A Life Restored
Third book in Prescott Pioneers series
by Karen Baney
Caroline Larson really missed her brother Adam and best friend Julia Colter after they ran off to Arizona, not by choice and not as a couple, but to save Julia from her brother Reuben. Not only did she miss them but she wanted to see herself married with a family of her own. Always one to come up with a plan, good or bad, her plan now was to chase down a suitor. She thought if she kissed both Jesse Shoemaker and Nathan Finley that would tell her who she should marry. Caroline didn't plan on her brother catching her kissing one of them. This plan didn't work very well, not only was she in trouble, but she couldn't see herself marrying either one of the young men. Now what?
She soon comes up with a plan to go to Arizona but knowing her Father would not let her travel alone, she advertises in the paper for a traveling companion and finds one. The problem is the companions are not going all the way to Prescott, AZ but she neglects to tell her parents this little fact. Caroline convinces her parents to let her brother Georgie accompany her part way then she would meet up with Reverend Pritchett and his daughter Millicent. They were going as far as Wickenburg to start a Presbyterian church and once they reached their destination they would escort her onto Prescott, AZ a couple of weeks later. That was the plan and it worked out fine until Caroline gets bored in Wickenburg within a few days and decides to sneak off on a stagecoach for Prescott by herself.
Wickenburg, as far as Caroline is concerned anyway, is a wretched town. There were two saloons, a mercantile, a hotel and a stage station. After deciding she can't take living in a tent, the dirty town, and rude miners she goes to the stage office and almost gets run over by the Pony Express Rider, Thomas Anderson. She obtains her ticket and sneaks off on the stagecoach on Saturday, the only female aboard with four men as passengers. About five miles out of Wickenburg the stage coach gets robbed by Robert Garrett and his gang, Robert orders his men to kill all the men aboard. He also recognizes her as Caroline Larson from Texas and decides to let her live so he can get even with Will Colter and Adam Larson, his plan is to have his men return to get her, they can have their fun with her and then he'll use her for ransom.
Two days later Thomas is finally on his return trip to Prescott when he sees an obstruction ahead and is very leery about going on. He knows how dangerous it is to be out here alone and you have to listen for any noise out of the ordinary and any strange activity or sites. Since there isn't anyplace to take cover he decides to hurry past as fast as he can. Caroline seeing him approach, realizes he isn't going to stop, so she throws her Bible at his back. That stops him! He knows he can't leave her out there alone and he only has the horse he's riding, since the stage horses were stolen too, but she is insisting on taking her carpet bag and thus is their second argument. When Thomas starts to leave without Caroline she finally gives in and agrees to only take her Bible that her Grandma Larson had given her.
They eventually reach Prescott and Caroline finds out that Thomas is familiar with Will's ranch and knows Adam and Julia. But, just who is Robert Garrett and what does he have against Will Colter and Adam Larson, why is he out for revenge. Now that Caroline is in Prescott, will things be the way she thought they would be and will she find happiness in her new home?
I love this series, thought I would get the full story, but NOOO, there's another book, A Hope Revealed, coming out in May of this year. I can hardly wait to read it since I feel kind of like Karen left me hanging about Robert Garrett. You will not be disappointed in this series.