In 1860s Seattle, lumberjack Joe Denton struggles to hold onto the land he was awarded as part of a Land Donation Grant. Without a wife, the burgeoning city’s law officials threaten to sell off the acreage Joe is desperate to hold onto. The answer to Joe’s prayers arrives in the enviable form of Anna Ivey, fresh off the boat from Boston, but there’s a problem: Anna believes Joe paid her way out to Seattle to be a cook for his lumber camp, and refuses to marry him. It’s up to Joe to change her mind.
This gentle historical romance is incredibly sweet. The characters, specifically Joe and Anna, engage the reader from the first page. There are secondary characters, as well, that add moments of humor while tugging shamelessly at your emotions. Without question you rally behind all of them. Since Anna is new to Seattle, she takes in the scenery with something close to awe, and Gist transfers that same feeling to the reader effortlessly. Mount Rainier! A forest of giant redwoods! The setting is not just a wonderful backdrop, but also a character that pulls you in. If you are interested in the emotional aspect of a romance you will likely devour this one.