St. Martin's, Jun 2002, 6.50, 320 pp.
In 1870, Radford Grayson knows his fearful four-year-old daughter Rebecca depends on him, but guiltily he always has let her down, but vows not to this time. Knowing he needs the help of his estranges family, he returns to his hometown of Fredonia, New York desperate to provide a nurturing environment for his motherless child. He promised the youngster never to leave her again as even a few seconds apart mean apprehension and resignation of being abandoned for the frightened lass.
The first person he sees upon reaching the family saw mill is childhood friend Evelyn Tucker dressed in breeches. Evelyn is engaged to Radford's brother, Kyle, the dependable sibling. However, first Rebecca and then Radford reach her heart as she falls in love with the woe-some twosome. Father and daughter reciprocate her feelings, but her close friend Kyle is his sibling and her fiancÚ leaving any relationship between them potentially destroying a delicate balance of a fragile little girl.
This powerful Reconstruction Era romance will remind readers of Elvis' Love Me Tender . The story line is loaded with passion and emotion, at times quite overwhelming for the audience, as guilty consciences, silent accusations, and pointed recriminations cause frictional relationships. The cast makes award winning Wendy Lindstrom's tale into a triumph for Americana historical romance readers who relish a character study that hopefully leads to sequels set in Fredonia.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner