I thought this book was really wonderful. It had everything. I especially liked that it was set after the World War 1. Francesca and little girl and second husband left the old country of Austria/Italy to find a new life in America. She was sold to that man by her father who had no way to feed his large family. Francesca's marriage was abusive and I was relieved when she was widowed. The rest of the story tells of her life after this event. She answers an ad for a housekeeper, but doesn't tell the rancher that she is expecting and also has a little girl. I had so much sympathy for the rancher. Lungs damaged from yellow gas in the war, his wife left him because he couldn't give her everything she wanted. Francesca and Kent were meant for each other. It just took them a long time to figure it out and to admit it to one another. This book has plenty of adventure and heart. The author really captured the struggle between these two and made the story full of heartfelt moments. I highly recommend this book.
From opposite sides of an ocean, two people wounded by the Great War are fated to meet and try to rebuild their lives. Francesca Sittoni was brought against her will to America by the husband she never loved. Now she finds herself alone--widowed, pregnant, and with a small daughter to support. Terrified of being deported back to the impoverished country of her birth, Francesca answers an ad placed by Wyoming rancher and former doughboy Kent Reed. As their contracted year together passes, Francesca begins to ask if she is cook and housekeeper to Kent...or a secretly sought mail-order bride as the meddling neighbors insist? Only Kent Reed, burned by mustard gas and his spoiled former wife's desertion, knows his heart's true desire when it comes to the beautiful Tyrolean immigrant woman now living in the uncomfortably close quarters of his small ranch house. Alethea Williams explores the powerful pull of love and endurance through an intriguing page-turner full of heartache, romance, and overcoming hardship. Set against the frontier of Wyoming, Willow Vale is the captivating story of two strangers struggling with their own demons who manage to create a life together.