Author: Amanda Cabot
Genre: Historical Romance
Series: Secrets of Sweetwater Crossing #2
Release Date: October 3, 2023
Doctor-in-training Louisa Vaughn has no intention of remaining in Sweetwater Crossing. She's just there for a few days to help a friend. But she can't abandon the injured man she finds at the side of the road. Until his broken leg heals, she'll serve as the town's doctor and midwife. She may not be fully qualified yet, but surely she's better than nothing.
Josh Porter's plans to win his grandfather's challenge and fulfill his father's final wish to gain full control of the family business hit a roadblock when he breaks his leg. But his enforced stay in Sweetwater Crossing gives him new ideas about the expansion of the company into new territory--ideas Louisa could help turn into reality.
If only the town were more accepting of Louisa's talents! Someone is determined to convince her to abandon her dream of healing others. Can Josh help her uncover the person behind the threats before it's too late? And is there any future for them together when neither of them plans to stay?
Reviewer: Deanne Patterson
Against the Wind by Amanda Cabot is the second of three books in the Secrets of Sweetwater Crossing series. I am delighted to be back in Sweetwater Crossing in this second book, with characters I am familiar with from the first book. We also meet new characters.
I think the story was well-plotted. I enjoyed Louisa Vaughn's and Josh Porter's characters a lot. Louisa is a midwife/doctor with no formal training, but many didn't have schooling for this. It was just a hands-on approach back then. Sweetwater has many with the attitude that women are to be midwives only, and many had trouble accepting a woman doctor.
When Josh is thrown from his horse, he becomes dehydrated and has a broken leg. He is very fortunate to have Louisa find him, and he trusts her with his care, and she's able to set him on the mend with his leg.
As they become closer friends, she finds out he is on a quest to impress his grandfather in a challenge to expand the family company to a new territory. Two men become interested in Louisa, but one is not understanding and wants her to give up practicing medicine.
As in the first book, we have a bit of a mystery to solve as Louisa finds threatening notes and someone sabotages her medicines, among other things. Is it someone in town who has not accepted her, or could it be more?
I enjoyed seeing the natural flow of the relationship between Louisa and Josh. She is so encouraging to him as he gets his business started. Despite many people in town turning their backs on her in unacceptance, Josh has always accepted and stood by her. He is kind and encouraging. When I found out who was behind the mystery, I was surprised, not expecting things to turn out this way.
I had a hard time putting this book down and eagerly look forward to reading the next sister's story in the last book in this series.
I was given a complimentary copy of this book by Revell through Interviews & Reviews.
Reviewer: Marie Edwards
I had to read this because I had read the first book and found Louisa Vaughn's departure from Sweetwater Crossing intriguing. Readers should read After the Shadows prior to this one.
This picks up right after the first book, with Louisa heading back to Sweetwater Crossing to attend Doc Sheridan’s funeral, which happened at the end of the first book.
On the way, Louisa meets up with Josh Porter, who has been thrown from his horse and has a broken leg. She sets it, and decides to temporarily stay in Sweetwater Crossing until his cast can be removed. She slowly sees the possibility of becoming the town’s first woman doctor and midwife, despite opposition from some in town.
While Josh is sidelined from his mission, he sees an opportunity for a tearoom and a store that can bring a bit of New York, Britain, and Europe to the small town. Some are excited, others are not.
The romance was interesting as Josh was practically engaged to Winifred back in New York, and Louisa was being courted by someone else. However, the more time he spends with Louisa, the more he thinks about her. I loved how they worked together on the tearoom and the store. About ¾ into the book, Josh realizes he can’t picture a life without Louisa and understands what she told him about love.
It is also around this time that the mystery and danger to Louisa’s life begins, which gives it little time to build up. Also, the ending was too abrupt given the buildup of Josh and Louisa’s romance.
For me, Against the Wind started off promising and held my interest for a while. But, as it went on, it seemed to lag with the everyday stuff and focus on the tearoom and store. I found myself struggling to get through it.
I loved seeing both Josh and Louisa make their dreams a reality despite opposition, sometimes from the same people. Their resiliency and determination in the face of adversity were inspiring. I also enjoyed how the author wove in the titles as they pertained to the sisters and what they had been or were going through.
Given the teaser at the end for book three, readers will definitely want to read it. I know I’m definitely going to put it as a must-read on my TBR list.
Special thanks to Revell Books for providing an advanced review copy through Interviews & Reviews. A positive review was not required, and all words are my own.
Reviewer: Billi Varela
Amanda Cabot's style of writing is unique. There are only a few historical authors that I like, and she is one that I find quite fascinating. It feels like I am taken back, and I feel like I was present in that time period.
Books that deal with women who are ahead of their time are my favorites. Not just because I am a woman, but because I hate reading books that are unfair. I know that was how life was, but I would like to think that some equality existed somewhere. In this book, there are adversities with Louisa being a woman doctor, but I like that I get to read a book about a woman not caring what others say and still pursuing her job.
Josh was such a sweetheart and was so kind to her. I also like that Louisa was supportive of him. This was a romance, but the book did not focus solely on that. It dealt with other aspects, with a subtle hint of romance.
I requested and received this book through Revell from Interviews & Reviews. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Laura J. Davis
Against the Wind by Amanda Cabot is the second book in the Secrets of Sweetwater Crossing series, and it was an engaging tale from start to finish.
While it can be read as a standalone, I believe the reader would be wise to read the first book as well. In the second book, we find out what happened to Louisa, who left in a fit of anger at the changes her sister Emily made to their home after their father died. In Against the Wind, we see a calmer, more reasonable, and more determined Louisa who is returning to Sweetwater Crossing to help a friend. What she doesn't expect is to find a barely conscious man in the middle of the desert with a broken leg.
