Set in 1899 on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, this is a wonderful tale about a spoiled young woman who answers a mail-order bride ad after her reputation has been ruined in her hometown. The owner of the island doesn't want her there, but is attracted to her beauty and stubborness. As she finds a way to make the island her home, the attraction grows between the two. I really enjoyed this book!
Really good storyline about a "fallen" woman who travels to an outer banks island to be a mail order bride. She has to give up her previous lifestyle and learns in the process who she really is and what true friends are. The romance is mostly subdued and doesn't really come into play until the end of the book but the ending is a tear jerker.
This book really spoke to me; the main and secondary characters were well-developed and the location was an added bonus. The story begins in April 1899, in a mainland city not far from St. Brides Island, North Carolina. Dora Suttons life has unraveled in a matter of a few days.
Her father entered into a risky venture and lost the family fortune; unable to handle the shame, he killed himself. Doras fiancé dumped her after seducing her and told others she was a loose woman. Lawyers and creditors were crawling over Doras home and she had to leave; even the citizens were shunning her.
She saw an offer for marriage and received passage to St. Brides Island. Upon arrival, Grey St. Bride told Dora she wasnt good enough. Horrified, Dora doesnt know what to do. As shes walking back to the dock, a man calls her to help him; Emmett Meeks has fallen from his perch (working on the roof) to the ground. With some difficulty, Dora and Emmett struggle to get him inside.
Dora sees that Emmett isnt well enough to care for himself for a few days. Dora stays to cook and take care of him. Unfortunately, Dora has never learned to cook. It was totally charming when Emmett offers her his dead wifes cookbook; he eats and compliments Dora on each of her culinary disasters.
It was so heartrending to hear Emmett admit to Dora that he had several medical problems and did not want to be alone anymore. Eventually, he asks her to marry him as a way to protect her with his property and small bank account. When Grey gets back from visiting his brother, he erupts because he thinks Dora has twisted Emmett to her needs. He starts watching Emmett and Dora and discovers that they laugh, talk and help each other.
When tragedy strikes, I cried along with the characters. This hasnt happened in many years; I was stunned by my reaction and total immersion in the book. I read it from cover to cover in one night; I just could not stop reading. The author has a way with words and writes beautiful scenes.