Back cover copy for Amanda Cabot’s recent release Summer of Promise:
Though she had planned to spend the summer in Vermont, Abigail Harding cannot dismiss her concerns over her older sister. Charlotte’s letters have been uncharacteristically melancholy, and her claims that nothing is wrong ring false, so Abigail heads west to Fort Laramie, Wyoming. When her stagecoach is attacked, Wyoming promises to be anything but boring. Luckily, the heroics of another passenger, Lieutenant Ethan Bowles, save the day.
Abigail plans to marry when she returns to Vermont, just as soon as she attends to her sister. As the summer passes, she finds herself drawn to this rugged land and to a certain soldier determined to persuade her to stay. When summer ends, will she go back East, or will she find her heart’s true home?
I’ve enjoyed previous books by Amanda Cabot and jumped at the chance to read and review this one. (See my review of Tomorrow’s Garden here.) Summer of Promise is the first novel in her new Westward Winds series, and it sets the bar high.
“Boring” is Abigail’s initial word for Wyoming. She’s impulsive and a bit of a meddler, though her actions stem from a desire to help. It isn’t until she develops a personal stake in her surroundings that she comes to realize what boring really means.
Ethan is driven to distance himself from his grandfather and everything the older man finds worthy—including marriage for economic advantage. He also struggles against his feelings for Abigail, a woman who will soon return east to an “almost” engagement.
I enjoyed these characters—Abigail’s courage and concern for those around her, and Ethan’s strength of purpose and vulnerability. I really enjoyed how their romance begins as friendship and becomes something deeper. Then, the author adds a precocious puppy and what can you do but sigh?
As usual in an Amanda Cabot novel, there is an underlying mystery that puts the main characters in a bit of danger—a plot right up my alley. She threw in just enough doubt about the antagonist that I wasn’t absolutely sure of the identity until it was revealed.
The setting for this book is Fort Laramie, Wyoming, where we are given a little insight into life on a western army fort in the mid-1880’s—the remoteness and hardships, as well as the social life.
I don’t know who the heroines in the remaining two books of the trilogy will be, but I have strong suspicions. Regardless, after reading Summer of Promise, I’ll be right there to read their stories.
Disclosure of Material Connection: This book came to me free from Barbour with the hope that I would mention it on this blog. There was no requirement for me to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.