Long Trail Home - Vickie McDonough
Released October 2011
Reviewed by Tracy Farnsworth
Abandoned by her immoral father at the age of 12, Annie is overjoyed when she comes across The Wilcox School for the Blind. She fakes her blindness in order to finally have a loving home. Seven years later, Annie hides the truth from everyone except the woman who took her in because if the truth came out, they could lose everything they've established over the years. Caring for the blind children is all that matters to these two women.
Riley Morgan left his home after his younger brother's death to fight in the war. Knowledge that his fiancee was awaiting his return kept him going. He hasn't been home in years and is shocked when he learns Native Americans slaughtered his parents and destroyed much of the only home he's ever known. Wounded, he heads off to visit his fiancee only to learn while he was at war she married another man. He ends up at the Wilcox School for the Blind where he becomes their handyman in exchange for room and board.
It doesn't take long before Riley and Annie fall in love. However, he's already had one woman lie to him and Annie isn't sure how he'll react when he learns she is not blind. Is love in store for these two?
I really enjoyed Long Trail Home. There is some underlying conflict with the school, but that takes backstage to the developing relationship with Riley and Annie. Like any couple, they have things they need to work on, but unlike many romances where I feel the conflict drags on too long, I found the issues in their romance were handled at a very realistic pace. That made the story completely enjoyable.
As the end of the book neared, I simply wasn't ready for it to end. I really wanted to keep going and see what happened next. Kudos to the author for drawing me in and keeping me entranced from start to finish.