Gentle, protected Karin McNeal stood on the porch while her birthday celebration continued inside. The voices in the wind were calling again, and Karin hoped that she would finally be able to decipher them. She leaned forward eagerly, so close to solving the puzzle, when her grandfather burst out the front door and summoned her back inside. Karin obeyed instantly, as a proper woman of the 1780s would, and rejoined the festivities. The dancing, drinking, and feasting continued but everything ceased when someone pounded on the door.
A man, bleeding from a shoulder wound, came staggering in the door. Though the McNeals did not know him, they began caring for him and were shocked when he looked at Karin’s step-grandmother and said, “Hi, Mama.” Sarah’s son Jack had been taken by the Shawnee many years before when he was only eight, and Sarah was thrilled to be reunited with her oldest son. Jack’s reappearance caused some rumblings in the settlement, but since the McNeals were a prominent family, they expected no trouble from the settlers. Within the family, however, Jack and Karin’s attraction to one another was creating a rift.
Jack McCray had been sent to bring Karin to her father, a Shawnee chief who had adopted him after he and Karin’s mother were abducted. Jack had a bargain with Shequenor: once Jack delivered Karin to Shequenor, he would keep the chief’s stallion. Jack was certain he could easily fulfill the bargain…until he met Karin. Their instant attraction both stunned and confused him. Jack was determined to do everything in his power to keep Karin safe, even if that meant fighting against the settlement, the McNeals, and Shequenor’s magical powers.
I found this book fascinating. The descriptions of the settlement made it easy to imagine, and the characters were believable and well developed. The reaction of the McNeals to Jack’s war record – fighting for the wrong side – was exactly how I would expect a family, proud of their own service, to feel. The family’s attitude towards the Shawnee was also realistic for the period. Though Karin was presented as a well-bred, gently raised young woman, she demonstrated her strength of character when Jack was threatened. I can definitely recommend this book, especially for historical fiction fans and all true romantics. This is a great story, and I am looking forward to reading more from Beth Trissel.
(By reviewer *Mary) To visit this review at Bitten By Books click here.