1888 – Wyoming Territory
1800s – Montana
She has no idea who she is.
He knows exactly who she is.
Will the truth bring them together…or keep them apart for good?
When wealthy heiress Sierra Caldwell loses her memory and shows up confused and uninvited at Burning Dress Ranch, Miss Sally has a mystery on her hands. She suspects her handsome assistant foreman Nick Bannister knows more about the girl than he’s letting on. He’s acting so out of character toward Sierra, and the two clash like lightning and thunder. What’s the cause of the fireworks between the mysterious guest and the cowboy?
To get the answer, Miss Sally will give these two just enough rope to hang themselves. Then what they do with a bitter revelation will be up to them…
1880 – Arkansas
Maggie Spoonmore marries her father’s former foreman, Zach Colton, in order to salvage her reputation, yet struggles to believe he married her for love and not her inheritance. It’s difficult for Maggie to relinquish control and allow Zach to lead the ranch to prosperity.
Danger dogs their steps as they try to figure out how to live a life together when they hadn’t had time to court each other and Maggie is thrust out of the role she’d always thought she’d have with full management of her father’s ranch.
Can these two work together to bring a dream to fulfillment and learn to love each other along the way?
1887 – Canada
Grace knows her brother Sam, left her in the orphanage for noble reasons—so she would be adopted. And she was. Her adoptive family is kind and loving. But she’s never forgotten her brother. He has written to her regularly, his letters full of wonderful descriptions of the ranch and the people there. She heads to the Circle A and her first reunion with her brother in seven years.
Sam is away getting a horse when news comes that his sister is arriving. Adam’s heart thumps hard. The letters Grace has received all these years were written by Adam. What is he going to do? He knows he can’t reveal the truth until he can talk to Sam. In the meantime, he means to show Grace the country he has told her so much about and enjoy the company of the young woman he has grown very fond of through their correspondence.
Sam returns and Adam insists on Sam telling the truth. But when Grace learns the truth she is hurt and angry. Everything she thought was true is not. Can’t she trust anyone? She flees to her childhood home. When Adam discovers her whereabouts and comes after her, is she ready to hear the truth that he has fallen in love with her while he was writing to her? Is she willing to trust the feelings that have been growing in her heart?
1909 – Wyoming
Susie Crowell née White is a desperate young mother with another baby on the way. Her late husband left her nothing but his bad reputation. She has no money and is too ashamed to return home to her family. When she is trapped alone during a snowstorm with a stranger and the baby coming, her only choice is to rely on him.
Gil Hart came west to find healing for his consumption. He never expected to find himself trapped with a lost young widow. Or how fast he could fall for her and her two little ones. But it doesn’t take long for his secrets to come to light.
After everything she’s suffered in the past, can Susie ever trust another gambler?
1887 – Canada
Two wounded and wary hearts. Both wanting what the other can help them attain if only they can get past the pain of their pasts.
Twenty-three year old Noah Murray, is not interested in his boss’s plan to see all the cowboys of Circle A happily married. But the boss sweetens the plan by offering him the piece of land he has always admired. A home almost like the one he lost when his widowed mother remarried and his step-father kicked him and Adam off the place. His dream of following in his father’s footsteps still lives at least as far as owning a bit of land but not the part about sharing it with a woman he loves. He will never trust a woman again. Not after what his mother did and what he has seen of other women.
Lainie Ellis has the responsibility of her two young siblings and the task of fulfilling her father’s wishes to buy land in the west. To her shock, she discovers the land she bought is not for sale and does not have the promised house on it. She is a squatter. She has learned the folly of trusting a man to say or do the right thing. She is determined to make it on her own.
Can two disillusioned, heart-weary people find the love they secretly yearn for or will their past experiences continue to drive them apart?
1887 – Canada
Maude’s husband, John, had been injured and she desperately needed some cowboys to work the ranch. She found Dillon down on his luck and gave him, and five other young men, a home and trains them. Seven years later she is set on finding brides for all of the young men. Dillon’s not interested. He was robbed of everything by Slick McCall—someone he trusted. A girl he loved has also treated him poorly. He doesn’t intend to open his heart to anyone. His plan is to stay right there on the ranch and take care of Maude and John.
