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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Harvest of Dreams by Alison Henderson

Harvest of Dreams by Alison Henderson
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Genre: Historical, holiday
Length: Full Length (284 pages)
Heat Level: Sensual
Rating: 3.5 Books
Reviewed by Orchid

Alone on her farm in the middle of a blizzard, young widow Lisa McAllister labors to give birth to her first child. Help arrives in the form of a stranger with a six-gun. Lisa has no reason to trust this man who makes a living by violence, even if he is on the right side of the law. Men and their guns have already claimed the lives of her father, brother, and husband, and she’s determined to protect her son at any cost.

Jared Tanner, a security agent for the stagecoach, has been on his own since he was twelve. With Lisa and her baby, he’s finally found something worth fighting for – a family of his own. But a fresh wave of violence threatens to tear them apart. Can their new love survive?

It’s 1865 and the Civil War is over. As a girl, Lisa was present when her father died a horrible death, now she’s lost her husband and her brother. The only family she has left are her mother and her unborn child - the child who arrives at Christmas time.

Help arrives in the form of Jared who assists in the birth. At the time Lisa is glad of his help, but when she sees him the next day - Christmas Day - she is overcome with embarrassment.

Lisa’s mother is worried about her daughter being alone with the baby on the farm outside town. Jared needs a place to stay so he takes over the hired hand’s room in exchange for helping around the farm, but his job as a protector of the stage coaches takes him away for two or three days at a time. Then there is Clay, an acquaintance from childhood days who has become an outlaw. He is determined to have Lisa for himself.

Harvest of Dreams is a pleasant book set in the years after the American Civil War. It has a very relaxed atmosphere with only the occasional jolt of unhappiness to cause tension. I have to admit I got a little irritated with Lisa’s attitude to Clay. I could understand why she felt she couldn’t let her feelings for Jared have full rein, but why did she feel sorry for Clay and want to help him? Clay had proved himself a thoroughly nasty person but she still made excuses for him.

I enjoyed this book, despite the lack of surprises. Jared, a strong and protective character, was a perfect foil for Lisa’s equally strong personality which appeared in a feminine way. The usual good and irritating friends appear to provide levity to the story. The romance twisted and turned between desire and fear of becoming too involved, both from Jared and Lisa. The question all through the book, was would they or wouldn’t they? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

Definitely a novel to read if you want something quiet and comforting to keep you in a good mood.