Torn between family loyalty and their deep affection for one another, Rafe Easton and Eden Derrington strike an agreement that will bring them together after one final year of pursuing their dreams. For Eden, those dreams involve dangerous medical research with her father, and spending time with the mother she never knew - a leper on Moloka'i. Rafe's dreams are equally noble - managing the family estates and serving in the Legislature - until both begin to unravel. Revolution threatens the fragile calm of Hawaii's sovereignty, and the man who murdered Rafe's father now threatens the lives of Rafe's mother and adopted son. With love, danger, and political upheaval demanding his attention, Rafe must commit to a course of action without second thoughts.
Hawaii, October 1892. We're now into Book 2 of the Dawn Of Hawaii series and Rafe, while still running his family's sugarcane plantation, is now a member of Hawaii's Legislature. A number of Rafe's colleagues feel disenchanted with Queen Liliuokalani's politics and believe that the monarchy is doomed to fall, so they decide to push for annexation with the continental United States. Fearing that the islands might possibly fall into the hands of a more unstable regime, annexation with the US seems like the lesser of two evils.
Rafe is now also overseeing plantations for coffe & pineapple and has gained legal custody of Kip, now 2 years old. Townsend rears his ugly head again, this time threatening the life of not only Kip but Rafe's mother... but the question posed in this plot is why? What's the motive now?
The engagement to Eden is back on though the actual wedding date is still at least a year away. Eden is still doing that on-off-on business with the wearing of Rafe's ring and I gotta say, their back and forth through most of this story wore on me a bit. Why are they so in love again?
Eden is still doing work with her father on the leper colony of Molokai, growing close to one family member in particular she didn't realize was hidden away on the island. While she's doing work at Molokai, Eden receives information that leads her to suspect that her father and her cousins, Silas & Zachary, may have involvement with the growing illegal opium and gambling dens taking over the islands.
A lot of the issues I had with the first book in this series remain here in Book 2. I found the relationship between Rafe and Eden alternately annoying and saccarine. The bad guys were cartoonishly evil. And dang it, Eden still needs to lighten up and stop being so judgy-preachy all the time!
Something else I noticed halfway through reading this book --- there are a number of chapters between these first two books that start with a variation of the same imagery. I kept reading chapters that opened with some form of "warm wind played through the palms", "blossoms scattered the path", "wispy clouds" "crashing waves" etc, etc, etc. The series is called Dawn of Hawaii series. I can picture island life without these chapters repeatedly opening with the same scene. So that got old. I was really excited to get into this series, was really hoping to love it, but sadly I haven't been too impressed so far. Bummer, because I was hankering for some island escapism!