Cowgirl Trail is part of a six-book series about four generations of the Morgan family living, fighting, and thriving amidst a turbulent Texas history spanning from 1845 to 1896. Although a series, each book can be read on its own.
In 1884 Maggie Porter returns to the Rocking P Ranch. The sanatorium was not able to save her mother and now her father’s health is failing. When the cowboys walk off the job leaving no one to drive the cattle to market, head ranch hand, Alex Bright, cannot convince the men to stay. How could Alex let this happen?
Maggie is desperate to save the ranch and she turns to the town’s women for help. The new cowgirls must herd, rope, and drive the cattle to market. With only two days left, outlaws charge the small band of cowgirls in an effort to start a stampede. The cattle begin to scatter. Will they lose everything? Where will their help come from?
About the Author
SUSAN PAGE DAVIS is an award winning author who has published more than thirty novels in the historical romance, suspense, mystery, and romance genres. She¿s a past winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers¿ Book of the Year Contest and a two time winner of the Inspirational Readers¿ Choice Contest. Susan is a longtime homeschooler and former school teacher. A Maine native, she now resides in Kentucky with her husband Jim. They have 6 children and 6 grandchildren. Visit Susan at her website: www.susanpagedavis.com.
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By SUSAN PAGE DAVIS
Moody PublishersCopyright © 2012 Susan Page Davis
All right reserved.
Chapter OneRocking P Ranch near Brady, Texas, May 1884
Cattle herded easier than cowboys any day. Alex Bright often wondered why he'd agreed to be foreman on the Rocking P, when riding fence and busting broncs was so much easier.
"It ain't right," Leo Eagleton insisted. "You gotta tell the boss, Alex."
"Tell him what?" Alex asked. "You know he's not changing his mind on this."
"Well, we don't have to take it." Nevada Hatch, Alex's righthand man on the ranch, looked as angry as Leo. "Mr. Porter used to let us run our own herds on the range. If he's going to take that away from us, he's got to raise our wages. That's all."
"He won't," Leo said.
"I'm thinking of looking for work at another ranch," Joe Moore, the wrangler, said as he untied the cinch on his saddle. "We hardly get enough pay here as it is, but if we can't run our own brands—"
"We oughta strike," Nevada said.
Alex stared at him. "Strike?"
"Sure. They did it last year, in the panhandle."
"Yeah, but ..." Alex shook his head. "That'd be shooting your horse out from under you. This ranch is a good place to work."
"Was," Nevada conceded. "Lately it's not so great."
"That's right," Leo said. "Mr. Porter won't give me time to fix the roof on the cabin. Sela complains about it all the time. Drip, drip, drip—she nags just like the leaky roof when it rains."
The other men laughed, and Joe said, "At least it ain't rained for a while."
"Yeah, be thankful for that," Alex told him. But he knew Leo spoke the truth, and it bothered him. In the last year, the ranch's owner had paid out less and less for maintenance on the buildings. He hadn't given the men who stayed on over the winter the Christmas "extra" he'd always handed out in the past—a few dollars and some new clothes, usually. The lack of a celebration and gifts hadn't sat well with the men.
One of the older men, Harry Jensen, had been on the Rocking P a lot longer than Alex had. "You know, our wages haven't been raised in ten years," he said.
"Prices have gone up, though," Joe said.
Alex let out a deep breath. He was going to have to talk to Mr. Porter, no getting around it. This new edict about the men's herds was the last straw. Being able to brand a few mavericks and sell off a few beeves of their own each year meant a lot to the men, especially married men like Leo.
A couple of the other hands ambled over. Usually when they rode in for the night, the boys couldn't wait to get inside for supper, but this time they lingered as if waiting for him to say more.
"You know Porter's got enough land for every one of us to run a dozen head of so," Nevada said.
"Yeah, but he claims all the mavericks on his range belong to him, and he might have a point," Alex said.
"Then he should up our wages." Harry looked around at the others, and a murmur of agreement supported him.
"But we're starting spring roundup tomorrow," Alex said.
"Exactly." Nevada's bushy eyebrows drew together. "We hit him when it will hurt the most."
Joe spat tobacco juice in the grass. "If we refuse to round up his stock, Porter won't have a herd to sell this spring."
Harry nodded. "I say we strike."
"Hold on," Alex said. "What makes you think Mr. Porter wouldn't go and hire a new crew?"
