Allie Pleiter wrote another wonderful, engaging historical romance that was also a page turner. Ms. Pleiter takes readers to some of the hardest times in American history and delivers inspiring, loving stories - she has such a gift.
The book begins 3 months after the April 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire that destroyed the growing port city. Nora is the daughter of the post master; her well to do family lost their home in the disaster as well as Nora's cousin Annette. Nora and her parents are living in her grieving aunt and uncle's house in a different part of the city. I had no sympathy for any of Nora's family; snobbish, weak assholes all of them. But Nora (and to a smaller extent, the memory of Annette) was already becoming a modern, independent woman. Living in the aftermath of the disaster only sped up the maturing process.
Quinn found a locket in the rubble of the city and fixed it up with the intention of finding the owner of the locket and giving it back. The locket held a picture of Nora and Annette, so Quinn identified Nora via her picture; it was Nora's gift to Annette for her cousin's birthday and the last remaining piece of Annette. The cute meet was what sucked me in the story, and I rooted for Quinn and Nora from that moment. Their love story is one of overcoming class differences and keeping the faith that in the worst of times, one needs hope and joy wherever they can find it. Quinn and Nora do so much good work for the people of the "unofficial" camp (aka the shanty town that sheltered the poor people of the city) and through their good work grew a strong bond and eventually love.
Reverend Baurs was a delight to read and his manipulations (all for the glory of God and to help the disaster's poor refugees) made him seem more like an impish angel than a stuffed shirt. Baurs had skills no ordinary pastor should have, but those skills came in handy when disaster strikes. I don't think Major Simon was a true villain, but I also wouldn't want to read about him as a hero in another book - he is too untrustworthy after reading this book.
Overall, an exciting and great romance.