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    Second book in Cimarron Trilogy

    A Borrowed Dream by Amanda Cabot is the second novel in Cimarron Creek Trilogy. Catherine Whitfield is the schoolteacher in Cimarron Creek and lives alone since her mother passed away. Catherine has a strong dislike of physician’s courtesy of the local doctors archaic practice of bleeding, purging and blistering which hastened her mother’s demise. Catherine has a chance to marry, but she does not want to be a person’s second choice. Austin Goodard is the new widower in town with a young daughter, Hannah. He has traveled across the country to hide from Sherman Enright. Sherman is a dangerous criminal who wants Austin to use his surgical skills in a way that goes against Austin’s values. Unfortunately, Sherman is not one to take no for an answer. Austin has bought a ranch and is keeping his medical background under wraps. Catherine and Austin are brought together in their desire to help Hannah, who has become withdrawn and quiet, and assist Seth Dalton. Seth has an abusive, slave driver for a father and natural artistic skill. Austin is falling for the schoolteacher, but she is unaware of his secret. In order for Austin to have the future he envisions with Catherine, he will have to deal with Sherman Enright. A Borrowed Dream is well-written, has a steady pace and delightful characters. The characters are well-developed and, most of them, are warm caring people that you would want as friends. Sherman Enright and his minions along with Seth’s father provide a counterpoint to Austin and Catherine. There are smooth transitions as the story goes from one scene to the next. Amanda Cabot has a fluid writing style that gives readers an engaging novel. It is a multi-layered story (which I loved) filled with suspense, mystery, history and romance. I had no idea there were plastic surgeons that far back in history. The author included some research information at the end of the book that propelled me into finding out more about the profession (it is fascinating). The Christian element is present and is gently woven into the story (forgiveness, prayer, having faith, trust, helping others and letting God show you the way). It is done with a light touch. A Borrowed Dream can be read alone. The characters from A Stolen Heart are in A Borrowed Dream, and it is nice to catch up with them. Grace Sims is a character introduced in the story (Catherine takes her in), and I hope we get to find out more about Grace in the next book in the trilogy. A Borrowed Dream is a heartwarming and charming story that will delight those who read it.
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    layered story with great characters

    Austin Goddard has settled in Cimarron Creek, establishing a new life. Determined to keep his daughter safe from Sherman Enright, the criminal in Philadelphia who wanted Austin, a surgeon, to change his face and make him unrecognizable, Austin doesn't tell anyone he's a doctor and instead throws himself into ranching. Worried for his daughter, who is unhappy, Austin is glad to find a friend in Catherine Whitfield, the selfless schoolteacher who wants to help Hannah nearly as much as he does. Learning that Catherine distrusts doctors, since her mother died at the hands of an inept doctor, Austin has an added reason not to reveal his past. But as he gets to know Catherine better and finds himself caring more and more about her, he knows he'll have to tell her the truth. There were so many layers to this novel, but they were written so smoothly! There was a lot going on, but the story wasn't overcrowded or jerky. I really enjoyed the many facets of the story--Catherine's and Austin's stories but also the stories of others whom they care about and associate with. Catherine is such a terrific protagonist--kind and sweet and so willing to help others--and Austin is a great leading man, as he is strong and caring and very supportive of Catherine. I really cannot wait to read the third book in this series! I read a copy via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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