My Review: Picking up right where Into the Free left off, Millie and Bump are getting married and about to set off on their own adventure managing a ranch in Colorado for their friend Cauy Tucker, they have 3 years to make it a success. If they do well they will get a share of the profit, and Bump will be able to start his veterinarian clinic. They must build the run down ranch from the ground up, and in their new home it is hard to know who to trust.
There is their charming widowed neighbor, Kat, who is too friendly with Bump for Millie's taste, but seems to offer the only friendship for miles. There is also Fortner, a man who was raised on the homestead that they are ranching, but rumors say that he killed 2 women.
Millie brings a painful secret into their marriage that threatens to tear them apart. Will Millie and Bump have the faith push through the challenges in their marriage, or will secrets tear them apart?
Picking up right where the previous book left off, this book does not work well as a stand alone. I would highly recommend reading the first book in the series, before starting this one, as it will give good depth and background to Millie's past and the secret that she still hides. Rich storytelling paints a picture of the stark reality around them, I liked how raw it was, and the vulnerability in the characters. The author skillfully, develops flawed characters that spring from the pages scars and all. I loved how over the course of the book I could go from being frustrated with a character, to understanding, and forgiving them over the course of the story.
Bump is a good man, and he loves Millie unconditionally. But he is still human, and isn't perfect. He is stressed out by the task before him, and wants to give his family more than what he had growing up.
Oka is Millie's paternal grandmother who comes to stay with them in Colorado, she is a very wise woman, and is full of hope despite the pain of her past.
Overall, a satisfying beginning to Millie and Bump's story. They must face their share of lions, and pain from the past, and learn to trust each other in the mountains of Colorado. I love how Ms. Cantrell so vividly brought the characters to life, and made them shine through their flaws. This book follows Millie in her journey of faith, through the happiness and heartache, joys and suffering. A memorable read that I won't soon forget.
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