Trinity Rose Franklin has returned to Piedmont, South Dakota following the death of her brother, her last family member. At just nineteen, she is alone in the world, or so she thinks. Her aim in returning is to sell the family farm to the railroad so she can return to her life in Sioux Falls, but a bunch of ruffians, a trip down a waterfall in a barrel, a plague of grasshoppers and a crusty old-timer change her plans.
Penniless, she heads to Dwaldo, South Dakota, where her aged great-aunt might still be living. She finds a friend in Meg, in the town store, who knows her great-aunt, who is still alive at 94, but a bit under the weather some days. Meg also suggests somewhere for Trinity to stay, and introduces her to Jones—coincidentally, the man who sent her over the waterfall in that barrel.
Under the Summer Sky had a great opening hook with the initial meeting of Trinity and Jones, but the next few chapters felt a bit convoluted as the author manipulated her characters. However, everyone was in Dwadlo and we were introduced to the key characters, the plot settled into itself, revealing a well-crafted plot, well-established and likeable characters, and two rather sweet romances.
Under the Summer Sky is the second book in the Dakota Diaries series, the sequel to Love Blooms in Winter. The reader was provided with sufficient back story to understand the plot without being bogged down in unnecessary detail or retelling of what came in the first book. At the same time, Under the Summer Sky reads well as a stand-alone story. Enjoyable.
Thanks to Harvest House and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review. You can find out more about Lori Copeland at her website.