Tuesday, 18 July 2017

With You Always by Jody Hedlund

Could Following the Opportunity of a Lifetime Cost Them the Love of Their Lives?
One of the many immigrants struggling to survive in 1850s New York, Elise Neumann knows she must take action to care for her younger sisters. She finds a glimmer of hope when the New York Children's Aid Society starts sending skilled workers to burgeoning towns out west. But the promise of the society's orphan trains is not all that it seems.

Born into elite New York society, Thornton Quincy possesses everything except the ability to step out from his brother's shadow. When their ailing father puts forth a unique challenge to determine who will inherit his railroad-building empire, Thornton finally sees his chance. The conditions to win? Be the first to build a sustainable community along the Illinois Central Railroad and find a suitable wife.

Thrown together against all odds, Elise and Thornton couldn't be from more different worlds. The spark that ignites between them is undeniable, but how can they let it grow when that means forfeiting everything they've been working toward?

Review: I have read quite a few books about the orphan trains that carried children across North American. Often times, these children were not orphans, but children who's families were so destitute they could not afford to feed them. These youngsters were shipped across the continent in hopes that they would find loving homes in the country. However, much like in this book, most of the children found heartache and abuse as people took them in for the free labour they provided. 

In With You Always, a group of siblings looses their parents and they are left alone to fend for themselves. The eldest ones are almost grown, but they are not quite old enough to have a secure enough job to support all their siblings. Elise, the eldest, boards a train in hopes of finding a job, but with no one to look after her younger siblings, things unravel quickly. 

This is a sweet love story that really tugged at my heart strings. Thorton is certainly the dashing hero and Elise the capable but feminine damsel in distress. I'm looking forward to reading the next book to find out what happens to the younger ones....

Thank-you to Graf Martin Communications and to Baker Publishing House for a complimentary copy of this novel. 

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