Welcome to the release day blast for Wagon Train Cinderella by Shirley Kennedy! I had a chance to read the ARC, and I really enjoyed this fast-paced, fun read.
Enter to Win a
Digital Copy of WAGON TRAIN CINDERELLA
Wagon Train Cinderella
Releasing February 3rd, 2015
Love can lead you out of the wilderness…
1851, Overland Trail to California. As a baby, Callie was left on the doorstep of an isolated farmhouse in Tennessee. The Whitaker family took her in but have always considered her more a servant than a daughter. Scorned by her two stepsisters, Callie is forced to work long hours and denied an education. But a new world opens to her when the Whitakers join a wagon train to California—guided by rugged guide, Luke McGraw…
A loner, haunted by a painful past, Luke plans to return to the wilderness once his work is done. But he can’t help noticing how poorly Callie is treated—or how unaware she is of her beauty and intelligence. As the two become closer over the long trek west, Callie’s confidence grows. And when disaster strikes, Callie emerges as the strong one—and the woman Luke may find the courage to love at last…
“Not so fast.” He rose and clasped her upper arms. “I find you…” After a brief pause, he pulled her roughly to him so she was wrapped tightly in his arms. He pressed his lips against hers, gently at first, but then more hungrily, caressing her mouth in a kiss so searing it made her senses reel. She slid her arms around his neck, pressed close, and returned his kiss with reckless abandon. Time stood still while blood pounded in her brain and her knees trembled until finally he broke away, clasped her shoulders, and shoved her away at arm’s length. “No more.”
She stood breathless. Luke kissed me. She had imagined kissing him many a time, but now that he had, she had no idea what to say.Before she found words, he shook his head, as if to clear his mind. “Forget this happened.” His breathing slowed. He backed a step away, appearing to have gained control over the passion that had gripped him.But I don’t want to forget. She swallowed her words. The purposeful look in his eyes told her not to argue.The unbelievable moment of passion had passed. He took her arm. “Let’s get back to the camp. I’ll give you a ride.”
My Review: I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Wagon Train Cinderella is a fast-paced read with lots of adventure and sweet romance. I haven't read a book from this time period in a long time, and I really enjoyed the rich history. Keep in mind, everything isn't all sunshine and roses-- after all the story does take place among a wagon train heading West.
But since it is a romance at heart, you know that no matter what is thrown at main character Callie, she will come out okay. That's rather important since the author brings up the ill-fated Donner party early on. Not a direction I want my romance reads to take...
At the beginning I only felt sympathy for Callie. Abandoned by her mother, mistreated by the family who took her in... it was awful. And the poor thing put up with it since it was all she ever knew. But wow, did that girl grow a backbone quickly. She became a formidable woman and a character I grew to admire.
The story flows quickly, taking it's roots from the fairy tale Cinderella. But Callie didn't have a fairy godmother-- she grew all on her own through blood, sweat, and tears, along with a deep sense of duty and what's right. I enjoyed the pacing as well as the plot. Callie changed very fast, which was for the best since she was hard to take as a meek mouse.
If you like fairy tales and sweet romance, coupled with the adventure of a wagon train journey, be sure to check out Wagon Train Cinderella. Don't let the cover fool you-- there are no balls for this Cinderella. Just a ton of hard work and some good old-fashioned gumption.
Shirley Kennedy was born and raised in Fresno, California and has lived in such diverse places as Denver; Houston; Torrance, California; Bogota ,Colombia; and Calgary, Alberta, Canada where she received a BSc degree in Computer Sciences at the University of Calgary. She worked as a computer programmer/systems analyst for several years before she went back to her first love, writing.
In her early career as an author, Shirley wrote traditional Regency romances, one for Ballantine, the rest for Signet. Later on, she branched into other genres including Heartbreak Trail, a western romance (Camel Press), The Last of Lady Lansdown, a not-so-traditional Regency romance (Camel Press), and Deadly Gamble, a contemporary Las Vegas mystery (Inkspell Press). She’s an Indie publisher, too, and has just published Looking for Lucky, the poignant, suspenseful story of a lost dog.
She lives in Las Vegas Nevada, with her older daughter, Dianne, and Brutus and Sparky, her two editorial assistants who love to nap in the sunshine next to her computer while she works on her next book.
Find Shirley Here