Abigail has been duped by a slick-talking charmer and is now expecting a baby with no ring on her finger. Posing as a widow, she flees west, intending to start over and create a new life for herself and her unborn baby. However she arrives at Logan Crossing and discovers her money is missing—stolen. She has nothing. Maude offers her a job on the ranch, thinking this pretty young widow will be suitable for one of the boys.
Abigail eagerly helps at the ranch house, determined to make a temporary home for herself and the baby. Dillon is always ready to take her for a walk or otherwise entertain her. The baby’s birth creates a new level of attraction and intimacy between them. He tells her of how a certain Slick McCall has stolen everything and a former girlfriend hurt him, teaching Dillon to guard his heart.
Slick McCall was the man who sweet talked her into making Abby’s baby. She was prepared to tell Dillon the truth about being an unwed mother but hearing his words makes her realize she must guard her secret.
But how long can she hide the truth when she and Dillon are falling in love? Will Dillon still love her when the truth comes out? Most of all, will her newborn son ever be accepted?
1870 – Wyoming
Falcon Hunt awakens without a past, or at least not one he can recall. He’s got brothers he can’t remember, and he’s interested in the prettiest woman in the area, Cheyenne. Only trouble is, a few flashes of memory make Falcon wonder if he’s already married. He can’t imagine abandoning a wife. But his pa did just that–twice. When Falcon claims his inheritance in the West, Cheyenne is cut out of the ranch she was raised on, leaving her bitter and angry. And then Falcon kisses her, adding confusion and attraction to the mix.
Soon it’s clear someone is gunning for the Hunt brothers. When one of his brothers is shot, Falcon and Cheyenne set out to find who attacked him. They encounter rustled cattle, traitorous cowhands, a missing woman, and outlaws that take all their savvy to overcome. As love grows between these two independent people, Falcon must piece together his past if they’re to have any chance at a future.
1870 – Kansas
As her husband’s evil deeds haunt a mail-order bride from the grave, can she learn to trust again and open her heart to true love?
On visitation rounds as a lay preacher, the last thing rancher Jed Holt expects is to be shot at from the barn next to a burned-down homestead. But the soot-covered woman hiding inside needs protecting, and Jed is the man to do it whether she likes it or not. Delilah James’s nightmares began when she came to Kansas as a mail-order bride. Her husband was nothing like his letters. Now that he is dead, she can’t shake his abuse from her heart. Trusting men tops her never-again list and taking a job on the Holt ranch as a housekeeper is a means to save money and bring her parents west. But her attraction to the compassionate former chaplain both angers and confuses her.
Jed has his own nightmares from a POW camp and understands Delilah better than she knows. Can two broken people form a forever bond?
1884 – Montana
Rodeo has never been closer to achieving his dream of buying his own ranch. But when his trick horse—his partner in every performance—falls for the lovely Juliet and refuses to leave her side, Rodeo’s plans go up in smoke. How can Rodeo persuade his stubborn horse to change his mind? Especially when Rodeo finds himself drawn to Jules, too…
Juliet is the careful twin, content to play it safe. She’s not interested in Rodeo—or his horse. But the more time she spends with the stubborn cowboy, the more she realizes there are hidden depths he doesn’t show anyone else. But feeling compassion for the man doesn’t mean she’s falling for him… does it?
Rodeo needs Jules’s help to convince his matchmaking horse to perform. Can these two put aside their pasts and embrace a future that fulfills dreams they won’t admit to?
1870 – Wyoming
Left with little back in Missouri, Kevin Hunt takes his younger siblings on a journey to Wyoming when he receives news that he’s inheriting part of a ranch. The catch is that the ranch is also being given to a half brother he never knew existed. Turns out, Kevin’s supposedly dead father led a secret and scandalous life.
But danger seems to track Kevin along the way, and he wonders if his half brother, Wyatt, is behind the attacks. Finally arriving at the ranch, everyone is at each other’s throats and the only one willing to stand in between is Winona Hawkins, a nearby schoolmarm.
