This book can be read as a standalone or as part of The Long Trails series!
"vivid, light and fast-paced...it will appeal in particular to anyone interested in American... history, and in general to those looking for a ripping good read...meticulously researched and...the author knows her subject. She also clearly knows about horses, which she would as she trained as an equine vet at the University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine. I'm looking forward to reading The Hills of Gold Unchanging, the next volume in the Aleksandra and Xavier saga"
–Deborah Challinor, number one bestselling author and historian
"The mystery, adventure, and danger of life in Utah in the 1860s is beautifully described…an authentic, emotional story of one woman's fight for survival in an unforgiving landscape. I couldn't put Lizzi Tremayne's book down."
–Leeanna Morgan, USA Today bestselling author
"An impressive debut from a New Zealand (ex-American) author… a compelling read…I devoured this one and am hungry for more."
About the book:
She didn't expect to become a target…but she is one now....
Disguised as a Pony Express rider, Aleksandra is alone and fleeing through 1860s Utah, hoping to keep her father's killer from discovering their family secret.
Xavier's kept the world at arms-length since he ran from his troubles as heir of his Californio rancho family. It doesn't take him long to discover his new rider-recruit is a girl—one he would like to let in close.
As they begin to explore their feelings for each other, the cards are stacking up against them in an ever-worsening situation. Can they learn to trust each other in time to escape the Indians on the warpath, evade the killer, and win through to safety?
This debut novel was:
Winner 2014 RWNZ Pacific Hearts Award; Winner 2015 RWNZ Koru Award for Best First Novel plus third in Koru Long Novel section; and finalist in the 2015 Best Indie Book Award.
This novel is the first in The Long Trails Series of historical sagas following Aleksandra and Xavier from the wilderness of 1860 Utah to Colonial New Zealand.
Lizzi grew up riding wild in the Santa Cruz Mountain redwoods, became an equine veterinarian at UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, practiced in the California Pony Express and Gold Country before emigrating to New Zealand. When not writing, she's swinging a rapier or shooting a bow in medieval garb, riding, driving a carriage or playing on her farm, singing, or working as an equine veterinarian. She is multiply published and awarded in special interest magazines and vet periodicals.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
An amazing story bringing the old west alive in this adventure set in 1860. Growing up and even now, I have loved westerns and this story brought alive that time period with so many details that were new to me. Aleksandra disguises herself as a boy and becomes a pony express rider trying to keep ahead of the man who killed her father and is after her. Her Californio boss, Xavier is the station keeper for the pony express and knows she is a woman. This sets the stage for an exciting time evading danger in the Indian territories and staying ahead of the villain determined to catch her and learn her father's secrets. The research for this story was incredible with wonderful narration of the scenery and the people who were immigrants that came to the United States for a home. The romance that slowly develops between the two main characters is passionate and heartwarming. Each has a story of their own lives that comes out and pulls everything together. In the end, if you love the old West, history, suspense and a great romance, you will not be able to put this book down until you turn the last page. It will leave you wanting more... Lizzie Tremayne is an author to watch! Lori Dykes
I really enjoyed this nostalgic trip back to the Wild West with Aleksandra and Xavier. It brought back fond memories of watching westerns as a child with greats such as John Wayne and Little House on the Prairie. I've often thought it a shame that they don't get as much air time on television, so this book was a pleasant reminder of why I loved them so much. With a slow building suspense leading up to a page turning climax, and a delightful ending, it made me feel like saddling up a horse and going on an adventure beneath the great starry night-sky. Look forward to finding out what they get up in the next book of the series. Well done. Highly Recommended to souls with an adventurous romantic heart.
Read a bit the first day I had it. The next evening I picked it up and couldn’t put it down. I read it through to the end and went to bed at 0230! Thanks for the historical and geographic details including Rancho de las Pulgas. What fun to see that! I also enjoyed the Polish/Russian references and the revealed motivation of the Cossack’s character at the end. An aside: we had a Latin American or two working at my hospital who lived on the Alameda (del Rancho ) de las Pulgas; when they corresponded with relatives in Latin America, they used their PO Box instead of the street address. Of course. It is an entertaining and informative and very compelling read.
Riding The Trail Along The Pony Express Route This book is a fascinating tale that encompasses so many historical events and actual people entwined with a beautiful story that is woven into its pages of family, secrets, adventure, mystery, suspense and love. The route along the Pony Express and the sights and smells are so vividly described, as a reader, you can envision and feel as if you are along on this journey as a voyeur. This story crosses the ocean into Poland and Russia and the uprising and threats that follow to America for the Lekarski family, especially Aleksandra. My heart breaks for her, from finding and burying her father, Krzystoff, to running for her own life dodging raiding Indians, riding the Pony Express in disguise as Aleks, dodging a threat from Russia, to finding love. Three men want her, the Indian, Dancing Wolf, from childhood that loves her turns her away because of the impending war between Indians and settlers, Xavier Argeuello is battling his memories of family and betrayal and Vladimir Chabardine is after the family secret. The plot is captivating and the dialogue is heartwarming. I was so engrossed into this story, which kept the pages turning until the wee hours of the morning. Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts, opinions and ratings are my own.