cover image Love Discovered

Love Discovered

Tracie Peterson. Bethany House, $17.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-7642-4107-9

Peterson (Knowing You) kicks off her Heart of Cheyenne series with a crackling romance set against the backdrop of a bustling, crime-riddled frontier town. It’s 1867 when 20-year-old Marybeth Kruger’s father dies in a wagon accident, leaving her the sole caretaker of her one-year-old sister, Carrie. To make matters worse, the local pastor pressures Marybeth to let a wealthy couple adopt her baby sister. Marybeth’s friend, kind widower Edward Vogel, proposes a platonic marriage to save Carrie and give her a stable life. The three start afresh in Cheyenne, an “end-of-the-rails” frontier town in Dakota Territory, where their bare-bones life involves sleeping in a tent in frigid temperatures and avoiding a veritable sea of criminals, especially the fearsome brothers Hank and Emory Garlow. As Marybeth and Edward adapt to the town, they yearn for more than a platonic relationship, though trouble—in the form of a run-in with the Garlow brothers that ends in gunfire—threatens to snuff out the pair’s chance at happiness. Peterson adeptly balances a propulsive story line with Marybeth and Edward’s slow-burning romance, which is woven through with deeply felt meditations on letting go of grief and embracing unexpected love. This spirited series launch will whet appetites for the next installment. (Mar.)