Out of the Embers (Mesquite Springs)

Written by Amanda Cabot
Review by Tom Vallar

Twenty-three-year-old Evelyn Radcliffe cooks for the orphanage in Logansville in east Texas, where she has lived during the 10 years since her parents’ murder. She takes the newest orphan, six-year-old Polly, under her wing. When the orphanage burns to the ground before their eyes, Evelyn spirits them away to a new beginning in the south Texas Hill Country far from both their nightmares.

Wyatt Clark spots the broken-down wagon with two drenched females beneath it on his way from Mesquite Springs to his horse farm. He knows his mother and sister will take care of them for as long as they need to recover, but when Evelyn decides to re-open the town’s restaurant and wins over the populace with her delicious dishes, Wyatt recognizes how strong her faith is and how fierce her loyalty is to Polly. He also knows he will help them solve their past fears.

Cabot’s fourth historical Western romance series (this one set pre-Civil War), after two dozen contemporary romances, illustrates her strong command of romantic suspense. The action scenes lead to a predictable conclusion with a resolution to the mysteries of where Polly came from and who killed Evelyn’s parents.