Reviewer: janet kendall (NV, USA) -
Cheryl Reavis does a superb job in this romantic tale where the hero and heroine are so far apart on the society scale that the prospect of them ever living happily ever after is remote at best. He is a coal miner who possesses little except a hardened heart and a past he'd like to forget. She is the beautiful and intelligent daughter of a wealthy possessive doctor who unknown to her has plans to keep her for himself - like a prized horse. Yet when Jane and Treagar meet, they sense their destiny but realize the cost of yielding to their feelings. This book is a keeper!
Tregear was listening to the song intently, and his face revealed a depth of emotion Jane doubted he even realized. She understood two things about him immediately. That he hadn't come to this country willingly and that he wanted nothing more than to return home again.
The plot in this book is rather unique Newly arriving men of Gold Hill, NC, are immediately told that they are not to try to attract the attention -- or try to court -- the doctor's two daughters. The daughters are not told this; they just think they are not attractive enough for a man to be interested in either of them. Tregear is an explosives expert working in the gold mine. From Cornwall, he carries heaps of baggage from his life in England.
Jane Ennis is one of Dr. Ennis' daughters; she's the one who is trying to learn the healing arts from her father. When the story opens, Dr. Ennis has already disowned his son, Sion, because he is not interested in following in his father's footsteps. Readers can quickly understand that the doctor is aloof from the citizens he serves. However, Jane is a caring and interested healer.
On a strange and rainy night, Jane and Treager meet over a patient who desperately needs Jane's help. The main characters have great depth and they must battle against their feelings and society's abhorrence of the interest Jane and Traeger show in each other. I particularly liked the fact that there was plenty of action; readers could see what the characters were feeling without an excess of internal dialogue.
The evolution of Dr. Ennis' character is particularly interesting. We can see that he is cold to both his family and the townspeople. But as he feels more threatened, he increases his strangle-hold on his children. There is no doubt that something will have to give way; passions are too high for the tension to continue very long.
This is quite a powerful story about the evil that can be done in a family, all in the name of love.