Our story begins with a young woman named Callie Lewis, who you might remember from Trail of Kisses if you had the pleasure of reading it ( if you haven't, I would highly suggest you stop reading this and indulge in Trail of Kisses immediately). For Callie, her journey begins in Kansas Territory in the year 1863, where she is traveling west to Oregon with her brother Greg along with his wife and son. Callie despised being on the trail, she would much rather be back home in Independence, but after the death of their parents, Greg made the decision to head out west in order to start a new life for themselves. Just as they were preparing to leave, Greg started showing signs of fever, but against Callie's concerns he persisted they head out. Little did they know, things were soon become so much worse for everyone, especially for Callie.
Two weeks after being on the trail, Callie has found herself all alone after the death of Greg and his wife and son, in result of their fever becoming worse than even the doctor could do to save them. Now, as Callie finds herself wondering what she will do, she comes to the realization that in order to survive, she must find herself a man to marry. With the sparse choices she had, she decides on the shy, quiet, handsome widower, John Rye. Although he agrees to marry Callie, he still battles the grief inside of him form loosing his dear wife when she was attempting to give birth to their son. For a year he has grieved, and now his plan was to deliver some goods to a store in Denver City; and once he had finished he was going to reunite with his wife and son at last. But his thoughts and feelings begin to change as he gets to know Callie more and more.
With the two of them still in so much grief of the loved ones they have loss, will they be able to find happiness at last? Will Callie finally be able to let herself go and find the love Greg wanted her to find? Will John be able let go of his wife and open his heart fully for Callie, and be the husband she deserves? From each other, will they be able to find hope?
Merry Farmer has done it again with Trail of Hope. I new I would enjoy reading this, but I never realized how much I would fall in love with it. What I loved most about this story was the way Marry created John Rye. Unlike Cade Lawson from Trail of Kisses, who has this strong, dark, charming, stubborn, protective persona about him; John for me was on the other end of the spectrum. When I first read about him, I could picture a sweet, sensitive, shy man; who was tormented by something from from his past, Now, I have read many western romances, and they have all been great; but sometimes the cowboys tend to be a little from the same cloth, charming, good looking, handsome, sexy, know what they want ant they get it. With the way Merry created her men, she made each one showing a different side to them. As Trail of Hope had that touch of steamy sexiness like Trail of Kisses, what I loved is that it had a more sweet tender touch to this story, which made all the more perfect. So, I hope after reading this I have, if not completely then somewhat, convinced you to grab yourself a copy of Trail of Hope. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.