Ashes of Dreams
Excellent characterizations set this historical romance apart. In 1887 Kentucky, widowed Amanda Jeffrey struggles to keep her husband’s dream of a thriving horse farm alive. But she finds going it alone difficult, especially while caring for three small boys and an ailing father-in-law who can’t help out. Salvation arrives in the form of Cole Donnelly and his son Dev, Irish immigrants willing to work for room and board. Local suspicion of drifters and something mysterious about the Donnellys’ past make Amanda wonder if she’s done the right thing in taking them in. But their knack for horse handling makes them almost indispensable, and Amanda begins to feel a tug of attraction for Colin. Matters are brought to a head in an ending in which a covetous neighbor, a dangerous stallion, and a horse race all come together.
Even the secondary characters in this book are rounded, with the exception of the relentlessly bad villain. The main characters’ motives and actions are logical. The bedroom scenes are sexy without going into clinical detail. The dialogue is well written. The ending had a few contrived elements, but the rest of the book balances out that small drawback. A sterling romance.