From Publishers Weekly
In small-town America in the early 19th century, being the illegitimate daughter of a scandalous woman is a hard mark to overcome. But Emilee Clarke decides to become the most righteous of women?the minister's wife. What she hadn't counted on in her scheme was an abusive husband or a nascent love for the former minister's prodigal son. Jared Burke has returned to upstate New York in order to be reconciled with his mother. He is welcomed back into the community and many a single woman sets her cap for him, but he falls for a married woman, Emilee. Despite their passion, they keep the relationship platonic?at least until Emilee's husband tries to kill her. Now the marriage vows that Emilee thought would free her from her past keep Jared powerless to offer her a new future?unless he is willing to destroy Emilee's reputation, her identity and maybe her soul. Part inspirational romance, part Peyton Place, Parr's (The Ivory Duchess) latest is brimming with forbidden temptation, old scandals, dark secrets, darker betrayals and the power of faith. Though the plotting is well crafted and the ending a surprise, the pacing is sluggish, the tone morose and the characters so fainthearted that it is hard to sympathize.
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