Barbara’s rating: 5 of 5 stars
Series: Children of the Empire #1
Publication Date: 10/12/16
This book sucked me in from the first word on the first page and it is still holding me hostage. The characters are so well defined, even the villains, that you feel you know everything there is to know about them. Some of them you want to hug and keep near and others you want to help them fall in a hole that they can never crawl out of. I loved Meggy and the kids and Rand is just wonderful. His transformation from gruff, reclusive curmudgeon to open, honest and loving is a wonderful thing to see.
Meggy has lived in hell for ten years. She never thought it would be that way. How could she have misjudged the man she married so badly? Now, it isn’t just Meggy he is beating, abusing, and battering, he’s started on their children and she can’t have that. This last time, he broke Drew’s arm – just pulled it up behind his back and snapped it – all because sweet little Drew tried to save his mother. Then, he grabbed tiny little Lena up by her ankles and held her above the floor and threatened to drop her on her head. Meggy and the children head out as soon as they can get away – but it is the beginning of winter in Canada and they are on foot. Where is she running to? She’s going to try to find her Ojibwa grandmother but has no idea where she is.
Lena caught a fever and Meggy has luckily stumbled upon a cabin in the woods. Nobody is home and from some talk she overheard on the trail, the owner won’t be back for several days. She’s a highly moral person, but she has no choice, she simply has to get Lena inside so she can nurse her. She’ll only stay for a day or two – just until she can get Lena’s fever to break.
Rand Wheatley has had many hurts and disappointments in his life. He’d finally had enough when his cousin who is a Duke stole the woman that Rand loved and wanted to marry. So, he packed up his belongings and moved to Canada and he never intended to return to England. In the six years he’s been in Canada, he has grown his own holdings and has also purchased many acres in partnership with his brother-in-law. Rand doesn’t want anybody’s company, he lives alone and he likes it that way.
When Rand arrives home, he finds squatters in his home and he is furious. He flings Meggy out the door and doesn’t believe she’s there with her children. He thinks she’s there to steal from him, to trick him – after all – women absolutely cannot be trusted. Then, he sees a young boy and realizes there are children here. He then finds out one of them is very ill. Meggy is banging on the door to get back in to get her children. Rand is determined that they should leave – he doesn’t want them invading his home – but – they can leave tomorrow – when it is light. That scenario goes on for days – and turns into weeks.
She tells Rand their story and he’s determined to help her find her grandmother, but when the worst happens and her abusive husband finds them, Rand realizes what they have come to mean to him. Then, the real action begins. Rand chases them all the way to England – he’ll do whatever it takes to save them.
The story will keep your emotions high and your mind engaged. There are so many ups and downs to Meggy’s situation. She and the children face so much danger. I just felt like I was on a rollercoaster ride – never knowing which way it would turn next or what new danger it would bring.
The only thing wrong with this story was that it ended and I didn’t want it to. I wanted to travel back to Canada with them. I wanted to know if Rand started his sawmill and if he did was it successful. I wanted to know if he put Douglas Gibb out of business. I wanted to know if Rand and Meggy had children and, if so, how many. I just wasn’t through with this wonderful story and wanted more! Oh! It was a full book – I just wanted more.
I highly recommend this book and the entire series. This author never disappoints.
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