Author: Susanne Dietze
Publisher: Barbour books
First Published: 01 February 2020
Rating: 3 stars
“Maybe God brought us together again to write a better ending to our story. One where we can walk away as friends, or at least do our jobs without arguing every moment.”
I will start by saying that I was given an ARC copy in exchange for an honest review. These opinions are my own. Thank you so much to Barbour Books and NetGalley!
Abigail Bracey arrives in Nebraska in January 1888 to teach school…and to execute a task for the government: to identify a student as the hidden son of a murderous counterfeiter—the man who killed her father.
Agent Dashiell Lassiter doesn’t want his childhood sweetheart Abby on this dangerous job, especially when he learns the counterfeiter is now searching for his son, too, and he’ll destroy anyone in his way. Now Dash must follow Abby to Nebraska to protect her…if she’ll let him within two feet of her. She’s still angry he didn’t fight to marry her six years ago, and he never told her the real reason he left her.
All Dash wants is to protect Abby, but when a horrifying blizzard sweeps over them, can Abby and Dash set aside the pain from their pasts and work together to catch a counterfeiter and protect his son—if they survive the storm?
This was the first book I’ve read of The Daughters of the Mayflower series and I enjoyed it. I didn’t feel lost so I think these books can be read as a standalone. Childhood sweethearts, Abigail Bracey and Agent Dashiell Lassiter are thrown back together on a mission to find the son of the infamous counterfeiter, The Artist.
Abigail is fixated on the death of her father. His death caused a change in her fortune, which has left her an outcast to society. Her only driving factor is finding her father’s killer. She’s also bitter about Dashiell’s sudden departure six years earlier. She has lost her faith and it was interesting to see her struggle with that. Also, she keeps people at a polite distance, worried that they will turn their backs on her once they find out the truth about her family.
Dashiell is a total sweetheart and little wounded. He left Abigail because all he wants to do is protect her even if that’s from himself. Dashiell’s father was a servant to Abigail’s household, which is how the pair met. He struggles with his ability to read and write. He believes that he’s not good enough for her and that she deserves better.
The romance is a slow burn. The pair are brought back together six years after Dashiell’s departure when Abigail is recruited to help located The Artist’s son. They have a lot to work through — Abigail has her hurt and anger of Dashiell’s rejection where has to overcome this notion that he isn’t good enough for her.
The pacing is a little off. Once the pair start to reconnect and try to navigate their relationship the mystery element dropped off. I was able to guess which of the three kids was The Artist’s son, and that’s because Abigail doesn’t entrain the idea of the other to kids. She’s quick to make up her mind, which makes the reveal of who The Artist was a little underwhelming.
1888’s Nebraska leaps off the page. Every detail felt authentic to the period. You can tell Susanne Dietze has done her research. It was a great snapshot of what rural life was like for people. Also, it was interesting to learn about counterfeiting and the tools and process of creating money.
While this is a Christian fiction book, for me the religious overtones were a bit much. I found it pulled me out of the story. But for the time period and the characters, Dashiell, in particular, it makes sense. These are religious people so they would think of God and pray to him for guidance. I just wish there was less of it.
I did enjoy this one. Abigail and Dashiell’s romance was sweet and perfect for a Hallmark movie. I wished the mystery side of things were more developed.