She's come to build a future. He's running from his past.
Patrick O'Connor has seen far too much of the cruel and unforgiving world. Life has beaten him down relentlessly. Out of hope and out of options, he makes the terrifying and desperate decision to return home to the family he has lied to for years, the family he knows will never forgive him.
Widowed and nearly unable to care for her tiny daughter under the weight of extreme poverty, Eliza Porter jumps at the opportunity to leave behind the slums of New York City for the promise of a new life and a new beginning in the frontier town of Hope Springs.
Fate tosses the two of them together more and more often, while the burden of his tightly-held secrets and the ache of her abandoned dreams pull them further and further apart. Clinging to the whispered possibility of something more than the pain life has offered them thus far will require every bit of hope they can find in this peaceful but precarious valley of dreams.
Opposites attract in the earnest sixth historical romance in Eden's Hope Springs series (after Long Journey Home). Gruff, alcoholic Patrick O'Connor, a veteran of the Civil War, has been living in Canada since the war ended, allowing his family to believe that he's dead so that he doesn't have to own up to his alcoholism. When Patrick's mother learns he survived, she sends him a letter calling him home to Hope Springs, Wyo. During his stagecoach trip there, Patrick meets effervescent widow Eliza Porter and her young daughter, Lydia, who are also headed to Hope Springs. Once in town, Eliza finds work as a housekeeper, though she dreams of opening an inn, while Patrick struggles to mend fences with his family. Eliza and Patrick grow close in the confines of the tiny town, bonded in part by the irresistibly adorable Lydia, but in order to embrace a future together, Patrick must be willing to give up alcohol and find a healthier way to cope with war trauma. Eden's fast-paced narration is enhanced by her affable but emotionally scarred protagonists. Readers will be pleased by the tight-knit community and heartfelt emotions of this tender love story.