This historical romance breaks some conventions and comes out a winner. Coleridge Monroe takes a job as physician to Reidsville, Colorado in 1884. When meeting an outlying family, Cole discovers that the “son” is actually a woman, who is in the midst of a miscarriage caused by physical abuse. Rhyne’s father had raised her as a boy, for reasons revealed later. After she recovers, Cole hires her as a housekeeper/companion to his sister Whitney. Rhyne finds the abrupt change to living as a woman difficult. And because of her background, she feels unworthy of Cole’s attraction, since he comes from a cultured Philadelphia family. When a typhoid fever epidemic leads to a confrontation with her father, she learns a stunning secret about her past.
The sensual passages are well done: bedroom scenes are neither lurid nor coy. Goodman doesn’t hit the reader over the head with information. Sometimes you have to wait till later in the story to find out why a character acted or spoke a certain way. She also skips certain scenes (like weddings) that historical romance fans might think compulsory. My only complaint is that the climax is more low-key than I expected. An excellent, character-driven historical romance.