Despite being a long-time friend to Wyatt, Winona can’t help but be drawn to the earnest, kind Kevin–and that puts her in the cross hairs of somebody’s dangerous plot. Will they all be able to put aside their differences long enough to keep anyone from getting truly hurt?
1911 – Colorado
A hidden fear. A daring challenge. A liberating love.
A motorcar accident on a rainy Chicago night steals Ella Canaday’s fiancé as well as her ability to ride. Clinging to the remnants of her independence, she cuts her hair and her ties with her wealthy father and takes a train west as the seamstress with a moving-picture company. Colorado offers the change of scenery she needs. But she doesn’t expect the bold cowboy who challenges her to reclaim both the loves she thought she’d lost forever.
Cale Hutton needs the money the moving-picture company is paying for use of his cattle and horses, but he’s not keen on some city gal gettin’ in the way out at the ranch. Between the filming crew by day and a rogue cattle-killing bear by night, his attention snags on the little bob-haired seamstress. Something about her easy manner around his horse sets his mind to find out what she’s hiding and why she has such a pull on his heart.
1862 – Colorado Territory
Greta Nilsson’s trip west to save her ailing little sister, Astrid, could not have gone more wrong. First, bandits hold up her stagecoach, stealing all her money. Then, upon arriving in Fairplay, Colorado, she learns the man she was betrothed to as a mail-order bride has died. Homeless, penniless, and jobless, Greta and her sister are worse off than when they started.
Wyatt McQuaid is struggling to get his new ranch up and running and is in town to purchase cattle when the mayor proposes the most unlikely of bargains. He’ll invest in a herd of cattle for Wyatt’s ranch if Wyatt agrees to help the town become more respectable by marrying and starting a family. And the mayor, who has promised to try to help Greta, has just the candidate in mind for Wyatt to marry.
1905 – Colorado
Seb White had his heart shattered when Emma Morris walked away from their courtship two years ago. Now far from home, when he is beaten and left for dead, the last place he wants to be is under her care. But that’s exactly where he finds himself.
Being close to her former beau means secrets are uncovered. But not the one Emma holds close to her heart. She never stopped loving Seb.
1882 – Texas
He’s been raised to carry on the legacy.
After her mother’s untimely death, Emma Monroe’s dreams to become a teacher are dashed. She takes a job as maid and cook at the local Stratton Ranch, where she endures humiliation and hardship in order to provide for her ailing father and younger brother. Only Riley Stratton, her childhood friend and heir to the Stratton fortune, sees her heart. When she’s asked to care for Skye, the young half-Indian girl most family members refuse to claim, Emma finally finds the purpose she craves.
Riley Stratton has it all, or so it seems. Growing up as the youngest son of the rich and powerful John Stratton, Riley stands to inherit a legacy of greatness in the Stratton Ranch. On the surface, his family looks like they have it all, but manipulation, deceit, and an ever-present quest for power leave him desperate for change. Yet his father has made it clear: do things the Stratton way, or face alienation and disinheritance.
As Riley and Emma choose between honor, dreams, and expectations—not to mention the love they can no longer deny—their first steps prove how quickly the situation can spin into danger. When their best efforts threaten the lives and hopes of those closest to them, it becomes clear the decisions they make will change the course of their lives forever.
1898 – Montana/Canada
They’ll have to conquer more than the Klondike Trail to reach her father in time—they’ll have to overcome their past too.
After months of silence from her father in the Klondike, Tava Rutherford finally receives word from him. Only the outdated letter reveals that her father is ill and may be dying. Desperate to discover his fate, Tava resolves to make the journey to the wilds of northwestern Canada. But Jess Lawmen, her ranch foreman and the man who broke her heart, insists she doesn’t go alone. Jess intends to keep his promise to look out for her—even if that means traveling thousands of miles with Tava, the woman he claims to feel just friendship for but has never stopped loving.
With their own ragtag group of travelers in tow, Tava and Jess confront one challenge after another as they join the hundreds of stampeders scrambling to reach the goldfields. But as the two of them come face to face with their past hurts and mistakes in their race to reach Tava’s father, they will have to decide whether to cling to safety or risk their hearts for something even greater.
