Title: The Promise of Breeze Hill (A Natchez Trace Novel)
Author: Pam Hillman
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
My rating is 4 stars out of 5 stars.
The year is 1791 and the place is Natchez Under-the-Hill. Isabella Bartholomew finds herself in charge of the crops, the plantation, her recently widowed and pregnant sister-in-law, her injured father who is slowly recovering from burns suffered in a house fire as well as hiring a carpenter to repair the damage done to her home by a fire. She has a good head for numbers and is talented at drawing up potential house plans, but when it comes to business she learns it is very much a man’s world. Therefore, she enlists the help of her new carpenter, Connor O’Shea. He has indentured himself to the Bartholomews in exchange for passage from Ireland to America for his four brothers.
Connor begins work on clearing debris left from the fire so he can begin rebuilding an entire wing of the plantation home. He isn’t thrilled to be working for a woman, but keeps in mind his end goal of bringing his brothers to America. They begin to work together and sparks fly. Connor also discovers a dangerous group of men who are riding across Breeze Hill property at night. Are they the ones responsible for Isabella’s brother’s murder? He begins to wonder if the fire that destroyed a third of the home as well as some of their cotton crop was set on purpose. Since the mourning period is almost over for Isabella in regards to her brother, suitors begin to come calling. They all live nearby and have their eye on the many acres of Breeze Hill as well as the beautiful Isabella. Connor has had a bad experience with a woman from the upper class before, so he is wary of his feelings for Isabella and her feelings for him. Can he trust her not to break his heart?
I loved the setting of this story and could visualize the plantation home in my mind, the clothes worn and the crops in the fields. The plot was predictable, but nonetheless a pleasure to read. The chemistry between Connor and Isabella was believable and got me engaged in the story right away. Isabella’s anger with God was realistic and her questions to Him valid. Her sudden realization of her life from God’s perspective and His will was authentic as well as how she had been acting toward Him was a real “aha” moment for her. I also liked Connor’s protectiveness toward Isabella. I hope there are more books in the works in this series because I will definitely be reading them!
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