While Louisa nurses Josh back to health, we begin to learn a bit more about the two. Josh, like Louisa, was only intending to pass through Sweetwater Crossing. But as the two spend more time together, you can't help but root for them, despite all the obstacles in their way.
I loved the excitement in this book. I had a hard time putting it down. The mystery was also intriguing and surprised me more than I can say when I found out the culprit! I wasn't expecting that.
I also loved how strong and determined Louisa was to offer her services as a doctor in training and midwife to the people of her hometown. Even though most of the people in the town turned their backs on her, she still turned the other cheek and offered to help them. Both she and Josh helped each other grow as they dealt with various obstacles that stood in the way of their dreams.
I was really sorry to get to the last page of this book. I wish there had been an epilogue, as I feel it ended too abruptly. Despite that, if you enjoy a good romance with a mystery, you will love Against the Wind.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Revell through Netgalley for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Jeanette Durkin
This book is fantastic! I enjoyed every aspect of the story, the setting, and the characters.
The main setting of the town of Sweetwater, Texas, is beautiful! It reminds me of When Calls the Heart in that everyone knows everyone else's business and, for the most part, are friendly and community-minded.
The story is remarkable! I stayed up way too late reading because I had to find out what happened. There's some mystery, drama, and happy times. There's also a love story that is very sweet.
The characters are fabulous! Louisa is, wow, awesome! She's strong, determined, compassionate, and loving. Josh is hunkalicious! He's a man with a dream. He's persistent, loyal, and loving. The other characters tugged on my heartstrings with their various difficult circumstances. Some ended well, and others didn't.
This book is a definite must-read! I'm going to buy the other books in the series because I know they'll be books I can read over and over.
I was provided a copy of the book from Revell through Interviews and Reviews. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Conny Withay
"If only the town were more accepting of Louisa’s talents! Someone is determined to convince her to abandon her dream of healing others," the Amazon description states of Amanda Cabot’s novel, After the Shadows.
The second book in the Secrets of Sweetwater Crossing series, this three-hundred-and-sixty-eight-page advanced reader copy targets those interested in a historical romance involving family relationships in the Texas Hill Country. With no profanity, topics of illness, injuries, physical abuse, and death may not be appropriate for immature readers. The ending includes an author’s letter, a teaser for the next book in the series, acknowledgments, the author’s biography, and advertisements.
In this story set in 1883 in a small Texan town, the youngest of three sisters returns to Sweetwater Crossing with no intention of staying. But as a doctor-in-training and needed midwife, Louisa is compelled to stay, especially when she sets a stranger’s broken leg and wants to help those she has known her entire life. As Josh recuperates, he must reevaluate what he really wants in life, even if it means falling in love.
Being a continuation of the lives of the three Vaughn sisters, the story shows how to adapt to life’s negative and positive changes. I liked the protagonist’s insistence and determination in wanting to follow her vocation as a healer. The concept of trust is well written, as is the difference between true love versus infatuation. I appreciated the addition of the town’s map at the beginning of the book.
Those who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ might not like the Bible verses, prayers, sermons, and reliance on the Almighty. Some may not care for Louisa’s insecurities and feelings that she never measures up to her siblings, but both are realistic and tender.
I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence.
If you like a historical romance series involving two individuals who want to succeed while learning to trust and find love, this is a pleasant read that involves frustration and disappointment as well as happiness and contentment.
Thanks to Revell and Interviews & Reviews for this complimentary book. I am under no obligation to give a positive review.
Reviewer: Carolyn Bryant
Against the Wind, the second book in the wonderful Sweetwater Crossing series continues the saga of the Vaughn sisters—Emily, Louisa, and Joanna.
Set in 1883 Texas Hill Country, this is Louisa’s compelling story. The fast-moving plot with some major and unexpected twists kept me engaged for the entirety of the read. The wonderfully crafted, realistic characters touched my heart. Louisa and Josh are a perfect match!
I love Louisa’s determination to practice medicine in spite of the prejudice against women for doing so, and how Josh values her opinion and supports her professional desire.
I greatly appreciate the valuable faith message of how God works all things for good. The sneak preview of the next book in the series is a sweet bonus. I thoroughly enjoyed this beautifully written, emotionally charged story and highly recommend it.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Lori Parrish
Let me tell you first of all: I can't wait for the third book! I say this because I'm enjoying this series so much that I wish it wouldn't end. I've made so many new book friends that I feel like they're my real family!
Cabot writes the best adventures! It's why I get excited whenever I see one of her novels coming out. She never disappoints!
I knew in this book we'd get to find out Louisa's gruffness towards Emily and the other folks. I felt her pain because women find it that much harder than men. Especially for her choice of a career.
Cabot also kept me guessing all the way through, but by the middle I had a pretty good idea who was trying to sabotage Louisa, and I didn't like it one little bit. The culprit knew what she was doing. It's called jealousy. That little green-eyed monster does manage to make mischief at times. I feel sorry for sad, embittered people who don't get their way and don't believe in love. So sad.
Josh is a good man, and I admire that he followed his own dreams instead of someone else's. I loved watching him grow to be the person he's supposed to be! And let me end by saying I was proud of Louisa. Her faith was unshakable, and I appreciated how she showed forgiveness to people who didn't deserve it. This story will definitely leave your heart feeling full and satisfied. Five stars for an awesome adventure through Louisa and Josh!
My thanks go to Netgalley and Revell Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.
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