Harcourt’s Mountain, by Elaine Dodge, is a historic romance set in the old west. Hope Booker arrives at the frontier of British Columbia as a captive, to be sold off as a bride—or prostitute—to the highest bidder. Hope has no memory of how she ended up on the ship, and can only wait to see what Fate has in store for her.
Luke Harcourt isn’t in the market for a bride, but something about Hope’s dress and demeanor calls out to him, and he hands over the requisite one hundred dollars in gold. In exchange, he’s given what’s referred to as a marriage certificate, but what is in reality a bill of sale.
Hope soon learns Luke is a gentleman who won’t force himself on her. She finds herself falling in love with Luke, but doesn’t believe he shares her feelings. Luke knows Hope has been through an ordeal, so he takes it slowly with her, working together each day with her on his land in the mountains, and sleeping in the barn each night. As she begins to feel safe, her memories slowly return…and then her greatest nightmare shows up in person.
Author Elaine Dodge has done a fabulous job of bringing British Columbia of 1867 to life. The settings make a perfect showcase for Hope and Luke as their story unfolds. I felt I was there, watching Luke split logs or Hope work in her vegetable garden. The villains are especially evil, and made me want to push them off a cliff. The secondary characters are fully fleshed out and believable.
You’ll cheer for Hope and Luke as their relationship, tenuous and fragile at first, blooms into love despite all obstacles. Don’t miss this exquisite love story!