Adeline Buckley escapes her abusive father only to find herself in a brothel, on a stagecoach to the savage west and married to a stranger, all in that order. Plotting another escape becomes harder, the more she gets to know her new husband.
Jackson Pruitt didn’t expect an elusive mail order bride to show up the same week cattle wrestlers absconded with a large part of his herd. The bigger surprise was the beauty of the woman in his bed. Why would a stunner like her need to travel so far to marry?
Jackson and Adeline learn that secrets and marriage do not go hand-in-hand when her past comes knocking and both have to come to grips with the reality, that sometimes trust comes only after you lose it all.
Adeline strained to hear the sound of disaster in the form of horse hooves. The eerie quiet did not settle her nerves or give assurance. No doubt her absence was noted by now. Fear overshadowed the pain of her cuts and bruises. The threat of her father’s wrath forced her toward a plan of action.
The setting sun answered the unspoken question of which way she should run. With a cry of relief, she grabbed up her diminutive bundle and scrambled across the road. Thank god she’d kept her grip on it, while jumping. Adeline took a step back and the heel of her foot hit an item, a large turnip. It joined the other meager possessions in her bundle along with a second one that lay a few feet away.
With a last look over her shoulder to the empty road, she picked up her heavy skirts and ran toward the setting sun. She rushed past short mesquite trees without thought of anything more than the respite of finding freedom, the elusive tingle of hope flickered within her chest, giving her the resolution she’d need not only to reach town, but to make it to her final destination.