Reviewed by Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
As the oldest of ten girls Amanda Winters’ father put her to work on the farm doing the job that a son would do. She never had a dress and like her mother was subject to abuse by her father. When her father died she sold the farm which left her with little money and decided to become a mail-order bride. Her fiance Lewis Baxter showed his cheap nature when he sent her barely enough money to make the trip.
Fortunately for Amanda she was able to join another mail-order bride and they were able to buy a prairie schooner from a family that decided to return home. Her new friend Jeanie was to marry Jamie Kilbride but she soon discovered that there was no spark between them and broke the agreement in order to marry one of the outriders. Jamie was not upset about Jeanie breaking their engagement because when it came to sparks that was exactly what he and Amanda had.
Amanda was once left at the altar and in spite of Jamie’s insistence that Lewis was abusive as well as cheap she refused to do to him what Ernest her ex-fiance did to her. Over the months that it took to reach their destination both Amanda and Jaime were in love although she refused to acknowledge it to herself or anyone else. Finally arriving at their destination and meeting Lewis she discovers that everything Jamie told her was not only true but worse than she could ever have imagined. Just asking for them to wait to marry and get to know each other was all it took for Lewis to show his true self leaving Amanda totally destroyed both mentally and physically.
Jaime is not about to give up trying to convince Amanda that he loves her but Lewis is far from finished with her and she fears being the cause of harm to the man she knows she loves. Whether she gives in to Jamie I will leave for you to discover but their journey towards a HEA was filled with violence and suspense.
This was a beautiful story about a woman whose word meant everything to her and was willing to turn away from the man she loved to the man she was committed to. A man whose love is so strong he will do anything to claim the woman he loves in spite of anything that people are saying.
Ms. Woolf gives a wonderful description of life on a wagon train and it is far from pretty. Months travelling, a journey filled with danger and at the end marrying a man you know little or nothing about, a danger in itself.