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Reviewed by Lila Davis for Readers' Favorite
Catherine Barrett arrives in Virginia as a foreigner to her closest kin and secretly engaged to the one man her grandmother would frown upon — her seafaring grandfather’s apprentice Nathaniel. Add to her troubles the rich and intriguing older brother of her secret betrothed, Dawson Randolph, a plantation owner who is as unfeeling as he is handsome. Heartbroken when Nathaniel sets sail on a voyage for several months, Catherine finds it difficult to adjust to her new life, torn between her grandmother's overbearing rules about being a lady as well as how she should act and dress. She is tormented by the memory of the life she once lived free of old society rules. She befriends the one man who is, undeniably, the match her grandparents wish for. Dawson’s revulsion for her secret engagement to his brother makes it clear he has no intentions for marriage to anyone, especially Catherine. Ten years since the tragic loss of his young wife and infant son, Dawson Randolph is certain love and marriage is a disaster and resents being privy to his brother’s hidden engagement. Dawson is confused by his instant attraction towards as well as his growing desire for Catherine but vows to look after her against his better judgment. Dawson puts aside his animosity to become her confidant, only to realize Catherine holds the key to his heart. When tragedy strikes at sea, Catherine’s guilt pushes her in to madness and it consumes her. Dawson makes the decision to look out for her no matter what, based on his own experience with grief.
It is a great book making the readers seek answers to questions such as the following: Will Dawson’s love save Catherine before her madness turns into insanity? Or is he doomed to love her from afar. Will they both realize that their love overrides the love they once had for their lost loves? I enjoyed this book so much that I had a hard time putting it down. It is a wonderful page turner and I can’t wait to read more of Taryn Raye’s books.