"We'd have to get the men on the other ranches in on it," Nevada said. "Tell them what we're doing."
"I bet they'd want to strike too," Joe said.
"If not, at least we could tell them not to let any of their men hire on with Porter. I bet they'd do that to back us up." Nevada looked around at the others.
"That didn't work so well in the panhandle," Alex reminded them, hefting his saddle against his hip to carry it into the barn. "They had five ranches striking, but the owners still found more workers and refused to hire back the men who struck. We'd probably do ourselves out of our jobs if we tried it."
"You know we can't live on thirty dollars a month without our maverick herds," Nevada said.
"Yeah, some ranches are paying forty now," Leo put in.
Harry nodded. "That's right, and now Porter's claiming our herds for himself. We own those cattle, even if he doesn't let us keep any from now on."
"Yeah, we should be able to sell them and keep the money," Harry said. "We've been doing it for years."
Alex looked around at them. Mr. Porter had treated him fairly—some might say more than fairly. Alex had been on the Rocking P for seven years now, and Porter had bypassed older men when he promoted Alex to foreman last year. That called for a certain amount of loyalty.
He'd always admired Porter for the way he ran his vast spread. Letting the men keep a few mavericks was standard procedure and allowed the boss to keep wages low. He'd also provided cabins for three of the married men and allowed them to bring their families to live on the ranch.
But lately, the boss was slipping. Alex could see it, and the men could see it. He'd tried to talk to Mr. Porter a couple of times, when it seemed like maintenance was being neglected, and when the supplies for the men's cook had lacked several items the men enjoyed. Mr. Porter had answered him more gruffly than usual—even a bit angrily. Alex had let it go, thinking they'd talk again later, when he caught the boss in a better mood. Surely they could work this out.
And another thing—he'd heard Porter's daughter was coming home soon. If Maggie Porter weren't in the mix, Alex might not have hesitated. The men were right—the boss no longer treated them fairly. But if he sided with them, would he lose his job—and his only chance to make a good impression on Maggie Porter?
He turned to face the men again. "All right, listen to me. I have to go in tonight and settle the details of the roundup with the boss. I'll mention your complaints."
"Grievances," Nevada said quickly. "We're not complainers, Alex. We're hardworking men with grievances."
Alex gritted his teeth. "All right. I'll bring it up."
* * *
Maggie Porter stepped down from the stagecoach in Brady, Texas, scanning the small crowd of onlookers eagerly. Her gaze lit on Shep Rooney, a cowhand who had been with her father's ranch as long as she could remember. She swallowed her disappointment and made her way to him.
"Afternoon, Miss Maggie. Good to have you home."
"Where's Papa?" She looked around once more, on the chance he'd stepped into the stage line's office out of the hot sun for a moment.
"He's out to the ranch." Shep's smile for her was the same as it had always been, but his hair had gone mostly gray, and his beard was streaked with white. "You got a trunk?"
"I'll have the stage people put it in the wagon." He spoke to the station agent then came back to her side, limping as he walked. "Your pa woulda liked to have come, but the boys are all out on the roundup, and they'll start the drive in a few days. Lot going on at the ranch."
She nodded and walked to the wagon with him, wondering why Shep wasn't with the other cowboys. The team of bays in harness looked familiar, and she paused to pat their noses. "Is Duchess waiting for me too?"
Shep smiled. "Yup, she can't wait to see you. I see Alex take her out now and then to keep her in shape for you."
Alex. Maggie guarded her expression. She'd have thought her girlish crush would have passed by now, but even the mention of him still brought on a flutter or two. He was the best-looking cowboy she'd ever seen, and not that much older than she was. When she'd left at eighteen with her mother, she'd kept her memories of Alex Bright as a secret treasure she could take out and gaze at now and then, the way she did the Mexican silver dollar her father had given her on her tenth birthday. The memory of Alex was another pleasant keepsake.
Shep fussed with the horses and got her luggage loaded. They started out, and he kept the team trotting steadily. Maggie plied him with questions about the ranch.
"How's the roundup going?"
"The boys just went out yesterday. They'll be at it three or four more days at least. Then they start the drive."
Shep smiled. "You still want to be a cowgirl?"
