Kate Dearborne has loved growing up in a weaver's family. From a young age she's helped set dyes and do whatever she could to assist her father and brother. But times are changing with the ongoing Industrial Revolution, and cloth mills are quickly making the weavers' business obsolete. Kate's own beloved brother has left the family to work for Stockton Mill, and her father has never forgiven him for it, nor spoken to him in three years.
While Kate has no ill will against the millers, and has kept up her relationship with her brother Charles, she's fiercely loyal to her father and generally keeps her association to those within the weaving community.
Returning home after years serving his country in war, Henry Stockton sees the village of Amberdale with new eyes. He's ready to learn from his grandfather and prepare to take over Stockton Mill one day. Yet the people and activities that once captured his attention no longer do so. He's aware that everyone expects him to continue pursuing Frederica Pennington, but his time away has changed him enough that he desires more than a marriage of alliance between powerful mill families.
Henry and Kate soon find themselves in an Amberdale that is upturned, as violence breaks out between the weavers and millers. Loyalties will be tested on all sides, and right and wrong must be weighed anew. Kate's past and her future hopes lie solidly with the weavers, but her heart is drawing her in another direction. Meanwhile, Henry sees in Kate someone who can help him find peace and healing in his war-torn spirit.
This book would appeal to anyone who is familiar with Elizabeth Gaskell's North and South, and I thought I caught tones of Poldark, as well as Romeo and Juliet. The story takes a bit of time getting off the ground, but once the action begins you'll find yourself glued to the pages. This is another delightful Regency tale from Sarah E. Ladd!
I received my copy of the book from the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.