HOME BY MORNING – Kaki Warner
Heroes of Heartbreak Creek , Book 3
Berkley Sensation
ISBN: 978-0-425-26328-0
July 2015
American Historical Romance

Indiana and the Colorado Territory in 1871 and ‘72

Prudence Lincoln's early history could be said to have been privileged, considering the times. Though her mother was a slave, her white plantation owner father acknowledged her as his and brought her up the same as his legitimate daughter, Edwina. Though her father's wife hated Pru, the two girls grew up as sisters and love each other to this day. When they were left orphaned and impoverished after the War Between the States, Edwina saw only one way to take care of them. She answered an advertisement for a wife put out by a rancher in the West. They traveled by railroad to Heartbreak Creek, a small dying town in Colorado Territory. But that story is told in Ms. Warner's first book in her Runaway Brides series. It's now over a year later, and much has happened. Prudence has found a goal in life. As an educated colored woman who was raised in luxury compared to former slaves, she feels she has much to offer. She's teachingin Indiana at The Friends School for the Betterment of People of Color. To do so, she has left behind people she's come to love in Heartbreak Creek, including one special person who once rescued her from an abductor. Leaving Thomas Redstone was hard, but Prudence feels she has a mission to fulfill.

Thomas Redstone is a former Cheyenne Dog Soldier, but his way of life, like so many of the Indian tribes, has been disrupted by displacement. Treaties were broken and many were moved onto reservations, but Thomas is a strong man and will choose his own way. His grandfather was a white man, and Thomas chooses for now to trade his moccasins for shoes and come to terms with the way things are. He fits into the Heartbreak Creek community and even saves one of its women from an evil Arapaho renegade. He's convinced that Prudence Lincoln is his woman and believed she felt the same. But she left him.

While Pru follows her dream, she becomes involved with an ambitious white man who wishes to use her ideas for educating former slaves to further his political careerand line his pockets. He can be ruthless.

This series and the earlier one are rich in intriguing plotlines and complex characters. Familiar ones are carried over from previous books and new ones added as the stories continue…including a precocious little girl who adopts Thomas as her daddy.

If you've been reading the Runaway Brides and Heroes of Heartbreak Creek books all along, HOME BY MORNING wraps things up nicely, but can stand alone. However, if you haven't had the pleasure, I highly recommend you find as many as you can to read. Kaki Warner is a terrific writer!

Jane Bowers