Series: Seven Brides for Seven Scotsmen, #2
Release Date: December 26, 2017
Tracy’s rating: 3.5/4 of 5 stars
I liked this book, but I didn’t love it and I probably wouldn’t read it again.
The story opens with Matthew MacEnroy and his men staking shelter from Rebel forces at a farmhouse. The house is the home of Abigail Jenson and her parents. When the Rebels arrive, Abbie races inside to warn her mother and father.
Weeks earlier her family was attacked, her brother was “pressed” into service, her father beaten and her mother violated, Abbie was spared because she had hidden. Her father is near death and her mother is mentally unstable. When she enters the house, Matt and his men are there, but she soon realizes that they are going to help her. Abbie tries to warn her mother, but the woman will not listen. Abbie is a crack shot and impresses Matt with her ability. When one of his men is wounded, she cares for him, but is not able to save her parents. The Rebels set the house afire and there is nothing Abbie can do to save them or her home.
Matt offers to take her to the town where his company is stationed and will no other options, Abbie agrees. When they arrive at the town, Abbie is taken to the “Benton House” which houses various war widows and orphans. Abbie settles in and even begins to assist the doctor. She and Matt do not have a lot of interaction at this point in the book – but they are both attracted to the other. This part of the book focuses more on Abbie’s relationship with the women and children in the house, especially her roommate Julia. Julia is in love with Robert, one of the soldiers stationed at the camp and they plan to marry. When it becomes obvious that Julia is expecting a child, Abbie tells her she must marry now. Robert and Julia marry and then tragedy strikes.
Matt and Abbie have been spending time together, Matt knows he is interested in her, but is not sure if he is ready to marry or if what he feels for her is more than lust. When they are alone, the passion between them is undeniable, and they become intimate but they are constantly interrupted. When they slip away together a few days after the wedding, they spot a band of men sneaking up the river. They rush back to town to warn the others and then a battle ensues, in which Robert is mortally wounded. Julia is brought to his side and is inconsolable when he dies. Her grief is consuming and causes her to go into labor. When her son is born, Abbie hopes it will be enough to drag her out of her grief – but it isn’t and when the town is attacked again, Abbie finds Julia near death on her husband’s grave. She takes Julia home and goes for the doctor. At the medical tent, she asks the doctor to check on Julia and then learns that Matt has been wounded. She tends Matt while the doctor takes care of Julia. Sadly, Julia is dying and she begs Abbie to take care of her son. Abbie agrees and when Julia passes, she has her buried next to her beloved Robert.
Soon after, the company of soldiers is commanded to move south, Matt is told to go home, his commission is almost up and Abbie is recruited to take him home. There is a heart wrenching moment when Abbie must say goodbye to Noah, one of the orphaned children. She promises she will come back for him, but with no home or husband and a newborn baby, she is not able to take him at this moment. Noah is upset and refuses to see her off.
They journey back to Matt’s family and he again wonders what his intentions towards Abbie are and she wonders as well. They are attacked by marauders but manage to reach his home unscathed.
Matt’s family welcomes Abbie with open arms and they too question Matt’s intentions. Matt and Abbie are perfect for one another, but Matt can’t seem to decide what he feels for her.
The book was good, but it was a little boring and repetitious. There is no real conflict and nothing keeping Abbie and Matt apart, except Matt’s inability to decide what he wants to do with her. I honestly was not very happy with him, he took her virginity and took no precautions to keep her from getting pregnant, but didn’t plan to marry her – it seemed dishonorable to me. The story drags a bit due to the lack of conflict and Matt’s indecision becomes a little tiresome. But the secondary characters were good and the love scenes were steamy, there are a couple of heart breaking moments and a few surprises as well as a lovely reunion scene for Abbie. All in all not a bad book, but I had hoped for more.
This is the second book in the series, but it could easily be read as a stand alone title.
*I am voluntarily leaving a review for an eARC that was provided to me by NetGalley and the publisher*