STORY: Lydia King knows what it’s like to be in need, so when she joins the Teaville Moral Society, she genuinely hopes to help the town’s poor. But with her father’s debts increasing by the day and her mother growing sicker by the week, she wonders how long it will be until she ends up in the poor house herself. Her best chance at a financially secure future is to impress the politician courting her, and it certainly doesn’t hurt that the moral society’s president is her suitor’s mother. Her first task as a moral society member—to obtain a donation from Nicholas Lowe, the wealthiest man in town—should be easy . . . except he flat-out refuses.
Despite appearances, Nicholas wants to help others but prefers to do it his own way, keeping his charity private. When Lydia proves persistent, they agree to a bargain, though Nicholas has a few surprises up his sleeve. Neither foresee the harrowing complications that will arise from working together. When town secrets are brought to light, this unlikely pair must decide where their beliefs—and hearts—truly align.
REVIEW: Kansas – 1905
Lydia King’s family wants her to marry Sebastian Little. His father is the Mayor of the town and Sebastian has political ambitions as well. His mother is a harpy and neither parent is keen on Lydia.
Mr. Nicholas (Nick) Lowe is the handsome owner of the sawmill and other businesses in town. He is a private man and widower who lives in a very nice mansion.
Lydia is a member of the Teaville Ladies Moral Society and has arrived at the sawmill to ask Mr. Lowe for his help with the Society. Money is needed for a quilting project to help keep the poor warm through the upcoming winter. When Nick turns her down flat, she is very disappointed. The ladies of the Society want her to try again. Lydia knows that she must be successful to impress Sebastian’s mother, Mrs. Little. Lydia’s mother is sick and weak and wants to stay alive long enough to see her make a good marriage.
When she approaches him again, he refuses but he does lend her some books. As books and reading are her favorite things, he is pleased to see her happy.
Nick is a private man with a big secret. While some may think he doesn’t donate money, the truth is he is quite generous. He has taken in fallen women into his home. They are given work in his house which has helped them turn their lives around and gain self-respect. As there is a lot of prostitution in the town, people would be horrified to find that he has chosen to do this. There is a very good reason for his caring.
As Lydia and Nick get to know one another, he shows her ways of doing charitable acts without hurting the pride of people who receive it. This is quite different from some of the projects that the Society undertake that ends up making them look good.
This was an interesting book but I found it to be overly “preachy.”
Complimentary copy provided by the publisher
Connie for b2b