"Summer of Promise" is book 1 in Amanda Cabot's latest series, Westward Winds. We begin the book by joining Abigail Harding on a stagecoach on her way to visit her sister in June 1885 at an Army fort in Wyoming. Abigail is on summer break from her teaching position at a school in Vermont and she is concerned about her older sister Charlotte as her last few letters have left her concerned. Abigail's trip is eventful as the stagecoach is held up and they are able to continue on unharmed thanks to Lieutenant Bowles who is traveling on the coach as well. When Abigail arrives at the fort, her concerns about Charlotte are confirmed as she has been experiencing morning sickness, but also her marriage to Jeffrey is not as good as she would like everyone to believe. What is supposed to be only a short-term visit is slowly turning into a longer visit as Abigial feels her sister needs her, but that is not all that is keeping her there. Abigail finds herself drawn to Lieutenant Bowles, Ethan, as he has become a part of her every day life and she has feelings about Ethan that she has never experienced towards Woodrow, the man she is soon to be promised to and who is waiting for her in Vermont. Mystery surrounds the stagecoach robberies that continue to occur, Jeffrey's absences from the home at night, Charlotte's health issues, and Abigail's desire to help those around her keep her in Wyoming and wishing for home in Vermont less and less.
This is an excellent book! I cannot wait for the next book in the series to come out as I felt as if the end was a little abrupt and while loose ends were tied up, there are still things left unanswered as well. There is so much to this story as Abigail and Ethan must deal with things in their lives and Jeffrey and Charlotte both have struggles within their marriage and personal as well. The minor characters add so much to the story and I hope that Oliver, Leah and Dietrich are a part of the next book as well. This is a great historical fiction book filled with details of the time period, romance and suspence.
“Available January 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”