Quick Reference: On a scale of 1-5 regarding the Christian preaching/lecturing, this is a good 3. More overt than the first book, but also more realistic and immersive in the characters' lives. No praying over petty, superficial things.
Highly addictive read. I stayed up way past my bedtime both nights I read this book. Emily and Carter had great chemistry from the beginning. I think I am a little biased because I have a thing for baseball players/stories.
The story takes place in 1901, six years after book one. Emily is a suffragette summering on Lake Manawa with her grandmother and elderly aunts while her parents travel the world and her brother stays in town to run the family company. Carter is summering on Lake Manawa and playing minor-league baseball before deciding if he is going into the family business or make his own way into the world. Equally, I felt affection for each of these characters, and when they meet again (they were high school peers, but not romantically paired back then), sparks fly. I so enjoyed the romance and catching up with Trip and Marguerite from book one. It made sense to have the first couple in this book, as Emily and Marguerite were friends. It made sense to have Lilly (Marguerite's former maid and dear friend of both her and Emily) in the story as well, without it feeling like sequel bait; rather, it felt cohesive story telling.
The plot was character-driven, but just as intense as in book one. There were a few plotlines to follow, but they were wrapped up neatly by the end of the book. Emily and Carter actually had conversations after disagreements, avoiding the Big Misunderstanding plot trope. And there was a villain, but not moustache-twirling kind like in book one.
It took a lot of self-discipline for me not to jump into book three (the last in the series), but I am saving that for August. I have grown to really love the world the author built into the series. 4 stars.