Recent widow Lydia Gray, who had married her older, abusive husband as a part of a business deal, is relieved that he is dead. Her adult stepchildren, who have never welcomed her into the family, just want to see her gone, believing that she likely inherited nothing from their father. Instead they are shocked when it appears that Lydia has inherited her husband’s entire estate (most of which she could care less about). Still wishing to get out of Kansas City, she leaves decisions about the legality of her husband’s will in the hands of her attorney, and makes arrangements to go to Sitka, Alaska, where her aunt lives.
Meanwhile, her stepchildren are scheming away, trying to figure out how they can get the inheritance they believe should rightfully be theirs. They will stop at nothing, including lies, paying off officials, kidnapping, and even murder in their devious quest for money and power. Lydia tries her best to start over in Sitka, but it isn’t long before her past catches up with her. Will Lydia ever find the happiness she deserves?
Dawn’s Prelude is the first in Peterson’s Song of Alaska trilogy. I can’t imagine anyone reading the first and not wanting to grab the others as soon as they are released. Readers should not let the fact that this is a Christian romance scare them away. It was a pleasant surprise to find that Dawn’s Prelude was not at all preachy as I had expected but instead was a good solid story sure to appeal to anyone who enjoys novels set in the late 19th century wilderness.