How easily can an open heart unlock the door to happily-ever-after?
When Miss Quinn Cooper arrives in Emerson Pass, Colorado, her entire life is packed into one small suitcase. Her family is depending upon her for their survival back home in Boston, and the self-appointed mayor of the rugged mountain community is counting on Miss Cooper to prove herself a fitting teacher for the entire town.
Lord Alexander Barnes is determined to bring a bit of English civility to the wild terrain of Emerson Pass. Using his own resources, the widower and father of five builds a schoolhouse and recruits a young teacher from the east, and all is well until necessity forces the lovely, young newcomer to also take a room in the Barnes’ home.
While the five Barnes children are sure the new schoolmarm is the perfect woman for their lonely father, and the duo have been forced together by every possible circumstance, the threat of violence upon the untamed town makes any hope of a budding romance seem unwise. But as Lord Barnes and Miss Cooper persist in their efforts to bring progress to the closed-minded locals, their own hearts may be unable to resist the chance to experience something as fresh and exhilarating as the unsettled mountain territory.
The first installment of USA Today bestselling author Tess Thompson's historical romance series brings a touch of whimsy and an extra dash of mystery to Edwardian romance. Readers will fall in love with the courageous Miss Cooper and swoon for the magnanimous English Lord as they struggle to save their exciting new world at the turn of the 20th Century.
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I usually stay away from historical romance because it just is not my thing. But if it's a book by Tess Thompson. I'm always willing to give it a shot. And I'm so glad I picked up this one. It's a magical blend of nostalgia and romance that makes for a beautiful story that I didn't want to end.
I love Quinn because although she is a school teacher in the late 1800s, she is still forward-thinking and feisty enough to keep people on their toes. She has a unique insight into people plus a large loving heart. In fact, everyone loves her on one level or another. In some ways, I was reminded of Laura's teaching days in Little House on the Prairie.
Alexander had a rough first marriage, though it provided him with five beautiful children. He also has a heart of gold and believes in equality, plus is brilliant. His teasing nature is so appealing, as is his devotion to his children. I had visions of Captain von Trapp with his charm, only somehow more modern, even though this story takes place some 50 years earlier. I found myself crushing on him a bit. And dare I say a little bit of Mr. Rochester and Jane Eyre?
The children are a little impish, as one would expect, but each with endearing qualities that makes each of them lovable. I'm not sure which one is my favorite, because they are all wonderful. They gave me some Mary Poppins moments.
Emerson Pass is not without its problems and they have many obstacles to overcome. I loved reading about how they worked together to protect the inhabitants of the town. And the trademark Tess Thompson romance angle leaves you feeling all warm and fuzzy as usual. A solid 4.5 stars from me.
I'm looking forward to reading through this series. It's going to be unique, alternating between the old town and the modern inhabitants. But based on this first one, I have a feeling it's going to be another good one.
Thank you to the author and publisher for fulfilling my review request for this novel. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Find more of Tess Thompson's books on Amazon here.