Ariana and Laramie meet in rather unusual circumstances. Laramie, an adopted son of a gang leader, is assigned to guard Ariana, a beautiful school teacher, when the gang kidnaps her. Despite being raised among outlaws, Laramie has not fully accepted their lifestyle and habits. He decides to release the young lady, but of course that would not please the gang, so Laramie flees with her. If you suspect there is some romance coming, you are right; that part is quite predictable. Laramie and Ariana do fall in love. However, what happens next comes as a big surprise, both for the characters and the reader. Ariana, who, like Laramie, never knew her birth parents, keeps a beautiful gown adorned with Spanish lace that used to belong to her mother. She wants to get married in it, but it needs to be fixed first: it misses one of the laced cuffs. Laramie also keeps a box with his mother's things, and he says there might be a piece of similar lace in it. Well, you have probably guessed it: it turns out to be the missing cuff. Ariana and Laramie have the same mother and are therefore a brother and sister... or are they?
Janette Oke is a masterful storyteller. Based on some far-fetched coincidences, this book is perhaps not very believable, yet the author's skill makes it come across as quite realistic, although amazing. I give this novel five stars for good writing, solid characters, and engaging plot.