Frontier Courtship by Valerie Hansen (Published by Harlequin/Steeple Hill, March 11, 2008)
Nineteen-year-old Faith Ann Beal promised her dying mother that she would take her younger sister Charity and head west to find their father, who had gone to California in hopes of striking it rich in the goldfields. And with nothing left of the small Ohio farm where she grew up, Faith had no choice but to keep that promise. But she didn't expect how hard the journey would be, especially for two young women on their own.
Connell McClain is traveling the trail in search of his fiancée, Irene, whom he sent for a year ago. Connell and Irene grew up together back east, and now she has agreed to come west to marry him after the death of her parents. However, Irene never made it west, and now Connell is terrified something may have happened to her. When he encounters Faith at Fort Laramie and saves her from a drunken brawl, he agrees to help the young woman and her sister, in order to protect them from an unscrupulous wagon train master as he continues his search for Irene. Neither Faith nor Connell expect the romantic feelings they begin to have for one another, but can they fulfill their obligations to others and still find happiness together?
This was an excellent romance that fans of western historicals and inspirational romances are sure to enjoy. Faith and Connell are wonderful characters, and I loved the setting of a covered wagon train traveling west. I'd highly recommend this book and I look forward to the author's other Love Inspired Historical romance, about Faith's sister.