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Simply fascinating! An exciting foray into the often-misunderstood world of the Appalachian people, albeit many decades ago, These Healing Hills grabs the attention of both romance enthusiasts and history buffs. It was a highly enjoyable read, not just for its beautiful characterization of life on the mountain, but also for its engaging characters and thought-provoking storyline. Books that make you think are the best books of all.
Francine Howard has traveled to to the Appalachian Mountains to serve as a midwife through the Frontier Nursing Service. She wants to be of use, in a place where no one is nagging her to go out and get married. Recovering from a recently broken engagement to a soldier who found a British girl overseas, the last thing Fran is looking for is romance. But while out on call, she finds herself lost, and a handsome mountain man saves the day. Ben Locke, a medic recently returned from the war, feels like he has one foot on the mountain and the other back in the war. Although both know that they come from very different worlds, they are drawn to each other. A mountain boy and a city girl - could their love truly endure in the unforgiving mountains?
Fran and Ben were a delightful couple! They had their squabbles, but I loved how Fran held her ground and Ben knew when saying sorry was the best option. Though their love seemed strong, it was hard to watch as they both fought their attraction. Fran knew that, as a nurse, she was supposed to maintain distance from the people. After all, she was not of their world. Ben knew this too, but though he lashed out at times when she seemed to judge the mountain life, he also couldn't help his desire to see her all the time. As the romance blossomed, I loved them more and more, and I couldn't help seeing the change in Fran. She truly grew to love the mountains, in a way that many of us might have trouble with, considering how different life is there. Wonderful to read about that transformation.
This was my first book by this author, but it most certainly won't be my last! I am eager to read what Ann Gabhart has planned next, no matter the subject. I'm sure it will be a book I will like!
**I received a free copy via NetGalley and this is my honest review.**