A wonderful story about a deaf mute man named Jim, who lives and works in the town stables and tavern in a small town in Nebraska, 1901. Catherine, new to town, transplanted herself from Ny to become the town teacher after needing to go away to deal with the loss of her Fiance' who dies in the war. While she is walking past the saloon, she is witness to 3 men beating Jim and dragging him behind a horse. She is the only one who tries and succeeds in stopping this. She goes to his room with his boss and helps clean him up. She discovers he is intelligent and not the idiot the townspeople believe him to be. She begins teaching him to read and write and sign language, one thing leads to another and they fall in love. She is embarrassed/ashamed by her love for him as he is way beneath her, yet she knows this is wrong to be like this. Most of the story is about her working this out with herself. There is also a villain who needs to be dealt with.
It was a great story and Jim broke my heart. He was so very, very alone and the author did a great job in showing us that. The only thing I had issues with, had to do with the crudeness of the sexual thoughts they each had it all could have been phrased so much better. I like sizzling hotness in my books, so it's not that, it just could have been worded better, hence the 4 star rather than 5.