St. Martin's Apr 2003, 6.50, 320 pp.
In 1871 Fredonia, New York, angry sawmill owner Kyle Grayson accuses his friend and mentor Tom Drake of trying to ruin his business by failing to make payments. Suddenly, the upset older man collapses and dies from a heart attack. Feeling guilty that he caused the fatal cardiac arrest, Kyle buys Tom's lumberyard so that the man's widow and daughter are taken care of, as he promised Tom just before his former guide died.
However, the lumberyard is in disarray and heavily mortgaged making its value almost worthless. Kyle goes to stop the deal, but is not only too late, he is caught alone with Tom's daughter, schoolmarm Amelia. They are forced to marry, but she fears making love because she lost her virginity to attorney turned banker Richard Cameron years ago. As Kyle and Amelia fall in love, secrets between the newlyweds and his best friend slowly surface that threaten to end their relationship before it truly begins.
THE LONGING is an engaging Americana romance that, though the story line contains too many secrets weighing down the plot, remains an exciting Americana tale that focuses on Kyle, who was jilted by his fiancée for his brother in the first book SHADES OF HONOR. Amelia is a wonderful protagonist who brings to life the place of the young single female in post Civil War society. Kyle is a workaholic with a conscience. Though his buddy's final actions seem out of character, fans of historical romances will appreciate this novel and long for the next stories starring a different single Grayson sibling.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner