For readers who love a heartwarming romance and a rich historical setting comes a tale of a young woman with a heavy burden, the International Cotton Exposition, and the pursuit of true love.
Eighteen-year-old Laurel Millard, youngest of seven children, is expected to stay home and “take care of Mama” by her older siblings, but Laurel has dreams of starting her own family. Operating a silk loom at the Atlanta Exposition will give her the chance to capture the heart of a man wealthy enough to take care of Laurel and any children she might bear, as well as her mother.
Brendan Rochester’s parents have given him an ultimatum: settle down with a wife or lose his family inheritance. At the Exposition, Brendan meets Laurel. Marrying her would satisfy his parents’s command, she would look lovely on his arm for social events, and in her besotted state, he believes she would overlook him continuing pursuing rowdy adventures with his unmarried buddies. Brendan decides to woo Laurel. Willie Sharp is not well-off and must take on an extra job at the Atlanta Exposition as a security guard. When mischief-makers cause trouble in the Women’s Building, Willie is put in charge of keeping the building secure. He enjoys visiting with Laurel, who seems like the little sister he never had, but his feelings for Laurel change to something much deeper. Can Willie convince Laurel that he can give her better life–even with so little to offer?
This was a surprisingly wonderful book! I wasn’t sure I would like it, but the story was so engaging. The characters were interesting and I fell in love with Willie and Laurel both.
The story was not only entertaining but I found it educational. There was so much I didn’t realize about the post Civil War life. I guess I should have realized that the blacks would have been mistreated then considering how many are still treated today.
If you are a KIm Vogel Sawyer fan you will absolutely LOVE this book. If you’ve never read Sawyer this is a great book to start with.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Bethany House through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.