1870s – Arizona
She has nowhere to go. He has nothing to lose.
Lily McAllen has known nothing but hardship and rejection. Her brother, the only person she can lean on, takes a job at the Miller ranch. Now with no ally, she is alone, confined, and vulnerable. Even God has forsaken her. She becomes desperate to get away…by any means necessary.
Despite his best intentions, Daniel Hayworth is drawn into a fatal mishap. He feels responsible. And is prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure Lily is cared for…even if that means proposing marriage.
Complicating matters, Geronimo and his raiding band terrorize the surrounding areas. Troubles mount and tensions challenge the growing attraction between Dan and Lily.
Will they make it to the church? Or find themselves victims of lies, disillusionment, or the ire of an Apache rebel?
1886 – Canada
Levi Hooper is the youngest brother and tired of being ‘the kid.’ No one takes him seriously. Not even the girl he hoped to marry.
Zola Minor needed an escape from a controlling relationship. She found one by moving west with her parents. When her father falls ill, the family stops to rest near the Coulee Crossing Ranch—Levi’s home.
While Zola finds a freedom she’s been seeking in the open spaces and big sky, she also clashes with Levi. In the best way possible. She is both attracted to and afraid of the young rancher. She sees what his brothers can’t. Levi is a mature young man with a generous heart. A heart she’s afraid she can’t resist.
But Zola’s family never planned to stay. When her pa is strong enough to continue the journey, she faces a tough choice: leave the rancher behind? Or take a chance and trust him with her heart?
1893 – Washington
Can Nicole learn to be enough of a lady to snag the handsome rancher?
Nicole Waterby has lived her whole life in the hills away from town due to her grandfather’s mistrust of people. But now he’s passed away, and Nicole is left to care for her two younger cousins. Feeling inadequate to handle the responsibility, she heads down the mountain to fetch herself a husband. She doesn’t realize women don’t wear trousers, buckskins, or carry a gun. She has a lot to learn about being a lady if she’s going to catch a husband. And the quilting circle is just the group of women to help her.
Rancher Shane Keegan has drifted from one location to another to find a place to belong. He longs to have a family of his own but feels doomed to live a life alone. When Nicole crosses his path, he wonders if he can have love, but he soon realizes she’s destined for someone better than a saddle tramp. Even though he knows there’s no future for him with the intriguing mountain girl, he still steps in to help her at every opportunity.
Will love stand a chance while both Nicole and Shane try to be people they are not?
1872 – Nevada
She’s targeting his love. He’s aiming to steer clear. ‘Til true love picks them off in a bull’s-eye of the heart.
Eighteen-year-old Sheridan Donovan has been in love with Jake Sullivan since the age of four, when she used to tag after him and her big brothers on the Silver Lining Ranch. From little on, Jake has been her hero, convincing her brothers to play school and wedding with her whenever she’d begged and cried. From horsey rides and tickle fests to his sweet willingness to be her pretend groom, Jake’s gentleness and affection had nurtured two dreams in Sheridan’s heart—becoming both a teacher and Mrs. Jake Sullivan. Preferably not in that order.
At the age of thirty, Jake figures he pretty much has everything he needs at the moment. A good job as the Assistant Foreman for Silver Lining Ranch, great friends in Blaze and Dash Donovan, and a true mentor in their uncle and owner of the ranch, Finn McShane, the man who’d given him a family to replace the one he lost. But when Finn’s niece, Sheridan—Blaze’s and Dash’s little sister to whom Jake became a big brother as well—turns eighteen, Jake discovers there’s one more thing he needs: distance and lots of it. From pinafores and bows at age six to overalls and dirt till age fifteen, the grown-up Sheridan looks nothing like the little girl who’d once been his constant shadow, now transformed into a young woman who races his heart. Painfully aware that Sheridan is determined to win his love, Jake is equally determined to keep a promise to her uncle, a promise that not only shoots a hole in his well-ordered life, but in his heart as well.
1884 – Wyoming Territory
It’s a match made in heaven…as long as they don’t fall in love!
