My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Source: Netgalley (a long time ago)
Published: October 2011
Genre: Christian Historical Romance/Adventure
Book Description: Travel along with Elise Finster and her British mistress, Lady Anne Stone, as they search for the new but missing earl of Stoneford. Determined to follow David Stone’s somewhat cold trail leading to Oregon, greenhorns Elise and Anne secure livestock and supplies to join a wagon train. Will the ladies succeed in their quest or succumb to the malfeasance of the mysterious man dogging their heels? Scout Eb Bentley’s initial disgust with these ill-prepared women eventually turns into admiration for one lady in particular. Can he protect her long enough to win her over, or will prairie dreams turn into a Wild West nightmare?
My thoughts: Elise Finster and Anne Stone don't know what the future holds for them. They know that they must find Anne's uncle, who left Britain for America 20 years earlier. Anne's father recently passed away, leaving David Stone the heir.
The two ladies embark on a journey that takes them by train, boat, and covered wagon across the United States, back when the West was largely unsettled. It is on their trek that they show what they are made of. It was interesting to see how two proper ladies are able to use their knowledge and unconventional resources to succeed on the journey.
Eb Bentley was against the two untried English women joining the wagon train. He was sure it would lead to disaster and he wanted them to be safe. His reasoning becomes clear as the book progresses. From the outset, he was attracted to Miss Finster. Their romance is not one that is sudden. It takes a course to develop over several months.
The main story is about the search for David Stone. Following his tracks on the Oregon trail leads to adventure, danger, swindlers, and romance.
This book doesn't wrap all of the ends at it's conclusion. There is a second book, Lady Anne's Quest, that follows Anne as she continues her search for her Uncle.
This is a sweet romance with a Christian theme.
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About the Author: FROM AUTHOR'S WEBSITE: I'm a native of central Maine, and grew up on a small farm with a wonderful mom and dad, three sisters and a brother. Most of my books take place in small towns, many of them in Maine.
My husband, Jim, and I moved to his birth state, Oregon, for a while after we were married, but decided to move back to Maine and be near my family. We're so glad we did. It allowed our six children to grow up feeling close to their cousins and grandparents, and some of Jim's family have even moved to Maine!
Our children are all home-schooled. The two youngest are still learning at home. Jim recently retired from his vocation as an editor at a daily newspaper, and we’ve moved from Maine to Kentucky.
I've always loved reading, history, and horses. These things come together in several of my historical books. My young adult novel, Sarah's Long Ride, also spotlights horses and the rugged sport of endurance riding, as does the contemporary romance Trail to Justice. I took a vocational course in horseshoeing after earning a bachelor's degree in history. I don't shoe horses anymore, but the experience has come in handy in writing my books.
Another longtime hobby of mine is genealogy, which has led me down many fascinating paths. I'm proud to be a DAR member! Some of Jim's and my quirkier ancestors have inspired fictional characters.
Jim does freelance editing as well. In addition to his 20 years experience at the newspaper, he's edited all my novels before they go out, and he helped edit Primitive Archer Magazine for several years. He has recently edited several novels for Summerside Press.
For many years I worked for the Central Maine Morning Sentinel as a freelancer. This experience was a great help in developing fictional characters and writing realistic scenes. I also published nonfiction articles in several magazines and had several short stories appear in Woman's World, Grit, and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.