Title: Miss Whitaker Opens Her Heart
Author: Jennifer Moore
Publisher: Covenant Communications, Inc.
My rating is 4 stars.
Sarah Whitaker has lived in New South Wales penal colony for ten years now. Her father first bought her homestead some twenty years ago. He was a free man as are more and more of the people arriving in town. He was killed ten years ago, leaving Sarah all his property and possessions. Sarah has had to learn the hard way not to trust anyone or they will take advantage of you and hurt you. She has trusted and been betrayed several times. She has a deep fear and hatred of the aborigines as they killed her father. She also trusts none of the convicts who work for her, serving out their sentences. She meets her new neighbor, Daniel Burton, quite by accident and quickly learns he has bought the land she has repeatedly asked to buy right out from under her! She isn’t surprised that the government sold it to a man, but she sure is angry.
Daniel Burton find his new neighbor a puzzle. She lives alone and is her own boss. She is knowledgeable about farming and sheep herding, but is wary of everyone. She holds herself at a distance from everyone. Daniel and Sarah spend more time together at Daniel’s initiation so he can learn about raising sheep as he has bought his own herd. Sarah shares her knowledge and gradually allows a friendship to develop, then love between the two blooms. However, Daniel is keeping a huge secret from Sarah. Can she forgive him when he tells her? If he doesn’t tell her, she will find out eventually from someone else. She has given him her trust and he is deceiving her. She holds his heart, but will she keep it once she knows his past?
I liked the setting of this story, which I thought was unique and interesting. I knew nothing about New South Wales. This is also a gentle romance that builds slowly, but deeply. Sarah has faced so many disappointments in her young life, but she pulls herself up and keeps going. She realizes she has closed herself off from people. She has buried her emotions. She takes a look at her life and doesn’t like certain aspects of it, so she begins to let herself feel again, but at what cost? Daniel also learns much about himself in his second chance at life. There are other themes present in the story that I’ll let readers discover for themselves. So, pick up a copy for yourself and enjoy an entertaining romance.
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