Natchez, MS; 1791
Anxious for his brothers to join him on the rugged frontier along the Mississippi River, Connor O’Shea has no choice but to indenture himself as a carpenter in exchange for their passage from Ireland. But when he’s sold to Isabella Bartholomew of Breeze Hill Plantation, Connor fears he’ll repeat past mistakes and vows not to be tempted by the lovely lady.
The responsibilities of running Breeze Hill have fallen on Isabella’s shoulders after her brother was found dead in the swamps along the Natchez Trace and a suspicious fire devastated their crops, almost destroyed their home, and left her father seriously injured. Even with Connor’s help, Isabella fears she’ll lose her family’s plantation. Despite her growing feelings for the handsome Irish carpenter, she seriously considers accepting her wealthy and influential neighbor’s proposal of marriage.
Soon, though, Connor realizes someone is out to eliminate the Bartholomew family. Can he set aside his own feelings to keep Isabella safe?
This is the first in a new series by Pam Hillman. I don’t recall having read anything by her previously.
Mississippi is known for slavery, but it isn’t a black man on the auction block in the opening pages of The Promise of Breeze Hill. Connor O’Shea is white Irish and an indentured servant. Freedom would be nice, but it won’t get him the money he needs to give his brothers a new start in life. The night after Isabella buys him, however, he makes a vicious enemy. A man whose pride has been wounded can be dangerous, especially when he’s in the employ of someone with their own reasons for wanting Connor out of the way.
The historic and foreboding Natchez Trace is central to this new series by Pam Hillman. Breeze Hill is situated alongside and, therefore, there are many scenes set on it. Much of the book, though, is taken up with Connor attempting to resist any romance with Isabella while also keeping her out of danger. He fails at both more than once, but he makes a good impression on her father and a slave at a neighboring plantation. The latter will prove advantageous at a pivotal moment of the narrative. The neighboring plantation families are a mixed bag and their morals contrast sharply with ours, especially where slavery is concerned. There is some violence, mostly against slaves, although there’s also a barroom brawl and an indication of what might face Isabella during one of the times she’s in peril. Overall, The Promise of Breeze Hill was a breeze of a read and I’ll probably read the next in the series if it becomes available to me.
Thank you to Tyndale for my complimentary electronic advance reader copy of The Promise of Breeze Hill, which I downloaded via NetGalley.
Have you read The Promise of Breeze Hill? Do you plan to read it? Let me know your thoughts.
Publication Date: 08 August 2017
Page Count: 416