The Inn at Little Bend
Paperback: 294 pages
Publisher: Melange Books, LLC
Publish Date: September 7, 2011
In antebellum America, life for an abandoned woman was difficult at best. But when young Grayson escapes her sadistic guardian, she finds freedom just as hostile. Grayson Ridge struggles to survive her fated trials and conceal the secrets that plague her.
And so begins a turbulent journey that spans two decades and chronicles the exploits of the lonesome, starving wanderer. Her adventures collide with the life of Drake Somerset, a sullen and uncommunicative drifter who wants nothing to do with her. While at first using him for her own safety, his dark, mysterious magnetism draws her and binds her to him—in a clearing, in a heartbeat and in love.
Grayson Ridge was named after the orphanage where she was found as an infant. Since then, Grayson has had a very strong survival instinct. She was adopted by a couple when she was a teenager, but instead of being treated like their daughter she was treated more like a servant or a slave. One day Grayson was defending herself against her adopted father’s advances, when she thought she had killed him in the process. She knew that she would possibly hang for this so she ran away and disguised herself as a boy named River. River came into some trouble soon after and was saved by a man, Drake Somerset. Drake decided that River would be his companion and work for him until his debt for saving him was paid off.
Drake Somerset was being haunted by his memories when he came across River. But since meeting the boy, he has someone that he can talk to openly and unashamed. Though it started off as a work relationship, it quickly turns to friendship even if they do annoy the heck out of each other. But what Drake doesn’t know is that River is really a young woman, a woman who is starting to have feelings for him.
There is so much more to this story. Looking back, I don’t know how Ms. Groover fit the entire plot into 289 pages. It felt so much longer then that because every part of the story was well told; so it felt longer in a good way. There were a few times when I didn’t feel the characters emotions, I felt like I was just reading words. But then the emotions came back and I got sucked back into the story again.
You have to admire Grayson, she is the type of girl who doesn’t complain, just does. Part of that, though, is because she doesn’t have the luxury to complain. But I love how she just does what needs to be done.
Drake Somerset is older and definitely has some past grievances to deal with. He is known for the way he plays the piano, as if he is trying to pour out whatever is haunting him. Wherever he plays, people remember.
There are so many problems and conflicts to be solved in this book! Like, how is Grayson supposed to get Drake to notice her in a romantic way when he knows her as River? (Drake is heterosexual.) What if someone finds her and takes her back home to face trial for the murder of her adopted father? What is it that haunts Drake and makes him wander the country and play the memorable music? That’s not even all of the problems; but they made the book that much better.
This book has it all, adventure, romance, suspense, and mystery, what’s not to love? Like Drake’s music, I’ll remember The Inn at Little Bend for a long, long time.