Tara Carmichael watched her whole wagon party including her father killed. She stayed hidden as the men ransacked the wagons searching. Later that evening she heads back to Fort Bridger on the Oregon Trail. Tara has no supplies and the store clerk at Fort Bridger has no mercy. She sees a chance and she takes it by hiding in the back of the wagon Zander is driving. She knows how to hunt, fish, make buckskins, she’s good with a rifle and a knife but she doesn’t know how to be a female men want to marry or a female other women want as a friend. Tara watches as other females in the wagon train party vie for Zander’s attention and it hurts more than she can bear.
Zander Kennedy planned to start a ranch in Oregon with his two best friends the Leary brothers. But he’s not sure that will happen since they both got married along the long, long trail. He’s been alone much of his life and is certain he’ll be alone again in Oregon.
Both Zander and Tara promise themselves they will never risk their hearts. They know how much it hurts when they are left by another. There is a spark between them but they are firm in their resolve to keep their hearts frozen. They avoid each other as much as possible until a ten-year-old girl Rhetta is in danger living with Indians.
Her adoptive Indian father is willing to marry her off to Zander. The father is told Zander is married. Not believing Zander’s marital status he wants witnesses watching Zander and Tara go into the wagon together and stay for the night. Both understand they must marry or risk Tara’s good name. They certainly don’t want the Indian tribe upset with them.
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