Once a privileged son of the South, Hunter Calhoun now stands a widower shadowed by the scandal of his wife's death. Burying himself in his success with breeding Thoroughbred racehorses, he's left his family to crumble and forgotten how to comfort his grieving children.
When a prized stallion arrives from Ireland crazed and unridable, Hunter is forced to seek help for the beast. Removed from the world of wealth and social privilege, Eliza Fylte has inherited her father's famed gift for gentling horses. And when Hunter arrives with his wild steed, her healing spirit reaches further yet, drawing her to his shattered family and to the intense, bitter man who needs her, just as she needs him.
Eliza understands what Hunter refuses to see—that love is the greatest healer of all. But can her kind, humble being manage to teach such an untethered man what truly matters in life?
Setting: 1854 Virginia
Southern plantation owner Hunter Calhoun gambles the success of his Virginia horse farm on an Irish stallion; unfortunately, the animal arrives crazed and unridable after the stormy sea crossing. Desperate, Hunter turns to Eliza Flyte, the horsemaster's daughter, who has inherited her father's gift for gentling horses. Her ability to heal wounded spirits with her compassion and wisdom is amazing, and when Hunter convinces her to leave her isolated island and return home with him, she soon applies that gift to the bitter man and his grieving, motherless children. But what future can a woman raised alone by her father with only the sea, animals, and a few books for companions have with a man who grew up as a rich, upper-class son of the South? It seems unlikely that Eliza could ever fit into Hunter's world and just as unlikely that he would give up his privileged life for her world. It just may take a miracle for these two mismatched lovers to find a way to live happily ever after.
In this novel, centered on the brother of the hero from the bestseller The Charm School, the cynical hero who has nearly given up on life is balanced by a heroine who has enough faith and wisdom for them both. The plot, blessedly free of clichés, is unusual; just when the conclusion seems obvious, Wiggs tosses the reader a curve and with a few deft twists and turns, pulls off a terrific surprise ending. If you're only going to read one historical romance this week, make it this one. You'll be so glad you did. --Lois Faye Dyer