HANNAH GRACE by Sharlen MacLaren is an enjoyable historical novel set in 1903. Hannah Grace, along with her two sisters, help her father run the family general store. Hannah is spunky, strong, and not afraid to say what is on her mind. Engaged to the town doctor, she feels her life is pretty much planned out for her. That is, until Gabriel Devlin, the new sheriff shows up in town.
Gabe Devlin shows up in Sandy Shores to take his post as the new sheriff. Unbeknownst to him, a runaway boy has stowed himself in Gabe’s wagon. Jesse is disheveled, undernourished, and mute. Gabe spreads word of the imp in hopes of finding his parents, or at least an explanation for his runaway tendencies.
Hannah and Gabe get off on the wrong foot when Gabe brings Jesse to the general store. Hannah immediately assumes that Gabe is an unfit parent as she spies Jesse’s ragged clothes and holey shoes. Gabe is instantly frustrated by Hannah when she treats him like yesterday’s trash. But, he doesn’t let on that he’s the new sheriff, leaving Hannah to completely humiliate herself when she seeks out the new sheriff to raise a complaint about the man she met in her store and his neglected son.
The instant dislike that both Hannah and Gabe feel for each other begins to blur as they spend more time together, as they both decide to look after Jesse. Confused by her feelings, Hannah doesn’t know what to do about her pending engagement. She realizes she’s not in love with Ralston Van Huff but has an even harder time convincing herself that the growing feelings she has for Gabe is indeed love.
The pace of the book takes off as you learn Jesse’s story and why it is he’s on the run. It’s up to Gabe to protect the little boy he’s come to think of as a son, and Hannah Grace, the woman he’s falling in love with.
HANNAH GRACE was a pleasure to read. The spirited characters MacLaren created were fun and believable. Though historical romance books often have the same plot outlines, HANNAH GRACE had some interesting twists that made for a fresh read.