Hearts On The Wind
Ingrid Johansson’s close-knit Swedish immigrant family brought many of the traditions of their native country to their new farm on the prairies of northern Minnesota. Ingrid has big dreams, though—she wants to go to school to become a teacher, much to her father’s chagrin. When Ingrid meets Andreas Eriksen, a Norwegian railroad worker, at a local wedding, they are immediately attracted to each other, but Ingrid wants to be sure that her education comes before love and marriage. Ingrid’s desire for a career is not the only obstacle between the young lovers—her father disapproves of Andreas, both because of his heritage and his profession, and Andreas’s conniving stepsister, Dagmar, wants Andreas for herself.
Breene’s tale of Scandinavian immigrants in late-19th century Minnesota contains charming period details, as well as a more serious backdrop of labor unrest on the railroads. Through her relationship with Andreas and her friendship with two young Irish immigrants, farm girl Ingrid unexpectedly finds herself caught up in the drama of the railroad business. Ingrid is ambitious and hardworking and seems to revel in new experiences, and Breene ensures that the path to a happy ending is neither smooth nor predictable. Entertaining secondary characters, including Ingrid’s cousin Nettie, round out the story nicely. Readers who enjoy American historical romance will appreciate Breene’s take on the genre.