Love’s Golden Dream by Bobbie Shafer
This is a great story of cat and mouse. Rebellion, remorse, and repentance all intertwine in this fast moving story of lies and deceit.
Aimee Amelia McKay was an innocent lady of society until she met Marcus Alexander, who told her everything she wanted to hear. Against her father’s wishes, Aimee ran away to California with Marcus and wound up an abused, neglected, and battered woman. After managing to hold onto a few of her mother’s jewels that Marcus hadn’t yet gambled away, Aimee escaped, bought passage on a ship heading to South Carolina via South America.
Finally, she would be free but with no place to go, she only hoped she would be able to start a new life far from Marcus’ reach. During the voyage, Aimee learned the ship’s cargo hold was full of gold from the mines in California, headed to New York. She also met Abram, an elderly Jewish man, whom she befriended. However, that trip would never see New York City. While in he warm gulf waters, the ship ran into a hurricane and began to sink. Only women and children were allowed into the lifeboats but before Aimee was lowered down, Abram thrust his satchel and money belt, both filled with gold, to her. Watching from a distance, the women witnessed the ship sink believing every man left aboard perished.
When the survivors arrived in Charleston, Aimee had a plan. She would escape not only the chance of Marcus finding her, she would become someone else completely – someone Marcus would never recognize.
Arriving in Sycamore Grove, Aimee settles into life as Mack Kaymey, a wealthy man who lost his family, and with ill health, only wishes to buy a home and remain secluded for the rest of his life. But when a young, Negro boy appears, Mr. Kaymey discovers a camp of run-away slaves living nearby, and sets out to help them. But it seems that no matter how well we cover our tracks, the past and the truth has a way of finding us.
Can Mack Kaymey avoid Aimee McKay and her problems forever, or will Love’s Golden Dream finally find her in spite of herself?
Review by Paulette L. Harris:
From little rich girl to rebellious, beaten, and poor runaway, Aimee McKay finds herself boarding a ship in San Francisco, CA. as her evil live-in boyfriend, Marcus Alexandra threatens to find her.
She’s lost everything now and has to sell the last piece of her mother’s jewelry. How could she have ever loved him and run away with him? All he proved to be was a liar, thief, and abuser of women.
Aimee is withdrawn as she heads to Boston, yet her big heart decides to reach out to a poor old man, Abram Ginsbeg. They spend time together drinking tea and sharing small talk.
Lucas Chase has also noticed this young beauty but believes she is married, and she’s extremely hard to talk with. He respectfully stays away from her.
Their ship gets caught in a hurricane and passengers must make hard choices. The gold laden ship begins to take on water, and the rich passengers start to throw heavy items overboard. The women and children get into the few working lifeboats and hopes a rescue ship is nearby. The the belief of everyone, the men all went down with the sinking ship.
Aimee arrives in Charleston where she purchases equipment to start a new life and takes off toward the east the following morning. She finds herself a few days later in Sycamore Grove. The first person she meets incognito, with the alias Mr. Mack Kaymey, is the banker, Ernest Gaines. She confides in him that she needs a new life and has the money to do it. She wants to deposit and get help finding property, and remains known as a male. She knows Marcus is relentless and is afraid he will find her if she reveals her true identity, and she is ashamed to go back to her family.
Things are going well until one day when Lucas shows up and buys the property next to hers. Aimee has a wonderful surrogate family of runaway slaves that live in the nearby woods. They help one another remain secret. Only Albert and Rose Washington know her true identity. Aimee feels threatened by Lucas, since she knows he will recognize her. What can she do to remain friendly without being caught? Worse, she is beginning to feel somewhat attracted to him because his is genuinely nice and very handsome.
The plot thickens as Aimee finds herself struggling to keep up her charade. Things come to a head as “Mack Kaymey” falls, hitting her head and becomes helpless under the care of her friends and Lucas. They plot together to help her get her identity back. Based on gossip and talk around town, Marcus has arrived as a gambler is is convinced the woman he is looking for must be nearby. He has hired a private detective and it’s crucial that Aimee change something in her life and quickly.
That’s when a game called “Boomerang” comes into play. Aimee is once again under the control of other people in her life and must trust them to help.
Poor Mr. Mack Kaymey must go away and Aimee McKay return…but how?
This is a great story of cat and mouse. Rebellion, remorse, and repentance all intertwine in this fast moving story of lies and deceit. Aimee gets a quick education in life as a young woman and you’ll be looking for the next book in this series. Although I was very satisfied with the ending…I can’t wait to read the next book!