Elise Neumann is tired of being a poor immigrant in New York City—she is tired of starving daily and tired of being worked to the bone to care for her sisters. When she is presented with the opportunity to travel west in order to secure her future, she reluctantly leaves behind her family so she can provide for them. Along the rails, she reconnects with Thornton Quincy, a man she ran into in the middle of a gang scuffle several months ago in New York. Elise is cautiously thrilled to meet a friend, but she is uncertain why Mr. Quincy is also moving west and what his intentions might be for their friendship. But when someone threatens Elise’s new livelihood and the business of Mr. Quincy, their friendship takes a deadly turn.
What a wonderful start to a new series by a beloved author! I recommend reading the free novella before starting this book as it gives even more background to the characters in this first installment. The time period and events in this novel are very interesting to read about, and I appreciated that the author did not shy away from giving vivid descriptions of the deplorable conditions poor immigrants found themselves in upon arriving to America in the 1850s. The characters face certain difficulties, which make them realistic and relatable. I love the way the romance develops between the two main characters and that it does not feel rushed. I also enjoyed the surprises near the end of the book that were not altogether predictable. I am greatly looking forward to the rest of the series and highly recommend this novel!
I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.