In 1839 Tucker Mills, Mass., indentured servant Reese Thackery hopes for a release from her contract when her hard-drinking master passes away. But the remainder of her contract belongs to the bank. Reese seeks comfort in the Lord and her friends. Then Conner Kingsley, a member of the wealthy family that owns the bank, comes to town to audit the bank books.

Reese is nearly six feet tall and has fended off her former master more than once, but she would have no chance against the giant of a man who now employs her to keep his house. She does her work in fear and trembling, not sure if she should trust Conner's soft-spoken ways and apparent kindness. Conner would like to court Reese, but he fears she'll never trust him.

Wick supplies moments of interest and intrigue in her rambling style. The plot slumps on occasion, and the showing-rather-than-telling, omniscient viewpoint holds the reader at arm's length from the characters. (Jul., 300 pp., $11.99)
Reviewed by: 
Jill Elizabeth Nelson