Five years in a New York state reformatory have left a blemish on Hazel’s real name. So when she takes a job as Doctor Gilbert Watts’s lady in attendance in 1898, she does so under an alias. In the presence of her quiet and pious employer, Hazel finds more than an income. She finds a friend and a hope that if she can set her tarnished past in order, she might have a future after all.
As Gilbert becomes accustomed to the pleasant chatter of his new dental assistant, he can’t help but sense something secretive about her. Perhaps there is more to this woman than meets the eye. Can the questions that loom between them ever be answered? Or will the deeds of days gone by forever rob the future of its possibilities?
Rachel Fordham pens a tender tale of a soft-spoken man, a hardened woman, and the friends that stand by them as they work toward a common purpose–to expunge the record of someone society deemed beyond saving–and perhaps find love along the way.
This book! First off the cover is gorgeous!! And I was so intrigued by the plot with dentistry at the time. I never would’ve thought about a dentist as the hero. But Gilbert is every kind of book boyfriend/hero you want to read about. He’s shy and quiet at first, he’s patient and then once you get to know him he’s funny. Of course strong and handsome and talented! He has quiet hidden strengths and talents that he doesn’t boast about.
Gilbert needs help with the dentistry and has heard that others have had women help. Hazel, do to unfortunate events, can’t go home to her family and is released out of prison. She needs to find a job but no one can see beyond her past but Gilbert takes a chance on her. In the quiet town of Amherst, she finds friends but can she trust them with her secrets? But as someone in the town tells Gilbert “You leave that girl alone. I don’t approve of this men and women working together nonsense. Trouble will come of it.”
This book!! I feel in love from the beginning to end. I had to take pictures of some of my favorite quotes and it filled a whole page! The character growth, friendship and mystery element was perfectly executed. I was happily surprised many times throughout! This is a sweet romance and I loved the friends to lovers trope and seeing them gal in love. Gilbert gets bolder and Hazel is so strong to resist him! I don’t think I could 😂
I really loved this book and was happily surprised by it multiple times throughout. Like all of Rachel’s books – she writes about an unconventional young woman who has incredible growth and leans on God. Gilbert is a gentleman and a Christian. I really loved this quote by him from the book. “I told you once that I was a Christian man who believed it my duty to help. I even offered to help you if you were ever in need, and I see no reason to take that offer back. Either I am a man of my word or I am a fraud. I don’t believe any verse of Scripture says to help only those who are perfect when none of us are.”
This has themes of love, friendship, forgiveness, and faith. You’ll have warm feels all throughout! Thank you to the author and publisher for a copy of the book. These are my own thoughts and opinions.