Lovely, copper-tressed Tucker Houston, was a fiercely independent orphan, determined to become a schoolteacher and find a beter life in the rich new lands of the West. Joining a wagon train of mail order brides bound for California, she came face to face with Lucas Steele, the handsome, rugged wagonmaster - and suddenly her future seemed far less sure. Soon, in spite of herself, proud Tucker surrendered to the wild abandon, the raging hungers she found in Lucas' powerful arms... But then another man joined the wagon train - a ruthless, savage man who would stop at nothing to satisfy his lust for Tucker! And she discovered what price she would have to pay to keep her tender love with Lucas alive.
This story is about a wagon train of mail-order women and a teacher traveling from Fort Worth, Texas to Coopertown, California. Tucker Houston accepts a job of teacher in the California town and is accompanied by her best friend, a blind girl named Laura. They met each other years before in an orphanage.
Tucker has done a wonderful service to her friend by helping Laura to be successful in spite of her blindness. I was surprised to see how much Laura could do as soon as she became comfortable in any locale.
Although this is the mid-1800's, one of the women turns out to have been trained in Scotland as a physician. Because no one would accept her as a competent physician in the East, she did not admit her skills until disaster occurred on the wagon train.
This is quite an adventure the women face; there are several deaths, spousal abuse, Indians and other challenges along the way. It was great to see that the women formed a cohesive whole before they arrived in California.
Why didn't I rate it a 5 as so many others? I thought the miscommunication between the wagon master and Tucker lasted too long. Another problem I had -- something happens to Laura just before the end of the book; it just seemed too pat. I felt that she would have been a much more interesting character if that hadn't happened.
This book is very well-written and hard to put aside. I'm sure some won't agree with my 2 problems with the story, but that is why we read reviews of differing opinions. 4.5 stars
A girl hired for a teaching position heads out West with a blind fellow orphan. They travel by wagon train and discover love on the way.
She was a nineteen-year-old redhead without money, prospects, or parents, yet Tucker Houston had spunk to spare. Determined to find a better life for herself and her blind fellow orphan, she brazenly told a few fibs to land a job as a schoolteacher out West ... and soon found herself in a wagon train filled with mail-order brides. Leading them all was wagon master Lucas Steele, black-haired, hard-muscled, and drawn to Tucker's fire. Tucker and Lucas would soon find out that love couldn't wait -- not with the dangers of the trail making today all they had, and tomorrow a time that might never come for the dreams they shared.
***Set in the old west, a 19-year-old redhead without money, prospects, or parents set out to find a better life for herself and her blind fellow orphan by landing a job as a school teacher out West and found herself in a wagon train led by wagon master, Lucas Steele.
Garlock always touches the heart.
This is one of Dorothy Garlocks best- a young girl steps out to be a schoolteacher in the West, this is a story of love, heartache, and dreams that come true.