This is the second book in Katt Anderson’s Melungeon series. I love historical fiction, and I commend the author for choosing to highlight the Melungeons of the Cumberland Gap ( a mountain pass in the Appalachians on the TN, KY, and VA state lines). As the white settlers came in, they expected to encounter Indians. But the Melungeons were different. Now we know that they were mixed race. Back then, they lived in an isolated mountain area. Some of the white settlers accepted them, while others did not. The first book (Callie’s Mountain) was about Callie Trent and her love interest, Jacob McGinnis.
The heroine of this installment is Susannah Cole whose family ran the store in the settlement. Her father drowns in a flood early in the story, and Susannah almost drowns trying to save him. Her mother is so grief-stricken that she is not motivated to take over the operation of the store, so Susannah decides she must do it. A Melungeon family who cared for her during her recovery from near-drowning episode also helps Susannah see the mountain people as equals. It’s a good story of a spoiled young lady who rejects the prejudices with which she was raised. Her love interest is mixed race, also. There’s plenty of action, including a smallpox epidemic in the community, and the romance just makes it more interesting.