Summer Moon is a well written, touching story about love, life and family.
Kate Whittington has put all her hopes and dreams into her proxy marriage to Reed Benton, Jr. All she's ever wanted is a decent life and a family of her own. Answering Reed's ad in a newspaper set her on the path to reaching her dream. She just had a few more hurdles to jump than expected.
Like the fact that Reed never placed an ad, nor did he have any idea who Kate was. Add that to Reed Sr. passing away (he's the one who'd placed the ad and arranged the marriage) before he could explain things, and Reed being injured after finding and reclaiming his son while in a Texas Ranger raid on a Comanche encampment, and things get a bit chaotic for a while.
Reed starts off a bit difficult to like. He's been hurt a great deal in the past and while I didn't dislike him, his character wasn't all that appealing. Luckily, he grew on me, as a well developed character should. Reed goes from a man determined not to love or feel any of the softer emotions again to a man who acknowledges and accepts his feelings for his wife and his long lost son. It took some time but he eventually got his act together.
Kate's a great character from the start and keeps everything together. She's a determined, stubborn woman with a great deal of compassion.
However, it's the boy, twelve year old Daniel, that stood out for me in this story. Frequently we're able to see things from his point of view and it's that which makes this story work for me. It's through his struggles that Ms. Landis' skill is shown. That she was able to satisfactorily convey all that he was going through and all that he was feeling shows talent.
I do have to say that as the focus was on Daniel so much, the romance between Reed and Kate took a bit of a backseat. It was there and an important part of the story but not the most important thing. It's for this reason that Summer Moon didn't receive a higher rating.
Summer Moon is the first book I've read by Jill Marie Landis but I do believe that at some point I'll be reading more of her work. Hopefully something where the romance is the main focal point.