Forbidden love in the wilds of Appalachia.
Cabinetmaker Ian Cameron comes to Mountain Laurel in hopes of claiming a place as his uncle's heir, but that title comes with more than a few entanglements. Ian is a man struggling to make sense of where he stands after coming from a complicated past, and an uneasiness about becoming a slaveholder. This is a well crafted novel, with well-built, complex characters good and bad, and more than your average amount of heartache.
While I appreciated the well drawn characters and their well developed plights within the larger plot, the attention to detail and how the pieces fall, I can't honestly say that I enjoyed this book as it was a heart-rending read. This book is a bittersweet one, filled with heartache, secrets, and forbidden love, and while we don't quite get a resolution in this volume it leaves the door open for a much richer conclusion when the duology is complete.
Overall, it is a bit of a mixed review from me, and I think that I will be able to form a more complete picture of how I feel about this book once I read the next one. This was a grittier read than the author's past books, but it fits the narrative of the story arc. But there is no doubt to the quality of this story, well written, with characters that had my heart breaking along with them. I liked how the events in this story force many of the characters to grow and confront their beliefs as they must reconcile their realities. A poignant and heartrending read.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.