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    A compelling story courage, devotion, and family.

    In 1891, small-town Texas isn't where 13-year-old Wade Hunter wants to be, especially when he's facing Clyde Shaw, marshal of Lebec, for stealing a loaf of bread. Clyde gives Wade a choice: spend the night in jail or go home with him. The decision's easy. After all, it's only for one night, right? But as Wade walks into the Shaw household, he's shocked. What's he gotten himself into? Five children, a dirty, too small cabin, and Clyde's oldest daughter who despises him on sight? Wade's never had a true family and certainly doesn't want this one! His first thought is of escape. But Clyde has a purpose. Wade's moody, angry, and arrogant, the very last thing Clyde's oldest daughter, Sadie, wants or needs. She makes it her mission to drive him away. Despite Wade's resistance and Sadie's resentment, Wade eventually gets pulled in and finally feels he's where he belongs. But appearances are often deceptive. After several years, unexpected betrayal rears its ugly head, ripping Wade apart. As if that wasn't bad enough, tragedy soon follows. Unable to take any more, Wade thinks he doesn't belong, never has. So he leaves and heads west. Five long years later, Wade returns to Lebec. He's successful and has dreams. He can finally set things right for running away, leaving the others on their own. But is that really possible? What he finds isn't what he expects. Are the Shaws willing to accept what he offers? Sadie appears as angry as ever. Wade has decisions to make, and none of them are easy. Is there a path to forgiveness? When the one thing Wade wants most seems to be denied, is he willing to give it up? Can he? One thing is certain. Wade's going to have to prove that he's here to stay and willing to do whatever it takes to win. Amelia Smarts has written a beautiful story that's shows just what being human is all about. That's what hooked me from the first page. No one's perfect. Everyone has flaws. Wade exhibits the consequences of cruelty, abuse, and misplaced anger toward a child. Clyde demonstrates the inherent beauty of acceptance, kindness, and love toward anyone who'll accept it. He also shows that no one, regardless of age or intention, can anticipate the future. Sadie runs the gamut of nearly every emotion a human is capable of and what those emotions can drive a person to do. Grace, Miles, Luke, and Ada are examples of not only family devotion but also how taking someone for granted can nearly destroy them. I truly didn't know what to expect from this book, but I found myself pulled into this family. This story is genuine in its portrayal of 1800s family life. The historical accuracy is 100% spot on. It's very obvious Ms. Smarts has done her research. I loved this story! I can't give When He Returns anything less five stars for its realism, unique characters, and, most of all, the irresistible storyline. Thank you, Ms. Smarts, for writing such a beautiful story. One final note. Be an informed reader! This is an ADULT book. While there's little explicit language, there are spanking and sexual scenes, If you don't enjoy this genre, this may not be the book for you. There are book synopses and reviews available on Goodreads and all booksellers' websites. Use these resources. DON'T LEAVE A NEGATIVE REVIEW WHEN YOU KNOW YOU WON'T ENJOY THE BOOK. It's not fair to the author. She works very hard to provide a quality work product. If you know you'll object to the book's subject matter before you buy it, you're doing yourself and the author an extreme disservice. Thanks for reading my review and happy reading
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