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Susan Wiggs - The Drifter

It isn’t easy to be a female physician in 1894, but Leah Mundy is fiercely committed to healing her fellow humans. Being awakened in the dark of night to heal the sick is a common occurrence, but never before has she woke to a threatening gun barrel and a dangerous stranger demanding her services. Outlaw Jackson Underhill is grimly determined that the doctor will save his childhood friend, but nothing about his difficult and dark past has prepared him for the changes the beautiful doctor will bring to his life. When Leah manages to disable his sailboat and force him to bring his “wife” to her boarding home to be cared for, Jackson has no option but to comply, setting forces in motion that will change both of their lives forever.

Dr. Leah Mundy is a strong but emotionally vulnerable woman who has struggled her entire life to win the approval of her difficult, indifferent father. Now that he is dead, she is determined to build a life on Puget Sound’s beautiful Whidbey Island. Accused of committing a murder he can’t deny, outlaw Jackson Underhill is a man on the run, committed to saving his childhood friend while eluding the law. Leah is a woman who cannot leave the island that has become her sanctuary and Jackson Underhill is a man who cannot stay. Reason and logic tell them that they should never have fallen in love, but their hearts ignore all warnings. Inexorably drawn together by circumstance and fate, what possible resolution can bring them happiness and not disaster? Thrown together by chance, they find a love that neither of them had ever dared hope for – but darker forces and old alliances threaten their chance at happiness. With crisp, clean writing, Ms. Wiggs deftly weaves a seamless tale set against the background of the sea and sky of the Pacific Northwest. The beauty of Puget Sound pulses from every page, elevating the land and elements of nature to the level of a living character that is essential to the healing of Jackson and Leah’s inner scars. Emotionally intense and well-plotted, The Drifter has all the components of a great summer read and is a jewel of a novel.

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