Secret to Hold


Jessica Bradley is running from her past by taking a teaching position in a frontier ranch near Rawlings, Wyoming in 1886. While still en route via stage, Jessica meets her employer, the rather handsome widower, Cameron (Cam) McPherson, although he does not accompany her on to his home. Jessica's days are filled with the challenge of wrangling two very headstrong and rowdy young girls to attend to their lessons in spite of Mrs. McPherson's (Cam's sister in-law) prejudice against Cam's half-breed daughter. All while hiding the secrets of her past.


Mary Hagen pens a story set in an area she is familiar with, yet one is struck by how prepared a first time teacher is to, not only handle difficult children, but build effective lesson plans. Cam sounds more like a woman than a man in his declaration of his feelings - almost an extension of Jessica. Ms. Hagen involves the reader by using well structured, page turning techniques that will serve her well in her career and keep her readers happy. There are a few awkward sentences, as well as, the modern descriptive mixed side-by-side with those more fitting to the era can, at times, be  jarring to the reader.  Overall, however, “Secret to Hold” is a nice, enjoyable historical, viewed from the woman's perspective.


Shaunna Gonzales