The ranch Nolan Key has spent decades working for, even lost a leg for, is now his—or at least it should be. But an absurd clause in his father’s will means he’s in danger of losing the place to his lazy, undeserving cousin. Nolan finds himself scrambling to save his home—by proposing marriage to the town laundress.
Corinne Stillwater’s hands have betrayed her. Numb from hours of doing the same work over and over, her hands will only heal, according to the town doctor, if she gives up the laundry and marries. But she’s been stung repeatedly by love before, so that is one remedy she can’t swallow.
When Nolan offers Corinne a marriage in name only, how can she refuse? Such a partnership could give them the security they seek, but what if the ranch isn’t as secure as they believe, and their lives—and dreams—aren’t quite as compatible as they thought?
Pretending to Wed is the second book in the Frontier Vows Series by award-winning Christian romance author Melissa Jagears. If you like marriage of convenience stories that deal with the nitty-gritty of making a relationship work, you’ll love this authentic romance set in a time gone by that tackles issues still relevant for today.
1800s – Montana
Two wounded souls. One loving, relentless God.
Welcome to Burning Dress Ranch.
Miss Sally, the mysterious and secretive owner of Burning Dress, established the operation with a very particular mission—to make sure her charges leave with a real skill, and to share the love of Christ with their hurting, wounded souls.
Cecelia Huggins, broken by a bitter, shameful divorce, has come to Burning Dress to take control of her own destiny. She wants to work and learn. She doesn’t want friends, and she certainly doesn’t ever want to fall in love again.
Jax Taylor is foreman of the Burning Dress and he’s the perfect man for the job. Most of the ranch hands are women who are healing from some pretty tough blows. Just like them, he’s pushing past his own hurts and would prefer to drink poison rather than fall in love again.
Miss Sally has had some tough cases before but Cecelia and Jax maybe the toughest. How do you convince two stubborn hearts that the only way to find rest for their souls is to give in to love?
1885 – Texas
She needs to learn how to flirt. He needs to forget she exists. Then she asks him for help finding a husband… What could possibly go wrong?
Charlotte Westin has always been more comfortable in a saddle than a ballroom. That wouldn’t be a problem, except her father owns the largest ranch in Texas—and he insists she marry a wealthy city-slicker worthy of a cattle baron’s daughter. There might be someone out there who’d love her for who she is instead of her money, but she’s been fooled by a sweet talker before, and her family is still suffering because of it.
With an old friend-turned-enemy returning to town and cattle rustlers running roughshod over the county, Sheriff Daniel Harding knows the last thing he should be thinking about is a woman… especially the one woman he’ll never be able to marry. Then Charlotte Westin asks for his help, and Daniel can’t refuse. Until he finds out exactly what she wants…
When Charlotte comes to Daniel with a plan to find herself a husband, Daniel is forced to face his feelings for her—as well as some past mistakes of his own. But as the rustlers grow more dangerous, Charlotte’s father takes drastic steps to engage her to a man she doesn’t love. And Charlotte and Daniel soon find themselves caught between the burdens from their pasts and others’ expectations. Will they let their past choices ruin their dreams? Or will Charlotte and Daniel embrace God’s forgiveness and forge a happy future for themselves?
1800s – Colorado
Hope Clark has fought hard to convince the town of Defiance that a woman doctor is good for what ails them. But when certain physical challenges present themselves, hard facts spur her own doubts, crushing her self-confidence. And if she can’t stay, if the city is really where she belongs, what about the people she has come to love, especially a certain cowboy?
Lane Chandler’s never been in love before and isn’t exactly sure what his heart is telling him about Hope. After all, she’s a doctor and he’s just a cowboy. Or so Dr. Edward Pratt happily keeps reminding him.
Lane wonders if Hope could truly be happy practicing in a remote mining town. Pratt believes she would be more fulfilled serving in a Philadelphia hospital. With him.
In the end, nothing but true love will give Hope the freedom to choose her own path.