Maggie smiled. When she was younger, her father had taken her out to the spring roundup for a day. She'd looked forward to it every year, as soon as Christmas had passed. She'd vowed she could ride and rope as well as a cowboy and begged her father to let her stay out with him and the men. He'd always brought her home in the evening, though.
"I don't think I'll ever stop loving the roundup and watching the men start off on the drive. But I've developed a few other interests now, Shep."
"Yeah? Like what?"
She didn't answer right away. During most of her absence she'd attended her mother, whose long illness had worn Maggie down. Seeing her mother fail and die at the sanatorium had taken something out of her that she didn't think she'd ever regain. That's why Papa had sent her to San Francisco after the funeral. Seven months with her cousin Iris had started the healing process. How could anyone stay melancholy around Iris? The young woman lived a life of constant activity.
"Iris helped me learn to love art," she said. "And music, and ... and lots of things."
"Well now," Shep said. "We don't get much of that on the ranch, and that's for sure."
Almost Maggie regretted not going away to a finishing school like Sarah Bradley and some of the other girls from ranches did. She'd gone to the sanatorium with Mama instead and led a gentle life for a year and half, followed by the whirl with Iris. Perhaps that was education enough. She needed some time at home now; the ranch would complete her restoration.
"How come you're not out on the roundup, Shep?"
He nodded toward his left leg. "It's this bum knee. Did something to it last summer. I can't take more'n half an hour in the saddle these days. But so far, your pa's found plenty for me to do." Shep's face sobered. "Gotta admit, some days I wonder if he'll keep me on."
"Why wouldn't he? You're good at so many things."
"Well, thanks, Miss Maggie. But things aren't the same at the ranch. I putter around and clean out the barn and corrals and mend harness. I drive into town for supplies. But I wonder how long your pa will pay me if I can't get back in the saddle."
His words troubled Maggie. Surely her father would take care of an employee who had served him faithfully for many years.
"I hope they do all right on the drive this year," Shep said.
"Why wouldn't they? It's only to Fort Worth now, not all the way to Kansas. A couple of weeks on the trail. That should be a picnic for Alex and the other men."
Shep shook his head. "They aren't happy, and when people get mad, things can go wrong."
"What do you mean?" Maggie asked. "Has something happened?"
Shep smiled at her, but he seemed to have lost his good humor. "You papa told us we can't run our little herds anymore, or claim mavericks. The boys are angry about that."
"Are you mad too? You have a maverick herd, don't you?"
"I had a dozen steers I hoped to send on the drive this year. But it looks like that won't happen now. There's other things too."
"What other things? Papa's always been a good boss. Everyone says the Rocking P is a good place to work."
"Well, the boys feel different now."
They were almost home, and Maggie would have to save that to think about later. She'd ask Papa about it, because on the surface, it didn't seem fair. She sat on the edge of the wagon seat, holding her hat down with one hand and bracing herself with the other. She couldn't wait to get her working hat on again. This flimsy thing she'd bought at a milliner's shop in San Francisco was all feathers and net—no match for the Texas wind. She ought to have anchored it with an extra hatpin.
As Shep guided the team over the crest of the last rise, she caught her breath. Rocking P land stretched out as far as she could see. She'd longed for the people who loved her—Papa and Dolores, mostly, but she'd also craved this place. This was home. She'd often thought the "P" in Rocking P should stand for "peace," not "Porter."
Maggie reached up and pulled out her long hatpin and whipped the hat off.
Shep looked over in surprise.
She smiled. "Can't stand this thing any longer." She turned around and opened the valise that sat in the wagon bed behind her. She tucked the hat in and dropped the hatpin after it. Reaching up, she loosened her bun and shook out her long hair. She'd missed feeling the Texas wind blow through it, lifting the strands and ruffling her locks.
"Now you look like little Maggie," Shep said. "Guess you'll be out galloping Duchess in the morning."
"I sure will."
He drove into the yard and drew up before the ranch house. Maggie jumped down without waiting for his help. The door flew open as she ran toward it, and she tumbled into Dolores's arms.
"Miss Maggie, we missed you so much!"
Dolores, a cowpuncher's widow, had taken care of the Porter family since Maggie was about five years old—when her mother became too ill to do all the cooking and cleaning herself. Dolores had always been there for Maggie, entrenched in the kitchen but always ready to listen to a girl's woes.
