The Last Ride
1884 – California
Andrea Carter is turning sweet sixteen and life could not be better. School’s almost over for good, and there will be plenty of time to train the colt of her treasured horse, Taffy. Best of all, big brother Chad is giving Andi more responsibilities on the ranch she loves.
Her first job is to teach city-slicker cousin Daniel how things work on the Circle C. There’s just one big problem: Daniel wants nothing to do with ranch life. Charming one minute and outrageously rude the next, he ignores common sense, defies authority, and proves a danger to everyone, including himself.
When Andi stumbles onto a horrifying secret about Daniel, he warns her to stay silent or face the deadly consequences. But all bets are off when Daniel’s actions set off a chain of events that leave Andi brokenhearted and bitter. Can anyone break through the wall around Andi’s heart and help her find healing?
1883 – California
Andrea Carter can ride, rope, and cut out cattle with the best of her brothers’ ranch hands. Yet, her mother has always held the family’s youngest daughter back from fully participating in ranch activities.
With the approach of her fifteenth birthday, even the ranch boss, big brother Chad, can’t deny that his baby sister is better at ranch skills than some of his cowhands. When Andi announces that her quinceañera birthday wish is to join the upcoming cattle drive, her family is stunned. But after further discussion and multiple newspaper clippings about spirited women who balked at society’s expectations, even Mother agrees that the only way to get this cattle-drive notion out of Andi’s head is by letting her and her cousin Levi go along as Cook’s helpers. Andi is elated. What can go wrong on a two-week drive to Los Angeles?
Andi quickly discovers that a cattle drive is a dirty, dangerous business with little sleep and the same food day after day. Between late nights, dust, mosquitos, and an abrasive cowhand trying to win Andi’s attention, it is definitely not a holiday. Andi grimly determines she will stick it out. When a river crossing goes wrong and Chad is shot in a gunfight with suspicious men who have been shadowing the herd, Mitch the trail boss finds himself dangerously shorthanded. Andi and Levi can no longer just give Cook a hand. It’s time to pitch in and help Mitch get their cattle to market―any way they can.