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Hooper's Crossing, New York, 1952. The post-war boom seems a million miles away . . . especially for a sheltered librarian who longs for the adventure and excitement of the big city.
New York City. The hustle and bustle. The people and the excitement. It's all Lily Denton dreams about. But ever since her mother died, her overprotective father won't ease up on her. So she spends her days working at the library and her nights hoping life doesn't pass her by . . . until the Fall Festival. As tourists fill the streets, the crisp autumn air sneaks in-as does the thrill of a far more dangerous kind.
Some men have a gift for avoiding trouble. Professional photographer Boone Tatum isn't one of them. In fact, that penchant for trouble is exactly what landed Boone in this small town in the middle of nowhere in the first place. Yet the moment he meets beautiful Lily Denton and snaps her photograph, everything changes. Suddenly leaving is the furthest thing from Boone's mind-or his heart.
But danger has slipped silently into this sleepy town, marking Lily as its own. And Lily and Boone's dream of a life together is thrown into peril-unless Lily finds the courage to stand up for herself and a man she only just met . . . and can't live without.
Buckton, Indiana, 1956. As post-war America brims with new opportunities, a young woman discovers the courage to follow her dreams-and her heart . . .
Gwendolyn Foster's life seems like a dream come true. A bright future in front of her, the successful, traditional man her parents wanted at her side. What more could a girl ask for? But Gwen has a different dream altogether-to be a writer-and she won't rest until it comes true. Strong arms to support her, not own her . . . that's what she needs. And she finds them in the most unexpected of places.
Hank Ellis has long been haunted by his little brother's death. He knows the entire town blames him for the accident, but it's only fitting. He blames himself too. So he's shocked when Gwen ignores the vicious gossip and befriends him. And before long, everything changes for them. Folks warn Gwen about Hank, but she knows in her heart that they're wrong. Drawn to this man of bravery and kindness who encourages her to pursue her passions, Gwen can finally envision the life she's always wanted. And with Gwen, Hank finds the strength to let go of his guilt, as he dares to hope for a future with her.
But braving the town that turns against them isn't the only challenge they face. For Hank still harbors a dark secret, a shocking truth that may force him to lose Gwen forever . . .
Growing up poor and largely abandoned on the streets of 1920s Chicago, Anna Finnegan has struggled her entire life. Until a talent manager discovers her and brings her into the world of theater. Now years later she's about to start shooting her first movie. Arriving on location in Redstone, Texas, in 1932, Anna steps off the train and collides into Dalton Barnes. He's lived in Redstone all his life and hates how the big city out-of-towners are gawking at the small-town locals like him. It doesn't take long, though, for Anna and Dalton to discover fireworks of a different sort between them. But the movie is plagued by one trouble after another, including a fire that destroys an elaborate set and costumes ruined by huge splashes of paint. Who is sabotaging the film and why? To what lengths will they go? When Anna finds herself threatened, how will she and the love blossoming between her and Dalton survive?