Reviewed by Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Guild Review Team
Emma Rose Murphy has had a lot of loss in her life, her fiance, her brother, father and her mother shot accidentally and dying in her arms. With no reason to remain in Pennsylvania she sells the house and everything in it and joins her Aunt Margaret and Uncle Ryan who are going to be heading to Oregon City by wagon train. A six month trip with no luxuries but hopefully at the end a new beginning.
When she wanders alone to get water she is attacked and saved by Noah Parker, a former Pinkerton Agent. She and her aunt and uncle befriend Noah until the night a nightmare sends Emma Rose walking alone once again crying. Her cries are heard by Noah who accompanies her back to her wagon only to be met by her uncle accusing them of doing something tawdry and insisting they marry the very next day. Noah is very handsome but he carries a gun and since her mother’s death she has been intolerant of anyone who wears one in addition to the fact that he wants to find a job as a sheriff or marshall.
Now a married woman to a man she barely knows and refusing to ever speak to her uncle again she sets off for Oregon City with her new husband. Of course she knows that if she wants children, and she does, she will have to do her wifely duties, duties her mother insisted were horrible but necessary to please their husband. She manages to get Noah to agree to two weeks but he won’t budge when it comes to them sharing a bed and after a few days laying naked next to each other.
Her attacker comes after her again but by that time she is pregnant and once again Noah is there to save her. They make friends with a family whose young daughter is not so lucky and Bart Cramden violates her and nearly chokes her to death. Now Emma Rose reconsiders her view on guns, had she allowed Noah to shoot Bart he would not have harmed Lula.
I love all the books by Cynthia Woolf because however bad things get I can picture what it was like in the eighteen hundreds, laundry by hand at the river, a simple walk alone with a man forcing marriage which of course in Emma Rose and Noah’s case turned out to be a blessing. A time where a woman gave birth and went right back to business as usual, wow I love reading about that time but am so lucky not to have to have lived then.