Luke Chandler says he wants nothing more than a quiet life on his land-claim in Dakota Territory. But what he also wants is a partner. The problem is, loving other men in 1881 means a lonely life for a man like Luke. As the son of a butcher from Boston, his desire for a loving domestic relationship seems nothing more than a dream, until one winter night, a snow storm blows a young man to his door in need of shelter. As the winter drags on, bringing with it a slow-burning love, his hopes begin to soar. Along with those hopes, his fears of the reactions of the people in the small town of De Smet grow.
Sam Smith is a romantic, but he also holds a strong family loyalty. He leaves Boston to get away from his parents’ expectations for a while, always knowing he must return at some point. The sweet young man does not anticipate meeting a rugged, honest man like Luke, who is desperate for love while at the same time afraid of the repercussions. The first time Luke holds him in his arms, Sam plans on making Luke his darling man.
In the first chapter, we get to see Luke and his wintery existence in De Smet in the Dakota Territory(now South Dakota) and the author's eye for detail had me immediately hooked. As someone who has lived their entire life in Wisconsin, winter can be grueling, even though I have never experienced the kind of blizzards that were in 1881, it can still be extremely lonely and emotionally exhausting. When the author captured that in one chapter I knew this was a story for me and I was right, Luke and Sam have very little in common and yet their chemistry was palpable. Sam's eagerness to succeed is naive but honest and if anyone can get through Luke's stubbornness and into his heart, Sam is the one to do it. Watching their journey can be heartbreaking at times but also uplifting and if you are as big a historical lover as I am I highly recommend Winter Hearts, even if they aren't your thing but you do love a well written tale, this is one to add to your list.
Fyn Alexander grew up in the UK with a great love of books, libraries, writing and all things literary. Fyn loves writing, being a foster parent, and considers her greatest accomplishments to be her two beautiful daughters, who also love to write.