Sunday, June 14, 2020

A Home in Your Heart (Love in the West #2), by Bess McBride (author), Michelle Babb (narrator)

Bess McBride, May 2020

In 2014, Harriet (Harry) Ferguson is engaged, but seriously doubting that she's made the right choice. It's becoming clear that, in any conflict at all between herself and Tom's mother, his mother is going to win. This isn't a loving son; this is a mama's boy. When they pay a visit to his mother in southeastern Arizona, she becomes more convinced than ever that this engagement is a mistake. Partly to have a few hours to herself, she visits the museum at Fort Huachuca, an army post dating to the 1880s. There she sees, in a diorama, a wax figure of a cavalry officer, handsome and strangely compelling to her.

She touches his face, and falls. Falls through time. She loses consciousness, and when she wakes, she's being shaken awake by the handsome cavalry officer from the diorama.
Lt. Daniel Thorn has been a cavalry officer for two years, and his duties include chasing after Apaches who have stolen Army horses. That's what he and his party were doing, when this strange, and strangely dressed, young woman inexplicably appeared in their camp. Now they have to turn around and get the very odd Miss Ferguson back to the fort and safely into the care of the doctor. She can't explain where she's from, or how she got there, and this amnesia clearly needs proper care.

What follows is a charming, and at times complicated, courtship. Among the complications: At first, Harry quite reasonably assumes this is all just a dream. Daniel is engaged to marry Emily Roberts, a mail-order bride he hasn't even met yet. The doctor, who is unmarried and has his sister as his nurse, also finds Harry attractive and charming. And even if Harry were to tell either of them the truth about where she's from and how she got here--once she believes it herself--how can they possibly believe her? What if they decide she needs to be in the 1880s version of a mental hospital?

Livening things up are Daniel and his retrieval party heading out again and getting captured by the Apaches, and Emily Roberts arriving unexpectedly because the aunt she lived with has died and the house is being sold, so she really had nowhere else to go.

Oh, and there's Daniel's blow to the head and subsequent case of amnesia.

It's a lot of fun. And as suspicious as I normally am of time travel romances, in both this one and the previous one, McBride has done well at making what her out-of-time characters are able to do or adapt to reasonable and plausible. Harry, for instance, is useless in an 1880s kitchen, and has to explain it as perhaps the family she "can't remember" is well-off and has servants. I don't mind suspending  my disbelief. I really love, though, that once you grant time travel, McBride doesn't strain it to the breaking point, and I can just enjoy Harry, Daniel, and their friends.


I received a free copy of this audiobook from the narrator, and am reviewing it voluntarily.

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