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The theme of this book and the previous one is about making peace with the past. Both Roan (from LOVING KATHERINE) and Shay (from this story) need to resolve their issues with the Civil War and their parents, particularly their hard-headed father.
As an inmate of Elmira Prison, Shay still remembers the horrors of the Civil War. He particularly remembers the deathbed request of Carl Pennington to check on his wife and child. After stalling as long as possible, Shay realizes he will never get past the guilt if he doesn't go and help the Widow Pennington.
He finds a woman emotionally-scarred by the sacrifice she made to save her home from fire (as the Union army left the area). Like other southerners, the people left on the farm were struggling to stay alive and in control of their land.
Shay and Jenny are strong and have been tested by their circumstances. Shay promises only that he will stay until the cotton is harvested. Although attracted to each other, Shay has never stayed long in one place.
This story is similar to the previous one in that the hero comes to stay at a farm owned by a woman. The book ends when the hero meets his family again, with the help of the woman he loves. 3.5 stars
1. Loving Katherine (1996) 2. The Seduction of Shay Devereaux (2001)
3. The Marriage Agreement (2004)
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