Expressly Yours, Samantha
Wanted: Young, skinny, wiry fellows. Not over eighteen. Must be expert riders. Willing to face death daily. Orphans preferred.
With the death of her Aunt Hilda, Samantha Hughes is desperate to find a way to escape her Uncle Jack. The wanted poster for Pony Express riders just may be her way to freedom—death would be preferable to what Uncle Jack has planned for her! But can she pose as a man long enough to reach her eighteenth birthday a few months away?
Valerian Fitzpatrick is ready to be his own man—as a Pony Express rider! The weight of responsibility in the family business is not for him—a Pony Express rider will give him the freedom he craves. When he befriends fellow employee “Sam” Hughes, he figures out her secret, and friendship quickly turns to much more between them.
With Samantha still in terrible danger from her uncle, Val vows to protect her. But Samantha is determined to keep Val safe as well, and she’s on the run again. Can Val find her before it’s too late? And once he does, will he give up his life of freedom for the sake of Samantha’s love?
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What you get out this book.... A love story and a wonderful history lesson. Loves All Things Books
Hooked from the word "go"! Award Winning Author Micah Persell
This book (and the series) is truly not to be missed by fans of historical romance. Historical romance author Amanda L.V. Shalaby
Missouri, March 1860
If Samantha spent one more night in the tiny cabin belonging to her uncle, she would not be a virgin by morning. Even while she sat beside her aunt the previous evening, leaning over to hear her aunt’s halted words as she dictated a final letter to her mother, Samantha’s panic rose. Her hands shook as she wrote the words her aunt spoke, putting them down on paper to send to Hilda’s mother and Samantha’s own grandmother, who was close to death herself back in Massachusetts. Aunt Hilda had shielded her from Uncle Jack the best she could for the past two years, but her aunt would be of no help now. Before she’d exhaled her last breath, she had reached for Samantha.
“Where is Jack?”
“He’s in the barn, Aunt Hilda. Do you want me to get him?” Samantha sensed her aunt’s death was near. She dipped a cloth in cool water and swabbed Hilda’s brow in a futile attempt to give her peace.
“No, child. Don’t bring him in here. I have nothing to say to him. But reach under the mattress, and be quick about it.”
Samantha did as she was bid and pulled out a small bag of coins. Hilda placed it in Samantha’s hands.
“Take this, my child, and leave here as soon as you can. I’m sorry I ever brought you into this house, but I didn’t know what else to do.”
“It’s not your fault, Aunt Hilda, and I appreciate all you’ve done for me. If not for you, I would have died along with my folks.”
“Put a bit of that money out where Jack can find it. He’ll spend it on drink or a whore after I’m laid to rest. That should give you time.”
“Please rest, now, Aunt Hilda. I’ll be all right.”
Samantha stayed with Hilda until she died, and then prepared the body for burial. She informed her uncle of Hilda’s passing, thinking he might want some time alone with his deceased wife. Instead, he left the house briefly, to inform the cemetery workers that a new body would be coming, and then returned to the barn to complete the casket. The long night faded into dawn, and Samantha still had no idea what to do.
The hasty funeral would take place this morning in the town cemetery.
Samantha needed a plan, but her thoughts were jumping all over the place. As she prepared herself for the ride to the cemetery, she tried to calm herself and think of the most immediate things to do.
She had to get away, and get away fast.