A heartwarming tale of two people who are thrust into parenthood and find love unexpectedly! I enjoyed the pacing of this story a lot, as it fit well with the time period and the delicate subjects mentioned. Had it moved too quickly, the message would have been lost and the characters would not have been appreciated as much. There was some action, but for the most part the focus was on the small town politics, the devastating consequences of infertility in the early 1900s, and the loss of parents for young children. Fascinating subjects and, when told within a Christian context, lots of lessons to be learned.
Rebecca Hoyt is a spinster schoolteacher, almost thirty years of age and hungering for a life she doesn't think is possible. When her best friend is killed along with her husband, their three children are suddenly in Rebecca's care. While her own infertility makes her long for children of her own, the loss is too much to bear alone. The children's uncle, Jesse Rand, is their official guardian, and upon arriving, he finds his hands full and struggling to understand his new role as a father. As Rebecca and Jesse navigate these new waters and become closer as a result, they realize that what God has planned for them may be bigger and better than they had ever hoped.
There was a backstory with Rebecca that was definitely evident in this book, since it is the third in the series. While not entirely explained, it's implied that she had a big personality overhaul, and although she hurt people in the past of selfishness and envy, she turned over a new leaf and now wanted a fresh start with the town. Being the sole teacher, she had a lot of interaction with children, which I imagine was both a joy and a heartache for her. Her strength was very inspiring for me to witness, and I felt her character really shone in this story. Unfortunately, Jesse was a more difficult character to admire. While he had the right intentions and approached his new role as a parent with warmth and generosity, he also was very immature in a lot of his actions. I felt that he was so consumed with keeping his job in Chicago that he forgot that his responsibility to the children came first. It took divine intervention, really, for him to see that he needed to be a father to them and begin putting them ahead of his own ambitions. Thankfully Rebecca was a good contrast to his character, and their growth together as a couple was solid.
There were a lot of great topics in this book that make for a very interesting read! Recommended for anyone who enjoys variety in their romance books.