1855 – Texas
Ten years after her parents were killed, Evelyn Radcliffe is once more homeless. The orphanage that was her refuge and later her workplace has burned to the ground, and only she and a young orphan girl have escaped. Convinced this must be related to her parents’ murders, Evelyn flees with the girl to Mesquite Springs in the Texas Hill Country and finds refuge in the home of Wyatt Clark, a talented horse rancher whose plans don’t include a family of his own.
At first, Evelyn is a distraction. But when it becomes clear that trouble has followed her to Mesquite Springs, she becomes a full-blown disruption. Can Wyatt keep her safe from the man who wants her dead? And will his own plans become collateral damage?
Suspenseful and sweetly romantic, Out of the Embers is the first in a new series that invites you to the Texas Hill Country in the 1850s, when the West was wild, the men were noble, and the women were strong.
1886 – Canada
Connie has always been the plain one. The responsible one. The dutiful one. She always stood in her beautiful cousin’s shadow, but now her cousin is dead. Connie is left to pick up the pieces and do right by her little niece, Megan, which means delivering the girl to her father. But nothing is as it seems. Jake denies being the father. Worse, the attraction Connie once felt for the enigmatic rancher still exists, though she has always been invisible to him.
Jake Hooper lost his mother, his father, and then his sweetheart, who left him without so much as a word of explanation. When Connie shows up with a child she claims is his, he knows it can’t be true.
Jake determines to take Connie and Megan to Fort Macleod. They aren’t his responsibility. And after all the loss he has suffered, he can’t bear to open his heart again.
But the more time they spend together, the more one charming little girl and her fiery aunt sneak into Jake’s heart. Will he be able to cut ties and leave them on their own? Or will his honor—and his heart—require a different answer?
1880 – Colorado
Mining, murder—and a mock marriage?
New York City socialite Becky Campbell inherited more than a speck of her father’s wanderlust. Now his murder bequeaths her a mystery, a ramshackle homestead, and a silver mine.
Zeke Graumann signs on as Becky’s foreman to keep his portion of his family’s ranch. He shares the workers’ reservations about a woman boss, especially one who burns water and prances around in dungarees. Even though she did look awful good in the dungarees.
Then a series of accidents add threat to tension. Can Becky trust Zeke, find her father’s killer, and turn her mine into a profitable venture? Will Zeke be forced to give up his ranching dream to win Becky’s heart?
1875 – Colorado
She’s seventeen with a ranch to run, a fear of heights, and a cowboy intent on stealing her heart.
Abigale Millerton leaves a Denver women’s school and returns to her grandparents’ high-country ranch to find the boy she’d grown up with not a boy any longer—and butting in on her challenge with local timber thieves. If he’d stop telling her what to do, they might get along.
Seth Holt has loved Abigale since before he knew better. And now that she’s back in the high country, she’s still as bull-headed as ever. But Seth can match her, and he’s determined to keep her out of harm’s way and in his line of sight. Trouble is, he’d rather keep her in his arms.
1868 – Texas
4 Women Bring Southern Charm to a Cowboy Town
A Cowboy of Her Own by Patty Smith Hall
Bookish southern belle Madalyn Turner knows what she wants—to be a cowboy and own a Texas ranch. But books are far different from real life and soon she realizes she needs help.
Josephine’s Dream by Cynthia Hickey
An inexperience Southern belle and a ranching widower must overcome their two very different lifestyles and find a way to work together. Neither of them expected to fall in love. When danger strikes, will they find out that love is worth the price?
Love’s Cookin’ at the Cowboy Café by Marilyn Turk
A refined but feisty southern belle inherits a saloon she plans to convert into a genteel café. Even though her lack of cooking skills threatens disaster, she rejects the town banker’s advice. What will happen when the two lock horns and an unlikely romance simmers on the back burner?
Bea Mine by Kathleen Y’Barbo
Preferring his horse and hound dog to human company, the sheriff’s soldier brother is not happy when he’s left in charge of the jail and the talkative woman awaiting trial. Has the Lord moved to change his mind about the course of his life, or will the little lady win his heart and her freedom?
