Sarah Collins set her sights for California and a new beginning, but never imagines a war party's attack on the wagon train she joins. A sole survivor, Sarah must find her way back to civilization, and a man of half-blood happens along at just the right time and becomes her hero...or is the whole scenario only a dream driven by all the romance novels she reads as an editor?
Sarah wakes, her cheeks damp with tears. Like a dust devil in a dying windstorm, all traces of her handsome rescuer vanish with a farewell kiss and the annoying blast of an alarm clock...until he appears at her door as a new neighbor. Will Sarah find a way to win the love she tried so hard to capture in her dream without being declared insane, or will the sexy woman living an apartment away beat Sarah at her own game?
Previously published as Sarah's Heart and Sarah's Passion, this edition combines both stories.
Sarah Collins struggled to open her eyes against the glare, but the pounding pain in her head urged her to keep them closed. She swept the tip of her tongue across cracked lips, her mouth as dry as the feathers in her pillow—yet she felt no downy softness beneath her, only an uncomfortable jabbing in her back. Her palms groped along something gritty. Where was she?
Suddenly patchy memories flooded back. The taste of bile filled her throat. She struggled to sit, groaning as she pushed herself up from the dusty ground and the offending stone stabbing at her spine. Her eyes misted with tears, and fear clutched at her chest as she surveyed what remained of the wagon train.
Grasping her constricting throat, Sarah stood, scanning the eerie site. The bodies of her new friends lay scattered amongst the smoking ruins, some oddly contorted and others positioned just as they’d fallen. Her heart ached for the mother who sat propped against a wagon wheel, clutching her baby to her breast—both obviously dead. Sarah covered her mouth to stifle a scream. Oh sweet Jesus, why kill a defenseless infant?
Was she the only survivor? As evidenced by an attacker’s body lying a few feet from her, someone had interceded and saved her life. There had to be someone else alive. There had to be! The hair on the back of her neck bristled.
If not for the carnage, the day would be beautiful—wispy clouds floated in a powder blue sky, and an endless sea of waving prairie grass announced the arrival of spring. The only sound came from water bubbling in the nearby stream as it traveled over a rocky bed.
Sarah remembered everything now. They had just made camp when war cries sliced the air. A few hours of daylight remained, but one family’s illness prompted the wagon master to halt travel for the day. Supper fires hadn’t even been lit when a band of whooping Indians with painted faces stormed the group. There must have been twenty or more on horseback. The last thing Sarah recalled was running to fetch her rifle.
She dusted off and inspected her body for injury. Other than her throbbing head, she assumed she was all right until something warm trickled into her eye. Her fingertips reddened from touching a sticky substance on her temple, and she flashed back to the terror of looking into the scarred face of the brave whose tomahawk struck only a glancing blow. Recalling those hate-filled eyes sent a shudder through her.
Her bonnet dangled down her back, its ribbon annoyingly tight across her throat. She pulled at the ties, easing the choking feeling, and then inspected the stained head covering. After wiping her bloodied hand on the yellow gingham, she tossed it to the ground where her body’s partial outline still etched the dirt.
The sun hadn’t risen very high above the horizon. She must have been unconscious all night. Releasing a pent up breath, she lifted her dress and ripped a piece from her petticoat, folded the cloth and held it to her wound. Fear clutched at her core, and unbridled tears ran down her cheeks as she prayed to see another living soul. Surely she was no better than the rest of these simple folk who were trying to find a new start. Why would God spare only her?
“Hello, can anyone hear me?” She called out in a faltering voice, then scanned the campsite and listened, but no answer came. Nothing moved.
Of course this book is still available for download on Amazon for the amazing price of $2.99