Johanna Carlson is fleeing from her abusive husband, Raymond, in the first part of Dakota December, Dakota Destiny. She and her mute son, Henry, get lost in a blizzard. Sheriff Caleb and his loyal dog find Johanna and Henry. When Caleb brings them into his house, he realizes Johanna is pregnant and in labor. He helps her deliver a baby girl on Christmas Eve. They name her Angel.
After Johanna recovers from childbirth, she buys a dress shop in Soldahl, North Dakota. Johanna has a nice life, but she is always afraid her husband will find her. Caleb would like to court Johanna, but she is still married. Johanna decides to go back to her home in Wisconsin to talk to Raymond. When she arrives, the neighbors tell her Raymond was killed.
In the second part of the book, the pastor's daughter, Mary, says goodbye to Will. Will is leaving Soldahl. He has enlisted in the U.S. Army. Mary and Will are in love with each other. When Mary finds out Will is missing in action, she refuses to believe he's dead.
Dakota December, Dakota Destiny was written by Lauraine Snelling. This is the first book in the Dakota Series. Other books written by Lauraine Snelling can be found at a St. Paul Public Library and a Ramsey County Library. To receive future St. Paul Books Examiner articles from Examiner.com, click "Subscribe."