Delphinia's father made an arrangement where a man is allowed to purchase her services as a housekeeper and cook so that he could go to the gold fields. The man, Jonathan Wilshire, gets on Delphinia's last nerve by refusing to call her Delphinia, but only calling her Phiney. He has hired her to take care of his brother's five children--Tessie, Josh, Jacob (?), Nettie and Nate--the twins, and to cook and clean the cabins where they all live. His brother's mother-in-law is taking care of the children while Jonathan brings Phiney home and is a steadfast companion to Phiney, especially in overcoming Tessie's resistance to Phiney's presence. It takes an act of supreme bravery for Tessie to come around, but the change is complete and the two are forever friends. One of the things that brings Tessie around is the quilt that Phiney puts on her bed, a quilt made with her mother that holds all the memories Phiney has of her. Tessie has part of a quilt her mother started and allows Phiney to help her finish it.
While a lot of Threads of Love revolves around Phiney and the children, there is a significant portion that includes the relationship growing and budding between Phiney and Jonathan. When Phiney's father asks for her presence in Denver, Jon tells Phiney that he will be asking for her hand in marriage when she comes back.
As a bonus, the story Woven Threads is included in the review copy I received. Tessie has grown up, gone to college, and become a doctor when she applies for a job with the Santa Fe railroad. She is stationed in Florence, Kansas, and the man who has hired her, Charlie Bannion takes every opportunity to be in Florence and to see Tessie. While Tessie is on the train to Florence, she meets two sisters--Lydia and Addie (who is deaf), and her heart wants to reach out to both of them. Lydia has come to Florence to be a Harvey Girl, but has no one to take care of Addie. Charlie gets Addie a job in the Harvey House as a dishwasher while Lydia works waiting tables. Lydia is a bitter girl who can't see beyond the end of her nose. When she gets herself pregnant, she dumps Addie on Tessie and leaves with her boyfriend.
The road to true love is a rather bumpy one for Tessie and Charlie, especially when an Englishman breaks his leg and becomes Tessie's patient. She visits him daily and while he's rather forward with her, she becomes a bit star-struck in his presence. All of this adds to a long, hard row to hoe for love to find its home with Tessie and Charlie.
Judith McCoy Miller is a seasoned author, one whose books I thoroughly enjoy. Her characters have depth and substance, her settings are utilized well within the story she writes, and her plots are incredible.
Five Stars, Two Thumbs Up, and a quilt of love to keep you warm.
My thanks to Barbour Books for allowing me to read and review this book.