Autumn's Return is the last of the Westward Winds trilogy about the three Harding sisters and their adventures in finding love in the Wyoming Territory during the 1880s.
Each story can be considered a stand-alone, so there's no need to read them in the correct order to enjoy them.
Dr. Elizabeth Harding moves to Cheyenne, Wyoming, to open her medical practice. Jason Nordling, the attorney in the office next to hers, has problems of his own after his defense of a high-profile murderer backfires. When Jason meets Elizabeth, his attitude is the same as that of the other citizensâ€”a woman cannot be a capable doctor.
As the days pass, they grow in admiration for each other, but their contrary opinions prevents them from becoming more than casual friends.
This book captured my attention from the first page and kept me turning pages, anxious to see how everything would turn out. There's mystery and intrigue here too, along with a little of the wildness that made up the wild west. You'll enjoy the twists and turns of their romance.
Thank you to Revell for my free copy of With Autumn's Return, which I received in exchange for an honest review.
One of my favorite things about historical novels is that although they are fiction they are entertaining ways to view life in the past. The growing territories of the 1800's were sometimes challenging places to live and only for the strong of heart, especially for women. Elizabeth Harding had already braved her way through medical school to become a doctor; definitely not an acceptable career choice for women of that time.
She shows even more grit and courage by choosing to join her older sisters and their families in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1887 and set up her first medical practice. Having already weathered the opposition and jeers of her fellow male students, she is undaunted at the task before her and full of hope and expectation. Next to her new clinic is a young lawyer named Jason Nordling, also trying to establish his business. At first they get off on the wrong foot due to his prejudice against female doctors. This doesn't deter Elizabeth's goals at all. Time and circumstances soften both of them and a friendship is forged that quickly turns into romance, surprising them both. Suspense, murder and many surprises enter into the sweet love story.
Living in the 21st century we forget how restrictive and sometimes hard the lives of women were, little alone one that was choosing to blaze a new path. There were many life lessons to be learned from the characters.
Elizabeth's courage not only to follow her dream but also to do what is right despite the opinions of others was inspiring. She chooses to treat a madam of a bordello and her women without caring what others would say. Although she did not agree with their occupation, she did care about them as people. She was not afraid to stand for what was right or for those who were being wronged.
In her I also saw how easy it is to jump to conclusions about people and their motives before knowing the full truth of the matter. I have to give her credit that she recognized her weakness in this area.
Elizabeth and Jason had what they believed to be concrete plans about their future, who they would marry and if they would marry. Their relationship was a reminder that we should never say "never" and need to leave the door open for God's plans.
Gwen, her friend and lady she roomed had a problem that still goes on today but in a greater way; body image and self-worth. I appreciated the way the author proved that this is not the key to being loved and admired by another.
I have not read the other two books of this series and I feel this could be a stand-alone read. The story was well written and a real page turner. I look forward to reading more of Ms. Cabot's books.
I received this book free from Baker Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own
This novel completes the Westward Winds Trilogy that began with Summer of Promise. This story is also set in Cheyenne, Wyoming in the late 1880s. Elizabeth Harding is the focus of this story. Her two sisters, Abigail and Charlotte, were the subjects of the first two books in the series.
Elizabeth Harding has moved to Cheyenne to be near her two sisters. She has graduated from medical school and decided to set up her practice in Cheyenne. The only problem is she has no patients. Old Doc Worland has been bad-mouthing her and Elizabeth thinks that maybe Cheyenne isn't ready for a female doctor. She had thought the city progressive as they gave women the right to vote for one thing. As Elizabeth finally gains her first patient, she continues to face prejudice in her career. Her office is next door to the local attorney, Jason Nordling, who is a handsome bachelor. Does he share most of the city's prejudice too? Elizabeth could really use a friend as her sisters are both traveling and won't be home for months. Is this really what God has in store for her future? Maybe she should go back East and set up her practice there. She really felt this is where God had called her. Was she wrong?
Jason Nordling has just successfully defended his first client in a criminal case and should be riding high. However, as soon as the innocent verdict is read, his client admits his guilt. Jason can't understand how he could have been so deceived. He walks home and stops to meet the new doctor in town, but isn't ready to face the fact that the new doctor is a woman. Soon Jason gets to know Elizabeth better and their friendship develops, but neither thinks it will lead to anything permanent. Elizabeth knows with her profession it would take a special man to marry her and she has come to expect that will never happen. Jason has a pre-formed idea about what kind of wife he wants and it isn't Elizabeth. As they continue to work together through various crises, their admiration for one another grows.
I enjoyed this story and was glad that Gwen and Harrison (from the second book in the series) had their own story brought to a happy ending of their own. I also liked the character of Elizabeth. She was feisty and wouldn't back down from anyone. She had faced a lot of challenges and she was not someone who gave up easily. This story seemed to have more going on than book two in the series. This was a great way to wind up the series.
Elizabeth Harding arrives in Cheyenne, Wyoming, to establish her medical practice thanks to the wooing of her two older sisters who extolled the beauty of the land. She's certain she'll have a line of patients eager for her expertise and gentle bedside manner. However, she soon discovers the town and its older doctor may not welcome a new physician. Even more frustrating, the handsome young attorney next door may not be ready for the idea of a woman doctor. For his part, Jason Nordling has nothing against women, but he's promised himself that the woman he marries will be a full-time mother.
Despite their firm principles, Elizabeth and Jason find that mutual attraction--and disdain from the community--is drawing them ever closer. And when the two find themselves working to save the life and tattered reputation of a local woman, they'll have to decide how far they're willing to go to find justice--and true love.
Elizabeth is written as a very strong character, yet gentle with her patients. I really enjoyed how she didn't care about the gossip or people's opinions and how she put her patients first. Cabot did an excellent job in portraying Elizabeth, and she is a fictional character I can genuinely admire. Taking care of the women from a brothel is not something a doctor from 1887 Wyoming territory would have enjoyed doing, but that Elizabeth was so willing to care for what is seen as the lesser of society, I can't help but admire her in her strong beliefs and faith.
The romance between the Elizabeth and Jason was textbook, but sweet and endearing nonetheless. Again, a woman having a career in this time period was something very uncommon, so one has to see it from that point of view. And we all know that when you put a man and woman on complete opposite sides of anything, sparks will soon fly...
This is a wonderful story, with solid characters, solid plot, and lot's of interesting history. Lovers romance and history alike will enjoy this tale and the previous two books in the series, and I recommend it very highly!
This book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.