In the fall of 1810, Allison Forbes has just inherited her father’s prosperous Virginia plantation. Her father’s last wish was that she visit her Aunt Catherine Wyllie in Kentucky before she decides if she should keep the plantation. She intends to keep it but honors her promise to her father. Her journey to Kentucky is not what she expected. For one thing, the only other passenger on her stage is a middle-aged, gun-toting, gambling, salty preacher with a questionable past named Jason ‘Baldy’ Grant. Despite his unusual demeanor and behavior, Baldy becomes her protector and friend and eases her grief as he safely escorts her to Kentucky.
After serving two years in Kentucky’s militia, Little John Wyllie has just returned to his family’s thriving horse farm and finds himself trying to decide what to do with his future. But his future is put on hold when his family’s lives and land are threatened. Swindler Brandt Stoker and the men of Crab Orchard have decided to wage a fierce turf war against the Wyllies.
From the moment she arrives, Little John is strongly drawn to Allison. But as he fights to save the family’s land, he faces other problems, one an unsolvable obstacle that complicates their courtship. His feet and heart are firmly planted in Kentucky and Allison, understandably, will not give up her heritage, the plantation her father worked so hard to build. Allison fights her attraction to Little John, knowing nothing can come of it. But Little John, in true Wyllie fashion, refuses to give up on their love.
Review: Well Wiley didn’t disappoint me as I read book three, Love’s Glory, in the Wilderness Hearts series. We’re back in Kentucky with Sam and his family and his brothers and two nephews make an appearance too. But this time it is all Little John’s story – but he’s not so little now that he’s all grown up! His love interest is his cousin, Allison, but they’re not cousins through blood since he’s the adopted son of Sam and Catherine and she’s Catherine’s niece. There’s an immediate attraction since they are no longer children. We first meet Allison on her plantation in Virginia and I watched with interest as she traveled from there to visit her family in Kentucky.
Wiley reeled me in once again with her wonderful descriptions of the land, the people, the horses, Sam and Catherine’s home and nature in general which were so vivid that I felt that I was there. Of course there were the wonderful Wyllie family members that we’re reunited with albeit just a short time with Sam’s brothers. Missing were all the women and the children but I hope we get to meet up with them again and again since there is still so much story to tell. I liked how the author brings up events that have happened in other books that is like icing on the cake but even if you haven’t read any of her previous books it just becomes additional background information. Rory was a nice addition to the story as was Little John’s dog, Happy.
As I read there is good versus evil and spirituality with the addition of Baldy, the traveling preacher who also studied medicine, anger, fear, hysteria, mob mentality, death, sadness, injuries, lots of food, family and friends, servants, happiness, laughter and love. I loved that we make a return to Cumberland Falls. The story flows nicely with a depth to the characters whom we get to know a little at a time. There is nice closure with the epilogue that takes place a year later and a few happily ever afters but with enough loose ends that left me wanting more. I enjoyed the Inspirations and Facts Behind the Story which provided relevant information to the story from the author’s perspective..
Wiley has fast become one of my favorite authors. I love that she sets her books during the westward expansion of America – one of my favorite periods of United States history. I can’t wait to see where she takes us next.
Favorite Quote: “It’s so romantic,” she breathed. The peaceful spot brought a feeling of absolute serenity to her.
“My parents spent their honeymoon here. On moonlit evenings, you can often see a Moonbow.”
“Like a rainbow, only it’s over the river and it shines through the mist of the falls. Like a beam of light painted with God’s finger.”