Catherine Whitfield is a school teacher in the Texas town of Cimarron City, in the late 1800's. She cared deeply for all her students and was concerned about their welfare as well as their education. A new student, Hannah Goddard comes to school with her strikingly handsome widowed father. They had recently purchased a ranch and moved from Pennsylvania. His daughter is very unhappy and struggling to adjust. Unbeknownst to the town, he is not a rancher, but a doctor, attempting to hide and protect his daughter from a criminal. Catherine having just lost her mother due to the local doctor's primitive medical treatment, has more on her mind that the attractive new man. Hilariously he is all the mothers in town with single daughters of a marriageable can think of. Although I laughed, I felt sorry for poor Austin trying to politely dodge all of them.
I found the story very entertaining and suspenseful but there were also some surprising parts. The first being Austin wasn't just any doctor but a plastic surgeon! I didn't even know there were any back then! My first thoughts were, âThere weren't face lifts, breast plants or liposuction, and so what did they do?â After some research I found they did reconstructive surgery on severe injuries. Many of their patients were soldiers injured in battle. Conniving and hardened criminals were just as much present then as now. Just such a one was in pursuit of Austin to force him to use his skills evil plans.
I naively have pictured the era that this was written in as far simpler than our society today. It surprised me that the same problems and corruptions existed in this era too! One of Catherine's students' is severely abused and neglected by his father. A young girl is raped and becomes pregnant. There were no government agencies or special law enforcements to help the victims or bring their perpetrators to justice. The care and protection of the innocent came from loving, kindhearted and caring people. It was a reminder that individuals were much more personally involved in the lives of their neighbors, especially in times of need. Ms. Cabot beautifully illustrates true forgiveness and godly character in the face of horrible circumstances and offenses. A wonderful book!
I received this book from Revell Publications in exchange for an honest review. The opinions I have stated are my own.
A Borrowed Dream by Amanda Cabot is the second novel in Cimarron Creek Trilogy. Catherine Whitfield is the schoolteacher in Cimarron Creek and lives alone since her mother passed away. Catherine has a strong dislike of physician's courtesy of the local doctors archaic practice of bleeding, purging and blistering which hastened her mother's demise. Catherine has a chance to marry, but she does not want to be a person's second choice. Austin Goodard is the new widower in town with a young daughter, Hannah. He has traveled across the country to hide from Sherman Enright. Sherman is a dangerous criminal who wants Austin to use his surgical skills in a way that goes against Austin's values. Unfortunately, Sherman is not one to take no for an answer. Austin has bought a ranch and is keeping his medical background under wraps. Catherine and Austin are brought together in their desire to help Hannah, who has become withdrawn and quiet, and assist Seth Dalton. Seth has an abusive, slave driver for a father and natural artistic skill. Austin is falling for the schoolteacher, but she is unaware of his secret. In order for Austin to have the future he envisions with Catherine, he will have to deal with Sherman Enright.
A Borrowed Dream is well-written, has a steady pace and delightful characters. The characters are well-developed and, most of them, are warm caring people that you would want as friends. Sherman Enright and his minions along with Seth's father provide a counterpoint to Austin and Catherine. There are smooth transitions as the story goes from one scene to the next. Amanda Cabot has a fluid writing style that gives readers an engaging novel. It is a multi-layered story (which I loved) filled with suspense, mystery, history and romance. I had no idea there were plastic surgeons that far back in history. The author included some research information at the end of the book that propelled me into finding out more about the profession (it is fascinating). The Christian element is present and is gently woven into the story (forgiveness, prayer, having faith, trust, helping others and letting God show you the way). It is done with a light touch. A Borrowed Dream can be read alone. The characters from A Stolen Heart are in A Borrowed Dream, and it is nice to catch up with them. Grace Sims is a character introduced in the story (Catherine takes her in), and I hope we get to find out more about Grace in the next book in the trilogy. A Borrowed Dream is a heartwarming and charming story that will delight those who read it.