The second book by this author was really (really!) well written. It centers on the story of two people:
Eliza Cantrell – Axel’s mail-order bride who “sets out on her travels a week early” because she’s “impatient to meet her intended groom and help him grow his general store”. On the way her train gets held up, she gets hit upside the face by the pistol of a robber, and once they get to town, she needs stitches.
Will Stanton – he’s Axel’s business partner, has no true desire to be in business and really wants to be a doctor instead. He meets Eliza when she first comes to town, because he’s summoned to help stitch her up. While he wants to be a doctor, and is really quite good at it, he’s also scared to be a doctor because of something that happened with a patient many years ago. His fears are concerns are well portrayed, and you can see the struggle he continues to have in deciding if he should take a chance by going to school or just stay home and run a business that’s struggling.
Once they figure out that the man Eliza was coming to see is none other than Will’s business partner (that took a little while, but they did finally get there!), Will sets her up helping him with running his store until Axel gets back to town. Eliza goes to live with a lady who has an empty boarding house, and quite the personal story. Her friendship with Mrs. Lightfoot is something that helps both of them though, and I appreciated watching it throughout the book.
While the main story is about Eliza and Will, we can’t forget about Axel. He’s the groom-to-be, the one Eliza came all this way for, and the one who was missing when she got to town. I thought that a large amount of the story with Eliza and Will was predictable, but was honestly completely surprised by some of what came into play with Axel and his part in all of it. As someone who reads a whole lot of books on a very regular basis, surprises like that aren’t easy to come by! Kudos to the author for making the story so real, and so easy to relate to, but also for not making things easy to figure out. That definitely takes talent!
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way required to write anything positive – all thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely my own.
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