SUMMARY: Michigan, 1883
In her darkest hours, is he the man she needs?
Lily Young longs to find her lost sister or will die trying. Heedless of any danger, she searches logging camps and towns, posing as a photographer's assistant. And then she arrives in Harrison, Michigan - and into the sights of Connell McCormick.
Connell is determined to increase the fortune of his lumber-baron father and figures as long as he's living an upright life, that's what matters. But when Lily arrives in town she upends his world, forcing him to confront the truth that dangerous men have gained too much power while good men turns a blind eye.
Vexing but persuasive, Lily soon secures Connell's help, drawing them ever closer to each other. Will standing for what's right cost them both everything?
REVIEW: Lily and her sister Daisy lost their parents and were sent to live in an orphanage. After doing all she could to keep them together, she sends Daisy off to live with a couple while she goes to live with Oren, a photographer, and his wife. Daisy runs away after sending Lily a letter and ends up working in a brothel. In the guise of helping Oren photograph the logging camps and with his help, Lily also looks for Daisy to help free her and others wanting out of prostitution.
All Connell wants to do is increase the number of logs his camps are harvesting and keeping out of the way of the local crime boss and on his dad's good side. But when Lily starts raising eyebrows while searching for her sister, Connell realizes he needs to make a decision - keep doing what he's been doing or help Lily and confront James Carr about his corrupt business dealings and forcing girls into prostitution at his brothels.
This book was only difficult to read because of the subject matter. It was based on real events in the real city of Harrison, Michigan when prostitution was found in all the logging areas. I loved Lily. She was determined to find her sister and rescue her no matter what it took. Along the way, she risked her life numerous times helping other girls escape their life of prostitution and starting "Red Ribbon Societies" in the town to help end the taverns and brothels. Connell finally decides to help Lily and stand up against James Carr when the brothel owner destroys the local newspaper office and almost kills his friend and newspaper owner Stuart. When he does make a stand, he finds that he is not alone as men in his camp along with townspeople are willing to support him.
This was a good book but wouldn't recommend it to anyone under the age of sixteen due to the subject matter (my 11-year old daughter likes to read some of my books but will not be allowed access to this one for a few years).
This book was provided by Litfuse Publicity Group for review without compensation.
Jody Hedlund is the bestselling author of The Doctor's Lady and The Preacher's Bride, which won the 2011 Inspirational Reader's Choice Award and the 2011 Award of Excellence from the Colorado Romance Writers, and was a finalist for Best Debut Novel in the 2011 ACFW Carol Awards. She loves hearing from readers on Facebook and on her blog at JodyHedlund.com.