The Wild Frontier of British Columbia~
Luke Harcourt travels into town to purchase supplies for his homestead on his mountain. Little does he know at the time of his long trek in that he would return to his cabin with a wife.
Hope Booker wakes up with a huge knot on he head, in the hold of a foul smelling "Bride" ship, headed to lands unknown to her. She has no memory of how she got there and little of who she is.When she is dragged off the ship and onto a bidding block she is in shock. Luke Harcourt knew the minute he saw her from afar that she didn't fit in this questionable group of women being sold to the highest bidder. She was a lady, it was obvious even with her clothing in a tatters. Those who weren't bought as wives were sent to the local brothel to be prostitutes for the town big wig land baron and local crook Stephen Butler, where they inevitably died of disease or their mistreatment. Luke refused to let this happen to this lady and before his mind could think, his mouth spoke and bid for her. Before the deal is done, Hope refuses to be "married " to Luke until her explains the ramifications of her refusal.
From the get-go Luke let's Hope know that he will never put a hand on her whether it be in anger, or in lust, leaving Hope with glimpse of the honorable man Luke Harcourt is. When they arrive at Harcourt's Mountain after a week long trip, Hope is in awe of her surroundings and is determined to make her life there work. What does she have to lose?
Day by day, Luke realizes that he is becoming more and more attracted to his innocent wife and needs to hide his feelings. Hope wants so much to love Luke, but as long as she is only his purchased property and not his his wedded wife, she needs to keep her distance from Luke who believes that the piece of paper that was signed at the auction was a marriage certificate when it was actually a bill of sale.
So many obstacles are stacked up against this couple it seems they can never wade into shallow and steady waters. The appearance of Indians, wolves, a disgusting neighbor and an old acquaintance of Hope's makes for adventure and misadventure on Harcourt's Mountain. Once the reader thinks that all will be well, more disaster strikes to separate to newly in love Harcourts that takes extreme will and determination by both parties to overcome.
Harcourt's Mountain by Elaine Dodge is a brilliant love story set in extreme circumstances. Luke Harcourt is one of the most honorable heroes I have ever read. So honorable in fact that I would have liked to have smacked him upside the head a few times for not sharing his feelings with Hope. These star-crossed not quite lovers keep their distance while the reader bites their fingernails in anticipation. Hope evolves like a budding flower and watching her adapt to her new surroundings with such finesse is part of the draw to this adventure. I truly enjoyed Harcourt's Mountain by the very talented Elaine Dodge, and I give kudos to this South African native for writing about a land so far off and doing it so well. I recommend this tale to all and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!