Berkley, Jun 1 2010, $15.00
In 1871 at the suggestion of her sister’s doctor, nurse Molly McFarlane travels from Atlanta to Savannah to see her sibling Nellie who is dying from lung disease. Molly’s brother-n-law Daniel Fletcher is nasty to her; telling her to go home. Nellie pleads with Molly to run off with her two preadolescent children from a previous marriage, as she fears for them under Daniels martinet abuse.
As Molly flees with her niece and nephew, in nearby Jeanerette, Rustin lectures Daniel for failing to find what his late father-in-law hid as the wealthy man plots a second Southern rebellion because war is money. Meanwhile, out west a train wreck leaves Patrick Henry “Hank” Wilkins near death, remorseful but desperate Molly marries him so she can inherit at least an insurance claim to take care of the kids and hide from her odious brother-in-law’s operatives. Instead Hank recovers, but is clueless re marriage and a train wreck. He takes his wife and her wards to his family ranch in the New Mexico Territory where his family embraces the newcomers. As they fall in love and his memory returns, her Georgia roots are arriving.
The second of the Blood Rose trilogy (see The Pieces of the Sky) is a wonderful historical tale starring a strong ensemble cast. A key fresh premise is the push for a new Confederacy revolt as personal economic gain due to war motivates Rustin and his cohorts, who stole gold from the south several years ago. With an intriguing lead couple whose marriage is shaky as he knows part of the truth in spite of two frightened children needing them and the rest of the Wilkins, fans will appreciate this superb Reconstruction Era romance.