Twice Loved by Lori Copeland
Willow Madison is a young woman of faith who knows well that life isn’t always perfect and that sometimes you have to dig deep to find the courage you need to do what must be done. During the war, she and her friends Copper and Audrey repeatedly fought off the Yankees to save their small town of Timber Creek from total destruction. Loss of life and property was great, but now the war is over and with God’s grace it is time to begin again, to try and rebuild. Neither Willow nor any of the others have much left to them, but Willow has always felt a strong responsibility to care for others. When she receives word from her uncle who lives in another town that Silas Sterling, a man thirty years her senior but very wealthy, is looking for a wife, Willow agrees to a courtship. She sees no sin in marrying for financial reasons, but she’d always thought that love would be the basis for her marriage. It wouldn’t be easy, but it was possible to learn to love someone, especially someone like Silas. He is truly a man that any woman would feel blessed with. If he has a fault it is that he is too good, too generous—not at all a man like the stubborn, angry, always frowning Tucker Gray who owns the saw mill, or at least what’s left of it. Tucker and his two cousins had just finished building the mill when it went up in flames in a horrible accident which he claims is Willow’s fault. No one else blames her. It was a mishap totally of his own making and Willow refuses to let him make her feel guilty. Theirs is an ongoing feud of cutting words, caustic looks, and an occasional unsettling moment of kinship. Her head tells her to be responsible and marry Silas so she can care for her ailing uncle and help her friends get back on their feet. Her heart, however, tells her something completely different. Set in 1865 Texas at the end of the Civil War, this is the first in the Belles of Timber Creek series. Readers who like strong-willed female characters who aren’t afraid to match wits with the hero will enjoy this story. The heroine’s dilemma is central and she takes the decision she needs to make very seriously, but the heart of the story is the characters and the way they react to the situations presented. Laced with bits of humor and ending with a satisfying conclusion, Twice Loved is another great book for Copeland fans to add to their collection.