Theres a reason this story takes 479 pages to complete; the plot is involved and compelling. This tale beings in 1863 and covers a bit more than 10 years. In the opening chapters, the heroine and hero meet, separate and then see each other again after several years.
Mary Catherine ("Katy") McCleary, her mother and older sister are living in Washington DC, with the mothers second husband, Richard Allen. The three females are serious Southern sympathizers who just happen to be living with a colonel of the Union Army (Richard Allen).
Mrs. McCleary plotted her revenge when Union forces burned their home (early in the war); she met and married an important man in the Union army (Col. Richard Allen) and stole secrets to aid the Confederate cause.
Mom may have been watching for secrets but she was not watching the Colonel and her younger daughter. However, Logan Marshall, a young Union officer transporting secrets, catches the Colonel with Katy and tells her mother. The three females leave the Colonels home and moves in with an aunt on her farm.
The Colonel gets his revenge by sending Logan to an area where he knows there are Confederate soldiers. Logan is caught and sent to a Confederate prison for 19 months. He escapes and is on-the-run when he happens upon Katy again still living with the great-aunt.
Conflicted by her Confederate support and her admiration and awe of Logan, she feeds and clothes him, right under the nose of Confederates. In an intimate encounter, Logan does not hear Aunt Peggy arrive with Confederate soldiers. Katy begs for his life; hes sent to Andersonville instead of the wrong end of a hangmans rope.
Andersonville was even more harrowing than Libby Prison; conditions were so bad that Logan became confused and then his memory for three years. Through a quirk of fate, Logan read a New York newspaper and began to remember.
It is now seven years after the close of the war when Logan again sees Katy. Shes a much-heralded actress with lots of potential suitors. Logan decides to get revenge on the woman who had betrayed him twice.
The next chapters outline Logans pursuit of his goal to bring down Katy (from her pinnacle of success). This book is an absolute page-turner. However, these characters take leave of their senses when they (re) meet in New York City. These two intensely-interesting characters suddenly start making stupid choices.
I couldnt give the book less than 4 stars because the plot and its telling were wonderful. However, the life of the book dropped a notch once the 2 main characters met again.
In 1863, Mary Catherine McCleary (Katy) is a southern belle with firm roots to the Confederacy. In 1863, Katy is only thirteen, but the ugliness of war and a loathsome stepfather have stripped away her childhood innocence.
Logan Marshall is the son of a wealthy, powerful family from New York City. He is very handsome, very young, and to Katy McCleary he is her champion! But Logan Marshall is from the north and the Civil War rages. As a solid, southern daughter, Katy unwillingly sells Logan out and her trickery delivers him to Andersonville and to hell!
In 1872, Mary Catherine McCleary is the famous stage actress -- Katy Dakota. Logan Marshall is the publisher of a powerful newspaper - the New York Chronicle. Katy and Logan meet again. The years have passed, but nothing is forgotten, and revenge can be so sweet.