By LYNNA BANNING
Harlequin Historical No. 613
Jane Charlotte Davis wants to take her mother back home to Marion County, North Carolina. The Davis family has been living in Dixon Falls, Oregon, for the past ten years, ever since Yankee forces confiscated their plantation, Montclair. Jane's father has recently died leaving a lot of debt and a run down house. In order to earn enough money to pay off her father's bills and have enough left to return to Montclair, Jane must approach bank owner, Rydell, Dell, Wilder, for a loan to start a dressmaking business.
Dell fell in love with Jane ten years ago when she treated him with kindness after he chased off some bullies that were taunting her. Dell was an outcast because he was an indigent orphan who was years older than the other students, and Jane was treated unfairly because she was shy and better dressed than her peers. Jane's father took Jane out of school and tutored her at home, thoroughly isolating her from everyone. He turned away young men who came to court his daughter, insisting that no Yankee was good enough for his daughter. Dell had been one of those young suitors. The young banker agrees to loan Jane the money she needs with no collateral other than herself. Should her business fail and she cannot repay the loan, she will marry him.
THE COURTSHIP is just wonderful. Lynna Banning has created some of the most endearing characters that this reviewer has met in a long time. Jane and Dell are a dynamic duo as each struggles to achieve their heart's desire. Jane's mother, Leah, is a languishing Southern bell that will crawl into your heart. Dell's best friend, Lefty Springer, is a grizzled old codger who lost an arm at Shiloh, and loves Dell like a son. The relationship between these two men is simply superb. This sweet, sometimes sad, story teems with wonderful characters and clever dialogue, and can be thoroughly enjoyed by readers of all ages.
Review by Betty Cox