This is a really good story set in 1880's Denver, Colorado. To me, more than anything, it is a story of forgiveness--not only in the usual sense of forgiving others, but in the sometimes magnanimous effort of forgiving oneself.
There are many interesting social issues that play into the story, which add a richness and depth that keep the reader engaged. The glaring issue is prostitution and lack of opportunity for woman, in which the author gives the reader interesting background information concerning the illegal trafficking of minors over a hundred years ago.
Dessa, the main female character, obviously has a love for God and for her mission in life, but her lack of foresight and navet push her into awkward and sometimes dangerous situations. This propensity seems to bring out the best in her suitors, as they vie for the privilege of not only protecting her, but rescuing her.
This is a very satisfying story. It is good to see many of the characters make positive changes in their lives.
Dessa Caldwell has a dream that she desperately wants to become a reality - to open a house of refuge for former prostitutes in Denver, Colorado. She faces two obstacles; she is a single woman with no connections, and she has no money to open Pierson House on her own. Knowing for a certainty that God wants her to reach out to the city's despised women, her last hope hinges on Hawkins National Bank.
Henry Hawkins is not the friendliest of men. He has a secret past to hide, and making friends is not on his priority list. His vast wealth with his bank comes from three successful raids on Wells Fargo coaches. Now that he has become an honest businessman, he does whatever he has to do to protect his assets - and his heart. But when Dessa comes to him for a loan to launch Pierson House, he is drawn to her compassion for others with no thought of herself. Wary of a man Dessa associates with, Henry is reluctant to grant her the loan, as the man may bring all of Henry's past to light. Can Henry trust God to dictate his future? And can Dessa accept the fact that's God's plans are higher than ours?
Lang makes you feel like you are right there as the action happens. Even though she wields her sword through the power of her pen, she wields it mightily. You feel as if you don't turn that page, if you don't read one more chapter, everything hinges on you knowing just a little bit more. You feel personally invested in the story, as if by reading it, you can somehow change the outcome when the characters are at their lowest. Most books I can pretty much guess the ending, and the journey to that end is enjoyable. But Lang takes you on an adventure that leaves you breathless with excitement and makes that journey to the end riveting and spellbound to the very last page.
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher for free in exchange for an honest review.
I enjoyed this book; I can appreciate Dessa's commitment to the girls held against their will in brothels regardless of what it cost her. I can also understand her tendency to plough ahead without always considering the ramifications of what could happen. I admire someone who takes up a cause and is willing to do all in their power to fight for it and I think that is what Dessa did. It was also fun to watch Mr. Hawkins change as the book progressed and he learned to know Dessa better.
While this is a Christian Historical Romance, this story is more than that. It is about personal and spiritual growth, helping others, and ultimately forgiveness from multiple characters. I really enjoyed the characters and the story line. The setting and premise of Dessa (main character) starting a safe house at the time period of the story was unique. I really enjoyed this and am looking forward to reading more from this author.
From the opening of this story with a stagecoach robbery to the fire burning the safe women's house near the end, this page turning historical novel was a real thriller you won't want to miss!!! What made the robbery so successful it was repeated 3 times? Dessa was desperate when she consulted Mr. Hawkins about providing the loan she needed to open a house for prostitutes to teach them a trade so they didn't have to use their bodies to survive. Wealthy Christian women were providing the funds to meet the mortgage. What forced Henry to give her the mortgage when he thought it unlikely she could make the monthly mortgage fee? Her house was strategically located at the edge of the bad neighborhood loaded with prostitutes. Why didn't the prostitutes rush to escape that life? Why did this scare Dessa? What were two things she did to attract them? What did the bank robber use to make Henry fill a bag with money? Who was Dessa's first person to move in? Why did Henry start to attend church? What did Turk Foster do that offended Henry? Why did Dessa decide not to participate in the benefit arranged by Turk Foster? Whom did Dessa decide to rescue that was extremely dangerous? How was it done? Where were they hidden? Why did Dessa want so much to rescue them? What happened that would destroy Pierson House? What three things did Henry do? If you love mysteries with some love and historical enrichment thrown in, you'll love this book like I did. Put it high on your must read list!!!