Many consider Evangeline Hamilton cursed. Orphaned at a young age and possessing a pair of mismatched eyes–one bright blue, the other dark brown–Eva has fought to find her way in a world that constantly rejects her. Yet the support of even one person can help overcome the world’s judgments, and Eva has two–Seth and Zach, two former orphans she now counts as brothers.
Seeking justice against the man who stole his birthright and destroyed his family, Logan Fowler arrives in 1880s Pecan Gap, Texas, to confront Zach Hamilton, the hardened criminal responsible for his father’s death. Only instead of finding a solitary ruthless gambler, he discovers a man not much older than himself with an unusual family. When Zach’s sister, Evangeline, insists on dousing Logan with sunshine every time their paths cross, Logan finds his quest completely derailed. Who is truly responsible for his lost legacy, and will restoring the past satisfy if it means forfeiting a future with Evangeline?
This novel has what is probably the saddest start to a Whitemeyer novel i’ve read yet. It drags you in and wrenches your heart at the pain these children suffer, and oh, does it make you care about them.
But thankfully the story doesn’t stay sad. Within a chapter or so, Witemeyer begins weaving a healthy dose of her trademark humor into the story. The scene involving Logan and the “wild boar” is pure gold.
Both Logan and Evie are great characters. Logan’s pain is palpable as he fights to try and right a grievous wrong that wrecked his family – yet struggles painfully with the concepts of justice vs. revenge. Especially once he finds out that the man he wants to take down is not the kind of man he thought – and going through with his plan might just destroy his budding relationship with the girl he’s coming to love.
Evie is an incredibly sweet, quirky, and loving girl. She’s a bit too naive for some, and a bit too odd of everyone else. That girl has suffered so much tragedy and heartache, and still suffers the fear and disgust of most of the town for her strange eyes, but she has never let her pain turn to bitterness. She’s a gentle soul that wants to help everyone whether they want it or not sometimes – particularly her grumpy new neighbor Logan.
I totally loved the makeshift Hamilton family – and Zach in particular. The grumpy, loyal, and slightly mysterious big brother who made a lot of bad choices for a lot of good reasons. You feel so bad for him as he watches the family he cares for grow up and move on, leaving him behind in a way. I really hope to see more of him in a future book.
I adored this book. A little bit of mystery, a little touch of action, and a sweet romance with a health dose of good humor. Witemeyer brings all her characters to life on the pages. The main theme of this book is forgiveness and the subtle differences between revenge and justice – and how easy it can be to confuse the two.
Witemeyer weaves her lessons with a skilled and gentle touch. The romance is clean and sweet, and filled with feeling. All of the characters choices are understandable and realistic. you’ll laugh, you’ll sigh, you just might cry.
Don’t know about everyone else, but I’m dying to read the sequel – there is a sequel, right?
My Rating: Five Flames
Happy Reading y’all!