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Orphaned and widowed, eighteen-year-old Jubilee Stallings clings to her southern Indiana farm as her only refuge. The wilds of Gibson County are just being tamed in the year of 1850, and Jubilee ekes a meager existence. But when Rafe Tanner, a cousin of her abusive dead husband, shows up with the deed to her property, Jubilee’s dream of her own home dissolves.
Rafe, stinging from his ex-fiancée’s rejection, offers a business marriage, throwing him and Jubilee together in an effort to make the farm successful. But scars from the past keep her in constant fear of her new husband. The pair masquerades as a love-struck couple at Rafe’s family farm, enduring the romantic notions of his family, and the jealousy of his ex-fiancée.
Once home, Rafe realizes his newfound love for Jubilee, and sets out to court her. Meanwhile, Jubilee fights demons from her past as her husband reveals his interest. Can Jubilee let go of her distrust and pain to embrace God’s plan of true love and finally find a place to belong?
This was a sweet inspirational historical western romance with strong characters. Jubilee was kidnapped and forced to marry Colvin at sixteen, a man who ended up being an abusive drunk. When his cousin, Rafe, buys the property shortly before her husband is shot outside a saloon he didn’t realise Colvin had a wife. He ends up inheriting a widow and the two are at odds for a long time. They end up agreeing to a business arrangement wedding to save appearances.
The author did a brilliant job showing Jubilee being timid, her fear that Rafe will abuse her, and her growth as she comes to love Rafe and realize he is the complete opposite of his cousin. Rafe is a gentle God-fearing man. I found this story to be very touching. Rafe was very patient with Jubilee and quickly grows to have feelings for her.
I didn’t want this story to end! I will check out more books from this author. I thought even the side characters such as Rafe’s brothers and ex-fiancee were well developed. I was sucked into the story and felt truly transported to 1850.
REVIEW BY HALEY OF DRC PROMOTIONS REVIEW TEAM