Following the War Between the States, Lt. Ridley Cooper arrives at Belle Meade Plantation with a plan. He would learn everything there was to know about horses and be gone in 6 weeks--2 months at the most. On the same day that he arrived, Olivia Aberdeen, widow of a traitor to the South (who had been shot, dragged through the streets of Nashville, & hung for all to see what happens to traitors) arrived at Belle Meade to be a companion to the owner's wife. Struggling to shed the stench from her husband's evil deeds that Nashville society attached to her as well, Olivia takes on the additional job of accountant for the plantation. Meantime, Ridley Cooper has realized there is no way he can learn everything in so short a time. He becomes a valued employee of Gen. Harding, who convinces him to stay for a year. Woven into the story are Seabird, a thoroughbred mare, her colt Dauntless, Uncle Bob (head hostler at Belle Meade), a freedman's school, and a glimpse of the Klan. My only disappointment was that the Klansmen were not unmasked, although I have my suspicions as to their identity. I got book 2 in this series either free or at a very reduced price. When I saw it was the second in the series, I had to buy book 1. I'm so glad I did. I seldom give a 5 star ranking but this is a book that deserves it. I highly recommend it. A touch of history, a touch of hidden secrets, a touch of romance, a hint of more to come. Excellent.