Aven Norgaard understands courage. Orphaned within an Irish workhouse, then widowed at just nineteen, she voyaged to America where she was wooed and wed by Thor Norgaard, a Deaf man in rural Appalachia. That the Lord saw her along the winding journey and that Aven now carries Thor’s child are blessings beyond measure. Yet while Thor holds her heart, it is his younger brother and rival who haunts her memories. Haakon—whose selfish choices shattered her trust in him.
Having fled the farm after trying to take Aven as his own, Haakon sails on the North Atlantic ice trade where his soul is plagued with regrets that distance cannot heal. Not even the beautiful Norwegian woman he’s pursued can ease the torment. When the winds bear him home after four years away, Haakon finds the family on the brink of tragedy. A decades-old feud with the neighboring farm has wrenched them into the fiercest confrontation on Blackbird Mountain since the Civil War. Haakon’s cunning and strength hold the power to seal many fates, including Thor’s which is already at stake through a grave illness brought to him as the first prick of warfare.
Now Haakon faces the hardest choice of his life. One that shapes a battlefield where pride must be broken enough to be restored, and where a prodigal son may finally know the healing peace of surrender and the boundless gift of forgiveness. And when it comes to the woman he left behind in Norway, he just might discover that while his heart belongs to a daughter of the north, she’s been awaiting him on shores more distant than the land he’s fighting for.
I was eager to return to the world of the Norgaard family and Joanne Bischof’s rich storytelling and I wasn’t disappointed. This story picks up a few years where the first one left off and, though one could probably read this as a standalone and catch up, it would be much better to read the first book as well (the romance in it is definitely worth it!)
Thor and Aven’s relationship is so beautiful and it was even sweeter in this book. There is also a lot of turmoil surrounding the Norgaard family in this book…angry people and someone seeking forgiveness.
Reading Bischof’s stories always transports me to another time and place, I adore her writing style and descriptions, and her characters are people that I wish I really knew.
This is another winner by Joanne Bischof and I highly recommend it!
I received this book from the publisher to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.