But Jeremiah Calhoun is VERY handsome, VERY alive, and VERY perplexed.
Most inconvenient indeed.
With few options of her own, nurse Abigail Stuart agrees to marry her patient, a gravely wounded soldier calling himself Jeremiah Calhoun. They arrange a quick ceremony before he dies, giving Abigail the rights to his Ozark farm and giving Jeremiah the peace of knowing someone will care for his ailing sister after he’s gone – a practical solution for both of them.
After the war, Abigail fulfills her side of the bargain – until the real Jeremiah Calhoun shows up, injured but definitely alive, and wastes no time in challenging Abigail’s story. Abigail is flummoxed. After months of claiming to be his widow, how can she explain that she’s never seen this Jeremiah Calhoun before? How can she convince him that she isn’t trying to steal his farm? And will she find a way to stay, even though this practical arrangement has turned into a most inconvenient marriage?
Review: Abigail has seen the dirty, bloody, in-your-face, make-you-want-to-bawl-your-eyes-out, side of war. She may have joined the civil war nursing staff as an innocent, wide-eyed miss, but she certainly isn’t leaving the war as one. The was has left her stronger in some ways and weaker in others, tougher than most females, braver than most men, and a hard worker than most field oxen… but it has also left her married.
For Abigail, romance has not been close to mind for years. All the young men she’s seen have either been dead or dying, and they all knew that time was to uncertain to risk any sort of relationship. However, an interesting young man manages to draw Abigail into his plea to look after his family. In a rush of crinkled papers and labored last breaths, Abigail marries the kind Jeremiah Calhoun.
When the war finally ends, Abigail makes her way to the Ozarks to take over Jeremiah’s farm and to care for his ailing sister. When she arrives, Abigail is welcomed with open arms from Jeremiah’s sweet mother, bitter tears from his sister, and a dilapidated horse farm. Without wasting a moment, Abigail throws herself into nursing Jeremiah’s sister and working the farm…and slowly, but surely, the farm starts to improve….though his sister not so much.
Then one day, a stranger rides up the road. A stranger claiming to be Jeremiah Calhoun. In an instant, all of Abigail’s credibility is gone and all the people she has won over now look on her with suspicion and mistrust. For her part, Abigail can’t figure out what’s going on. Who did she marry?
This engaging novel winds it’s way through the dangerous mountains of the post-civil war Ozarks and through a twisted web of confused relationships. Friendships and loves from before the war collide with the new relationships of post-war people…people who are very much changed.
I really, really enjoyed this book and certainly recommend it. I’m sure it will put a smile on your face as it did mine.
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