The story revolves around Lily, an orphan who is on a journey to find her sister, Daisy. The only information she has is that Daisy is a slave of the prostitution industry in the areas where logging is being done. She follows the trail or loggers, and her task continues to get more and more dangerous the closer she gets. She meets Connell, a supervisor of three logging operations, who leads a moral lifestyle himself, but does not see a need to interfere in the choices of other men to frequent taverns and brothels. Lily's opinion is far different -- she wants to do everything she possibly can to eradicate these operations, clean the town up, and make it a place appropriate to raise a family. There is a relationship budding between Lily and Connell, but their opinions are so different that unless one bends, they cannot have a future together.
The plot is well-crafted, moves along at the perfect pace, has the right quantities of drama, romance, and even a small amount of mystery is worked in.
I have a special place in my heart for women and children currently enslaved in the human trafficking industry right now in 2012. Jody Hedlund, perhaps intentionally, created a parallel between the characters in the nineteenth century that were dragged into prostitution against their will and the people today that are oppressed by the sex trafficking industry. In the Author's Note she clarified which examples were true to life, and I was surprised by how similar the experiences of those past women are to the women of today. Sex trafficking is not a new thing, but what it is called changes from time to time.
I can't brag enough about this book. Fortunately for me and many other fans, Jody Hedlund has yet another stunner being released soon. A Noble Groom is available on Amazon.com for pre-order. Until then, be sure to pick up a copy of Unending Devotion.
This was a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an objective review.