Recently widowed Annalisa Werner has the feeling her husband was murdered but can’t prove it. Alone with her young daughter in 1881 Michigan, she has six months left to finish raising the money needed to pay back the land contract her husband purchased, and the land is difficult to toil by herself. She needs a husband. With unmarried men scarce, her father sends a letter to his brother in the Old Country, asking him to find Annalisa a groom.
For nobleman Carl von Reichart, the blade of the guillotine is his fate. He’s been accused and convicted of a serious crime he didn’t commit, and his only escape is to flee to a small German community in Michigan where he’ll be safe. He secures a job on Annalisa’s farm but bumbles through learning about farming and manual labor.
Annalisa senses that Carl is harboring a secret about his past, yet she finds herself drawn to him anyway. He’s gentle, kind, and romantic–unlike any of the men she’s ever known. He begins to restore her faith in the ability to love–but her true groom is still on his way. And time is running out on them all.
Let me just begin by saying that Ms. Hedlund has some of the best premises. A mail-order groom? Sounds odd, but totally works in this novel (though its a bit more complicated than that). Also, I love the way the author throws herself into the story. The story reads as though its realistic, never once, was I jarred by anything in the novel and Annalisa read like a woman of her times. Her development throughout the book made complete sense and I did not find her to be annoying in any way. Carl, though, was probably my favorite. What a hero. He’s funny, he’s kind,and even though there is a bit of deception going on in this book, I never felt let down by his character. The story is not complex, but the romance was lovely and worth every page. Spiritually, Annalisa has to come to the recognition that she is important to God, he hasn’t forgotten her. Great read. Recommended!
**I received this novel courtesy of Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in any way.**