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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Review: Laura's Lost Love (book 1 Heart Junction)

Laura’s Lost Love
by Fran Shaff

Laura Windsor wants to be a mother, but Gavin Maitland won’t allow it.

When the Orphan Train arrives in Heart Junction, South Dakota in 1912, Laura happily greets the little girl she intends to take into her home. Her plans are shattered when Gavin explains that the Orphan Train children may be placed with married couples only.

Gavin hates disappointing the lovely Laura, but he has no choice. He is bound to follow the rules of the town council. When he is unable to place Angelina with a willing couple because she is a sickly child, he arranges for Laura to take her in temporarily.

Circumstances surrounding Angelina’s care and placement keep Laura and Gavin close enough for each of them to realize that there is much more between them than their concern for a child. But can two people at odds ever join together? Not without breaking conventions, promises and even a few laws.

Laura’s Lost Love is an emotionally charged story right from the first chapter.

Laura Windsor waits for the Orphan Train which brings Angelina, a child who, although already a daughter in Laura’s heart, will soon be Laura’s legally adopted daughter. Or at least that’s Laura’s plan. She’s saved for years to be able to adopt a child, and now that the reality of her dream comes closer with every blast of the train’s whistle she can hardly believe her good fortune. When Angelina steps from the train there is an instant bond between the two. The only thing left for Laura to do is sign some paperwork and, she believes, she’ll be able to take the little girl home. There’s only one catch: Laura isn’t married, and Gavin Maitland, the man who must sign off on the paperwork, informs her that this unmarried state puts Angelina out of her reach. He advises Laura to wed—quickly. And therein lies the love triangle of this tale: man, woman and child all desperately in need of love and all it holds.

I sincerely enjoyed this book for a number of reasons but I’ll just name a few here. I’ll leave the joys of this book for you to discover on your own. First, and perhaps most important, the story is a good one, written with attention to detail, dialogue and fully fleshed characters. Angelina and Laura’s use of Spanish as well as English to converse is a touch that made their situation seem so realistic I could nearly hear their words. Gavin and Laura, and the ‘compromising’ position they find themselves in, are a great couple whose willingness to do what’s best for Angelina made me want to cheer them on. Also, the fast-moving story kept me turning the pages because I cared about the characters and wanted to know what happened next.

All in all, this is an excellent story that takes the reader on a journey into the past that is very enjoyable.

Review by Peony