1889 – Colorado
After their father is bushwhacked, David and Jenny Foster must ready themselves for their first winter in Colorado’s rugged San Juan Mountains. Eighteen-year-old Jenny is under no illusions—it’ll take a miracle to survive, much less thrive, in the unforgiving wilderness, particularly when twelve-year-old David fights her every attempt to prepare.
Unexpected help arrives when John Beck—once a close friend of their father’s—arrives at their cabin. The tough-as-nails bounty hunter reluctantly agrees to stay through the winter. He owes it to his murdered friend to help Foster’s children build a working ranch, even if it’s the last thing he wants to do.
Their uneasy alliance is fraught with hardships, danger, and back-breaking work that still doesn’t guarantee anyone will survive until spring. Especially with their father’s killer still on the loose.
1873 – Colorado
Josephine Nordegren is one of three sisters who grew up nearly wild in southwestern Colorado. She has the archery skills of Robin Hood and the curiosity of the Little Mermaid, fascinated by but locked away from the forbidden outside world–a world she’s been raised to believe killed her parents. When David Warden, a rancher, brings in a herd much too close to the girls’ secret home, her older sister especially is frightened, but Jo is too interested to stay away.
David’s parents follow soon on his heels, escaping bandits at their ranch. David’s father is wounded and needs shelter. Josephine and her sisters have the only cabin on the mountain. Do they risk stepping into the world to help those in need? Or do they remain separated but safe in the peaks of Hope Mountain?
1859 – Illinois
After four long years away, Esther Stanton returns to the prairie to care for her sister Charlotte’s family following the birth of her second child. The month-long stay seems much too short as Esther becomes acquainted with her brother-in-law’s new ranch hand, Stewart Brant. When obligations compel her to return to Cincinnati and to the man her overbearing mother intends her to wed, she loses hope of ever knowing true happiness.
Still reeling from a hurtful relationship, Stew is reluctant to open his heart to Esther. But when he faces a life-threatening injury with Esther tending him, their bond deepens. Heartbroken when she leaves, he sets out after her and inadvertently stumbles across an illegal slave-trade operation, the knowledge of which puts him, as well as Esther and her family, in jeopardy.
1886 – Texas
When Ivy Cooke discovers the extent of the debt on her father’s Texas ranch, she vows to do whatever it takes to save her late brother’s legacy for his son. But when new neighbor Dell Watson and his family claim they own the Cooke’s spring, the fight gets ever harder, especially in the midst of a deep drought.
To prove his worth to his father, Dell puts a plan into motion to woo Ivy and her spring. What he doesn’t count on his falling in love with her.
Will the spring bring them together or tear them apart forever?
1881 – Nebraska
Hero Tom MacKinnon rides up driving a wagon with a second wagon trailing him. He and his sister want to be hired to build windmills. They’ll ask for very little money and, in exchange heroine, Lauren Drummond, newly widowed mother of four nearly grown sons, will help them learn to survive in the Sandhills of Nebraska. What to grow, what to hunt, how to build a sod house.
Tom’s windmills will save her ranch. Lauren needs three windmills on this drought year or her growing herd of cattle is going to die of thirst. She agrees to teach him the ways of the Sandhills, and to give him fifteen head of cattle.
She’s not ready to think of another man. But Tom changes her mind. His little sister and one of her sons find love together before Tom and Lauren do.
1884 – Montana
Tilly Kinsley carries physical and emotional wounds home to Glory, Montana Territory, after being rejected by the family she hoped to become a part of. The town is familiar—and so is the gossip mill. Uncomfortable with the curious stares she constantly receives, she volunteers to care for two young girls on a ranch out of town. The ranch gives her a place to hide. But she can’t escape the notice of the girls’ stepfather.
Lance has had a difficult time since his wife died. Her daughters hate him, and he doesn’t know why. He wonders if he’s doing the right thing in keeping them. Out of sheer necessity, he accepts Tilly’s offer of help. He doesn’t want another wife… but he can’t ignore the woman with the haunted eyes.
Caring for the girls, dealing with a crazed bear, struggling to save an injured colt, and enduring the disapproval of Lance’s father forces them to work together. Can this unlikely pair find healing and hope together?