This is the second in the Heart of the Frontier series by Tracie Peterson
Hope Flanagan is one of three sisters who survived the infamous Whitman Massacre where Marcus Whitman and his wife Narcissa, along with eleven others, were killed in Oregon territory by Cayuse Indians. Of the three sisters, Hope was the most scarred by the experience, because she was raped. She became pregnant by her rapist and considered abortion. But she gave the child up for adoption by a family who moved away from the area. Now she's living in Oregon City with her now-married older sister and near the uncle who took all the girls in after the massacre. She's resigned herself to that fact that she will never marry, that no man would want to marry her after what happened. She spends her time tending sheep and weaving.
Hope's "peace" is shattered when she's asked to testify against the Cayuse men being tried for the massacre. The stress of the trial drives her to attempt to murder her rapist. But, she's stopped by an Army officer in town to help keep the peace during the trial. Lt. Lance Kenner, touched by her suffering, befriends her. She insists they're just friends, but does she want more? Lance is determined to be her friend, but he definitely wants more.
The story sometimes moves slowly, but healing takes time. Misunderstandings between Lance and Hope endanger the budding romance. An interesting side story crops us when Lance realizes he has a past connection to Hope's brother-in-law, and it's not good. Can Lance get along with her brother-in-law? Can he win Hope over? I'll never tell. I encourage lovers of historical fiction to read this book. I learned a lot about frontier life in the Great Northwest, all the while enjoying a great story of persistence, forgiveness, and healing.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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