PUBLICATION DATE: AUGUST 01, 2012
ove Inspired author, Jillian Hart, features another member of the McKaslin family in her new book, Montana Dreams. Hunter McKaslin was almost proud of his intention to never get married. At 22 years old he was full of himself to the point that he can’t recognize the pain his girlfriend is enduring. One night changes everything when he ignores what she is trying to tell him. She disappears from the town.
Millie Wilson left the Montana town of Prospect when she was 20 years old. Life with a gruff, unloving father and a non-committal boyfriend had nearly broken her heart. Nine years later she returned to care for her dying father. She hopes to quietly carry on without seeing the former love of her life, Hunter McKaslin.
As a reader I felt the anxiety that Hart introduced to the story when church member Myra Hoffsteader reaches out to Millie as she shops at the local grocery store. It is obvious that the elderly woman commiserates with the sweet young woman. Everyone in town knows all too well that her father, Whip Wilson, is the same mean man she had left behind. Millie tries to concentrate on the groceries she needs as her concern builds for her son, Simon. Will Myra or anyone else recognize who the boy resembles, right down to his cowlick and dimples?
Hunter is stunned to see Millie standing at the checkout counter as she pays for her purchases. He watches as she walks out of the store and over to her father’s old truck with a little boy. Agony settles in his chest as he realizes that she must have gotten married and had a kid right after she left town, left him. He had checked her hand for a ring but there was none. The guy must have left her alone with no support as she had to dig for enough money to pay for her groceries. It’s disgusting to him that a man would not take care of his own kid. Then again, why should he care? He determined to harden his heart when she went away. She has hurt him so much. It was best to love no one, hurt no one and be hurt by no one. Life went on with hard work and no heart. He’ already seen too much with his parents unhappy marriage.
Things go downhill quickly for Millie. Struggling with an ill father, run-down house in need of repair, no income and a child to care for Millie reluctantly accepts the help others are giving her. Memories of the past cause her heartache. Old conversations with Hunter flood her mind. He had hurt her so badly.
I liked this book and believe it would be helpful to those who need to know that love and forgiveness is healing to the soul. Hunter and Millie learn that despite the loss of years they can find healing. The inevitable point where Hunter learns who Simon is very emotional but the interaction with the boy should have been different in my opinion.
The book has a bonus included, Key Witness by Terri Reed.