to hope after she receives word from the Union Army that her husband is missing. The war ends without further word. Now penniless, in debt, and forced from her home, Carlyn seeks refuge at the Shaker village of Harmony Hill, only to discover that they will not allow her to keep her beloved dog, an animal that has been her faithful companion since her husband went off to war. Sheriff Mitchell Brodie has pity on the lovely young woman and agrees to take the dog. Carlyn is just settling into life as a sister in the Shaker village when she receives a devastating letter confirming her worst fears. As she wrestles with whether to commit herself fully to the Shaker life, mysterious deaths begin to occur, and Carlyn comes under suspicion. Can Sheriff Mitchell help her expose the true culprit?
Bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart invites fans back to Harmony Hill for a story laced with intrigue, romance, and heart.
My emotions were engaged from the very first page. Carlyn's predicament is heartbreaking and infuriating and so typical of the times. A woman with very little rights facing a bleak, unfathomable future. Thank goodness for the nearby Shaker village which will happily take her in -- in exchange for her body and soul.
As in all of Gabhart's Shaker books, the details of this Christian sect both fascinate and appall me. A people rich in the wisdom of the gospel in so many ways yet they also hold to some glaring biblical misconceptions.
Carlyn has a mind of her own and her clashes with an older Shaker sister are invigorating and often humorous because it's just not in her nature to accept without understanding. And there is a lot that Carlyn doesn't understand. Like why marriage should be considered sinful. And why she's considered to be the one at fault if her God-given beauty should catch a brother's eye. Though she tries to be subservient and blend in, her keen intelligence pushes her to challenge the Shaker way of living.
Trying to fit in at Harmony Hill is difficult enough but when Carlyn uncovers a mystery among the Shakers she unwittingly becomes embroiled in something sinister. I love the unexpected suspense twist to this story. Especially since it brings Mitchell and Carlyn together.
And the mammoth dog -- Asher -- wins best heroic dog in a historical romance as far as I'm concerned. He's my true hero though I'll admit Mitchell comes in at a close second. :-)
This book has it all -- intrigue, romance, and plenty of action. A spellbinding read.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc.
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