Autumn 1917- Carl O’Neill is on the run from the Army and himself. Returned from Europe on recuperative leave, he’d rather die than go back to the trenches. He assumes a dead man’s name and leaves his home and family behind him, only to be dumped off the train in the small prairie town of Mackenzie, Saskatchewan. Seriously ill and stranded, Carl has no choice but to confront the demons that drive him – and his growing feelings for the former Red Cross nurse who saves his life.

Naomi Franklin is no stranger to secrets and personal demons. Struggling with the trauma of rape and her experiences in a front-line field hospital, Naomi can’t bear to close the eyes of another young man whose life has ended far too soon. She’ll nurse the stranger who lands on her father’s doorstep and then send him on his way. But looking into Carl’s blue eyes makes her feel like a woman again, while the all-too-familiar shadows behind them touch her heart. When both their lives come crashing down around them, can Carl and Naomi overcome secrets and lies to find each other again?

RHL Classifications:

Early 20th Century (Canada 1917)

Historical Romance

Heat Level 2

Rating: 5stars/ Top Pick


I’m so glad I had the opportunity to read this wonderful book. This author brings to life the effects of war on both men and women. The story starts when Carl O’Neill ends up in Mackenzie, Saskatchewan at death’s door. Naomi Franklin accepts him at her father’s house, since he’s the local doctor in the town. Her father is out delivering a baby, so Naomi, a nurse who’s recently returned from war torn Europe, takes care of him, and she’s immediately drawn to him.

Carl is on the run. He’s AWOL and has no intention of going back, since he knows he cannot go overseas again. He tells Naomi his name is Ben, along with numerous other lies, and the guilt is eating him alive. Carl fights his growing attraction to Naomi, but neither of them can resist it. After telling Naomi all his secrets, they share a passion-filled night, but Carl leaves the next morning, because he doesn’t feel he is the right man for Naomi.

The rest of the story tells how they overcome their demons to find their way back to each other. I loved this story. From the prairies of western Canada to the east coast of Nova Scotia, this author paints a vivid picture of life during these troubled times. I highly recommend this great book, which is truly a story of Carl’s deliverance.


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