Publication: October 2013
Publisher: Astraea Press
Length: 221 pages
My Rating: *****--5 Stars
Source: received a copy in exchange for an honest review
Amazon Blurb: The year is 1905. It is autumn in the village of Aztec in New Mexico
territory. Amanda Dale is burdened with the responsibility of caring
for her widowed sister—an invalid----and Ella’s two children—one a
premature infant. But Amanda wants a husband and children of her own and
despairs that God does not care about her plight. Schoolteacher Gil
Gladney is handsome, intelligent, and God-fearing. He is drawn to
Amanda, but feels he cannot propose marriage until he is able to
purchase the ranch he has been saving for.
When Gil and his pupils discover the relics of an ancient culture
among the ruins outside the village, Gil contacts an old college friend.
The possibility of an archeological excavation excites the community of
cash-strapped farmers, eager to earn extra money working on the site.
Gil is delighted when Nate Phillips comes to Aztec to take up the
challenge. When a rabid skunk reels through the excavation site,
threatening the lives of Amanda and her nephew Rex, Gil realizes that
life is short and the possibility of true happiness can be fleeting. In
the end, Amanda learns to trust God to provide the happily-ever-after
ending she’s been praying for.
My Review: It seems that a lot of historical romances take place in the 1800s and I thought this was a refreshing change of pace. Although 1905 isn't that far off, there were a few things added that were unusual and set this time period apart from the rest--a car, for example.
I loved that there were some Christian elements to this story, but they were in no way overpowering. These characters were just good, sensible people, trying to make their way through life.
Amanda was a saint!! She was so willing to help out and sacrifice for her family and her own personal life was left by the wayside. It was sad to see how she almost felt guilty for wanting a home and family of her own, yet she tenderly and patiently cared for her family. I always romanticize the "simpler" times--baking bread, hand washing clothes, gathering eggs, etc.
Little Rex was just adorable. There's something about cute, precocious children in a story that really draw me in. I loved how involved his was in the community and in the mystery surrounding his family's dead chickens.
Of course, Gil was great. I think sometimes people get caught up in doing things that will make the most money or are what their parents want, but Gil taught because he was good at it and loved it. I really enjoyed watching him try and befriend and help Ozzie. Sometimes the hardest kids to love are the ones who need it the most.
I enjoyed the setting and the romance (there could have been a few more kisses), as well as the characters and the storyline. Great, clean romance!!
Buy a copy of your own on amazon and enjoy the story.