When Clara Vesper’s husband, Adolph, dies suddenly, Clara is stunned–but not grief-stricken. Her marriage to Adolph had been arranged, their primary interaction revolving around the sapphire jewelry Clara designed and Adolph produced and sold. Widowed and penniless, with two small children, Clara decides to return to her aunt and uncle’s ranch in Montana, the only place she has ever been happy.
Curtis Billingham, injured in a sapphire mine collapse, is recuperating at the ranch of his friends, Paul and Madeline Sersland. But when the Serslands’ niece returns from New York City, Curtis curses both his broken body and his broken past. Clara, the love of his life, has come back to him, but he is no longer worthy of her love.
Clara’s brother-in-law Otto Vesper, Adolph’s business partner, fears that the loss of Clara’s design skills will doom the company’s prospects. Following her to Montana, Otto is prepared to do whatever it takes to get Clara to return with him to New York.
As Clara fights for love and freedom, a dangerous secret in her late husband’s life comes to light, threatening everyone she loves.
A Love Transformed is brilliant! I love the angle played off the Vesper brothers – I don’t want to give anything away – but it definitely adds a layer of suspense and intrigue to the story. Having information about Adolph’s true feelings come to light slowly throughout the book also paints him as a deeper, more complete individual than one might otherwise surmise.
Clara is a very complex character herself. With a complicated marriage, a long-lost love, and personal pain carried by the case, how she has managed to smile and go about her way eludes me – but her story is fascinating, and like her husband’s, information slides to the reader slowly.
Set as the United States enters World War I, I’ve read few other books set in this time or that deal with the US joining the Allied forces, but that makes the plot even thicker. The contrast between serene sheep ranch and war-excited New York City adds unique elements to the story that are rarely seen in other books.
Tracie Peterson always captures the unusual and the dramatic in her books, and A Love Transformed is no exception. She carries the theme of gemstones into the story by making Clara a jewelry designer but changes the setting completely from the previous two stories, but any Peterson fan will be just as enthralled with this third offering as with the first two.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.