Title: Home Before Sundown
Publisher: JMS Books
Length: 354 Pages
At a Glance: Tinnean delivers a fantastic novel that reflects a classic melodrama set in the 1800s.
Reviewed By: Maryann
Blurb: George Pettigrew and his papa must leave the California rancho they’d lived on since his birth. They end up in New York City, where Papa marries and George gets a new beloved mama. George also meets Frank and Bart who become fast friends, and in Bart’s case, even more.
The start of the Civil War leaves George the man of the family, but although he’s found a job, it’s difficult to pay the ever-increasing rent. Then Papa dies at Appomattox and Mama falls ill.
After Mama dies, her father takes George’s siblings. When George learns his younger sister is being abused, he rescues the three children. But will dressing his sisters as boys and himself as a woman be enough of a disguise to keep them safe until they can reach the valley he’s dreamed of? Will Bart leave behind his own family and go with the man he loves?
Review: Tom Pettigrew served under General Zachary Taylor—Tom’s expertise and understanding of horses aided the army—but being injured saw him mustering out just before the Mexican-American War in 1846. Once out of the army, Tom was given a job on the ranch belonging to the family of his deceased friend, Guillermo, where Tom fell in love with and married Analeigh, Guillermo’s sister. Analeigh gave Tom a son, George, and a few years later a daughter, Mora. When a tragedy befalls Analeigh and Mora, Don Jorge, Tom’s father-in-law, demands that Tom leave the ranch without George, so there’s nothing left for Tom to do but leave California with his son, and head east to begin a safe new life.
In the Black Hills of Dakota, Tom finds a valley where he stakes a claim, but he has to be watchful, as Don Jorge has sent men after George to bring him back to the ranch. And soon, Tom and George find themselves on the run again, to Mississippi, Canada and, finally, New York City where they feel they can make a new start. But tragedy and trouble doesn’t end there for Tom and George.
Tom was a loving father and good man. He was a great mentor to George, and their journey taught George many lessons, the most important being what it means to be a loving and caring person. George is forced to become a man at a young age and has to face men who have vile intentions. When life starts to fall apart for George, he takes action and saves the most important people in his life. With the help of Bart Hall and Frank Thompson, they go on a dangerous mission.
Tinnean delivers a fantastic novel that reflects a classic melodrama set in the 1800s. Home Before Sundown has the damsel in distress, a conniving widow, and evil villains. Then there’s the heroes—George and his father, George’s friends, Bart and Frank—and interesting allies—Detective Sam Pickett, Tom’s army friend Steve Marriott, and Sharps Browne. George and Bart become more than friends, and it’s interesting what they must do to take on responsibility and a secret relationship. This book is lengthy but an easy read, with some brief history of the wars during that time period, and takes a surprising turn with a murder mystery, an attempted murder, and deceit and corruption. I enjoyed this novel and am looking forward to the sequel.
You can buy Home Before Sundown here: