Maddie O’Rourke’s orphaned half brother and half sister have arrived safely in Seattle—with a man they hope she’ll wed! Though Michael Haggerty’s not the escort she planned for, Maddie allows him to work off his passage by assisting in her bakery…and helping care for her siblings. But she’ll never risk her newfound independence by marrying the strapping Irishman—or anyone else.
In New York, Michael ran afoul of a notorious gang. Travelling west was a necessity, not a choice. The longshoreman grew fond of his young charges, and now he’s quickly becoming partial to their beautiful sister, too. So when danger follows him, threatening Maddie and the children, he’ll do anything to protect them—and the future he hopes to build.
Okay, so the cover designer missed the part where the girl is supposed to be as tall as the heroine! And what’s with the cabin in the woods?!
I seem to have built up a bit of a collection of Regina Scott books, and I think this one might have had the best concept of those I’ve read so far. I like that these characters are Irish immigrants or children of Irish immigrants and have come from the infamous Five Points in New York. I also like that the faith element is light enough it doesn’t annoy me.
I do think that current heavy focus on children in this Harlequin line is not working for me so much anymore. Almost every book I’ve read recently has had two children on the cover, and two children who feature as heavily in the story as the hero and heroine do. Gone, it seems, are the days when the romance happened before there were children underfoot!
I think some great research was done here. Some authors in this subgenre use the past as a vague sort of setting, while others, like Scott, get more into the interesting details of the era.
However, I really wasn’t all that interested in the kids. I didn’t mind them at first, but when the focus shifted onto them, and for the first half in particular every conflict between hero and heroine came as a result of them, I sort of wished they’d been banished to a boarding school back in New York!
At one point both female characters are reading Pride and Prejudice (though the title is never mentioned). I’d just like to point out that they got it wrong: Elizabeth Bennet is younger than Jane!
What I liked best about this book is that both its concept and its setting are a little different. These Love Inspired stories usually focus heavily on the so-called Wild West, so moving us somewhere else and giving our characters different hopes and ambitions was a nice change.
If you’re a bigger fan than me of children in romance, you’ll love this one.
Review copy provided by NetGalley.