5 out of 5 stars
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Set in the 1800s, Guilty of Stealing His Heart by Nancy Lynn White tells the story of Carrie. She was left at an orphanage by her parents at a young age. Ruth, another girl at the orphanage, took Carrie under her wing, and the two became close friends. Later in life, Carrie married a banker. Shortly after their wedding, he was accused of, and confessed to, robbing his bank and murdering a Pinkerton agent. Carrie, now stripped of her new identity, decided to move with Ruth to California and start a new life. Carrie always wanted to be a mother, so she adopted a few children and sent Ruth ahead with them while she worked her way to California. Along the way, she ended up traveling with a young boy, Billy, and a man, JT, who was, unbeknownst to her, another Pinkerton agent trying to learn if she was a part of her husband's crimes. Will Carrie make it to California? Will she have the family she always dreamed of?
While this book is labeled as a romance, it is also a historical fiction novel. The setting details and societal struggles of the period played a large part in the novel. For example, Ruth, being an African-American, faced the additional danger of moving because, if she lost her papers, she could have been arrested for kidnapping Carrie's adopted children. The whole journey to California was also deeply rooted in the time period, and I enjoyed seeing how the setting added so deeply to the characters and their struggles.
Of all the characters, I found myself most attached to Billy. He did not have the best manners, which Carrie found to be unacceptable. It was humorous to see the two interact as Carrie attempted to teach the boy not to swear and to act like a proper member of society. I laughed as Billy referred to JT as "the chaperone," which was a running gag throughout the book. His character added a lot of humor to the novel.
I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars. There was nothing I disliked about the book. It would appeal to fans of historical fiction and romance. The characters and plot are compelling and take you on a wild adventure into the 1800s. It was truly a pleasure to read this book, and I would be delighted to read more works by this author!
Guilty of Stealing His Heart
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