Twenty-year-old Landra Andrews is as brazen and unique as her first name. Although educated and well-connected, she is trapped by a dark secret from her past. She fears the rest of her life will be decidedly prosaic, until a dashing young man inherits a neighboring farm and sweeps her off her feet.
William Cavendish is a second son from an old Southern family. A gentleman in conduct and an artist at heart, he has sown his wild oats in the years he spent abroad and is ready to settle down. He is taken with well-spoken, headstrong Landra from their first meeting, and his heart for her only grows.
William seems to be everything Landra has dreamed of but never dared to believe she could have—handsome, kind, and well-bred—but when they are wed, she soon finds herself in all-too-familiar surroundings, toiling once more against land that won’t yield. Her restless spirit and iron will rebel against her discontent, and when a lover from her youth returns, she finds herself torn between two very different men. Will the mistakes of her past destroy her hope for the future?
Uncaged Review: For a debut novel, this author has a lot of potential. She hit a lot of good marks with this book and brought out a realistic time era of a rural Florida in the 1890’s. Struggling farmers who can see harsh winters if the growing season doesn’t yield, or a storm that can destroy a whole years slight incomes, this novel does not set the stage for a higher society, but for the poorer farms on the outskirts.
This story revolves around Landra and her family, and plenty of scandal. When her mother died at a young age, and her drunken father remarrying a waif of a woman, it’s up to Landra and her younger sister Lily to keep the house, the gardens and help to farm the land, getting by on hand-me-downs and rags all of their lives. Landra has no prospects for marriage of her own, having a child out of wedlock and hiding the secret, passing it off as Landra’s stepmother’s child. Until William Cavendish moves in to an old run-down farm neighboring their own. Hardworking and honest, Landra is drawn to him.
I enjoyed the story and there is plenty of scandal in this small rural area, and enough in this book to keep the interest. I didn’t feel like I was reading a debut book at all, the writing and editing is polished, and it flows nicely. Reviewed by Cyrene