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by Dena Barber
Hilltop House recounts one woman’s struggle to triumph over her past and her own insecurities as well as the expectations of the social elite who control life in the small town of Wheelerton.
Kate Bonner is the illegitimate daughter of Adell, who runs a bordello within her lodging house that caters to most of the powerful men in Wheelerton, including Sam Wheeler, the grandson of the town’s founder who owns most of the town—including Adell’s lodging house. Kate grows up humiliated and disgusted by her surroundings, and her feelings are cemented after a frightening assault that leaves her unable to experience intimacy with any man. She tries to find fulfillment in her life by throwing herself into turning a dilapidated house on a hill into a prestigious hotel, and her civic endeavors garner her respect and a place of leadership in the town.
When Kate meets Tony Durrell, a prominent lawyer with a complicated history of his own, their love seems to hold out hope of overcoming Kate’s fears. But will Kate’s past—and the drunken bitterness of Sam Wheeler—ruin Tony’s political career? The secrets Kate has kept threaten to destroy them both until Adell, the underlying cause of it all, ironically becomes their only hope.
About the Author
Dena Barber makes her home in Arizona where she and her late husband raised three children. In addition to writing and traveling, Mrs. Barber is active in her local church and volunteering.
(2010, paperback, 258 pages)