My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it
No matter how hard she tries to help, Rebekah Cummings always ends up causing more problems than she solves. This time, though, things will be different. She'll find a way to pay her family's debts, even if doing so requires leaving Eagle Harbor. Maybe then they'll start treating her as a capable woman who makes her own choices.
Gilbert Sinclair is going to marry an heiress. With his latest business venture sunk at the bottom of Lake Superior, he needs money to replace the steamship he lost, so he heads to Chicago where his father's business connections should land him a suitable wife. Like most things in his meticulously planned life, everything goes as expected—until he discovers Rebekah Cummings working as the new cook on his ship.
Rebekah well remembers the pain she endured the last time she tried trusting Gilbert, and Gilbert can't afford to pursue the love of a working class woman. But they can't stop the forgotten feelings swirling between them—or ignore the sacrifices they'd both have to make for a future together.
We get to know Rebekah and Gilbert in the previous books in the Eagle Harbor series, and they are both difficult characters. I couldn't wait to see how their story would be told. After some humbling experiences in the previous book, Gilbert is forced to reevaluate his strategy on accomplishing his goal of building the crane he engineered. From an outside perspective, he seems selfishly bent on making this business venture successful at all costs, but as we learn about his real motivations his true character is revealed.
Rebekah is a strong young woman, stubborn and desperate to prove to her family that she can contribute beyond what the norm is for women of the time. Even though she acts hardened and tough, she is still naive about many things. Her eyes are opened to more harshness and cruelty on her journey, yet her compassion makes a difference in the lives of those she reaches out to.
The overall mood of the book is anxious since there is so much injustice in the lives of the characters, but the fighting spirits of Gilbert and Rebekah propel the story forward. The attraction between them is something they also fight against, but as they learn to turn to the Lord to direct their paths, they find that they are being led toward each other instead of apart. I was happy to see how things came together in the end, and already can't wait to read the next book!
This is the third book in the Eagle Harbor Series, but it can be read as a stand-alone. However, we get to know the main characters and families in the previous books so I think they are best enjoyed being read in order.
My reviews of Love's Unfading Light (book 1) and Love's Every Whisper (book 2)
(Thank you to the author for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)