I meant to read a Cozy Mystery or Romantic Suspense this week, but real life stress derailed that. I found this delightful book somewhere in my pile. It’s ten years old! The author is still writing though, so you should definitely check out her backlist.
Emmeline is barely an adult when she heads West with her family, bound for Oregon. Her father is the classic jerk and her mom is what we’d call co-dependent nowadays. This leaves Emmeline to do most of the work and to shield her siblings from their toxic father as best she can. This does a good job, I think, of building up her own personal strength.
Will is helping to settle Kansas when Emmeline’s wagon train comes through. Of course, he thinks she’s pretty and is baffled by how young she is to be caring for so many children by herself. Then, he meets the parents and realizes why.
Storm’s a brewing and the settlers really ought to hunker down, but Emmeline’s father isn’t one to listen to reason or anybody. She can’t leave her mama and younger brothers and sisters to his mercy or the mercy of the storm, and so she goes along.
The tornado hits the wagon train, leaving Emmeline the new head of the family and desperately searching for missing children and belongings.
Will charges to Emmeline’s rescue, but she’s done letting a man be in charge. Winning her trust is not going to be easy.
I enjoyed following Emmeline’s growth. Life can make you better or it can you better. She learned from her childhood trauma and became a woman of fortitude. I loved seeing a heroine in charge of a large brood of children too. Honey, that’s some hard work right there!
Harlequin discontinued its Love Inspired Historicals. I was very disappointed, but I understand. From my point of view, it fell victim to the trends. There’s more to history than the Old West, even though it is pretty awesome.
Stay Safe & Be Kind.