When Mama grew more and more frail, Dolores helped Maggie in ways she'd never realized until now. She'd kept her busy and taught her to think of others. She'd trained Maggie to help keep the house neat and clean, and to cook a passable meal if need be. She'd had the "girl talks" with Maggie that most girls had with their mothers. She'd made Maggie's birthday cakes and dried her tears. And when the time came for Mama to go away in a last, desperate effort to regain her strength, Dolores packed for both Mama and Maggie and helped the girl find the grit that helped her through those last agonizing months with Mama.
As she pulled away from Dolores's embrace, Maggie found her cheeks were wet with tears. She wiped them away quickly.
"Thank you. I've missed you, too."
Across the big parlor, the door to her father's office opened. He stepped toward her, smiling.
Maggie ran to him and hugged him.
"There, now," he said. "Welcome back, sugar."
She clung to him for a moment, knowing things had changed. She'd been home only a few weeks after Mama died, and they hadn't really settled into a routine then. But now she was home for good. Without Mama, they'd have to muddle their way into a new family pattern. She'd never be his little girl again. What was her role now?
She pushed away from him. "Papa, you're so thin! Hasn't Dolores been feeding you?"
He chuckled. "You have to ask? You know her cooking. No, I'm just ... a little off my feed, I guess."
Shep came through, carrying her valise. "I'll put this in your room, Miss Maggie, and I'll get one of the boys to help me with the trunk later."
To her surprise, Papa didn't jump in with an offer to help.
An hour later, Maggie and her father ate together at the table to one side of the big parlor. She could hear muted voices from the kitchen and decided that Shep was eating out there with Dolores.
"I was sorry to hear about Shep's injury," she said.
"You and me both."
"It must have happened before—before the funeral, but I didn't realize it then."
"We were both pretty well distracted in September."
Her father didn't seem to be eating much, but Maggie didn't mention it.
"So the other men are out on roundup."
"Yes. I expect they'll bring the first cut in tonight, and Alex will come in to tell me how things look. I hope we'll have a good herd to send to Fort Worth."
"Are you going out to the roundup?" she asked.
"I don't think so. The boys can handle it."
Maggie's disappointment struck hard. She'd hoped they could ride out to the range together and join the fun for a day.
She shook her head and reached for the milk pitcher. Everyone seemed too sober. Maybe it was just that the men were gone, and the whole ranch seemed too quiet. Then too, Maggie had only been home once since her mother left—for those three weeks at the time of Mama's funeral. Maybe she just wasn't used to the house without Mama.
"How are the Herreras doing?"
"Good, so far as I know. I haven't seen Juan for a month or so." That wasn't unusual during the busy seasons, with the houses on the large ranches several miles apart. But Carlotta, Señor Herrera's daughter, was Maggie's girlhood friend.
Excerpted from COWGIRL TRAIL by SUSAN PAGE DAVIS Copyright © 2012 by Susan Page Davis. Excerpted by permission of Moody Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
When Maggie Porter returns home after a two year absence she expects to find all things are doing well only to find out the bills are piling up from her mother's prolonged illness and her father is dying from cancer. Suddenly Maggie finds herself in charge. When the ranch hands go on strike because of poor wages, Maggie is faced with the task of getting the cattle to market and saving their home. Maggie had loved their ranch foreman, Alex Bright, since she was thirteen, but when he walks off the job with the other hands, she is afraid her chances with him are permanently severed. Maggie knows that getting the cattle to market is a priority but where will she find enough cowpunchers to help her complete the task? Her best friend Carlotta Herrera suggests they have an all-girl cattle drive. With the help from her friends, Maggie sets out to save her family's home. Little does she know that Alex and a few of the men are following at a distance in case trouble erupts. Can this bunch of cowgirls complete their task? Will she set aside her suspicions of Alex and welcome him back into her life and home? Alex Bright had worked for the Rocking P Ranch for seven years and he had loved Maggie Porter since the early days when he used to take her riding. When his ranch hands feel their boss is being unfair Alex finds himself caught in the middle. Should he remain loyal to Maggie's father or stand by his men? Torn between what he feels is right and his love for Maggie, Alex goes on strike with his men but he can't stop worrying about Maggie and the fix it puts her in. When he discovers that her "hired hands" consists of the women in the area he knows he must follow her on the cattle drive and see her safely to the market. Regardless of how her father treated them in the end, he loves Maggie and refuses to turn his back on her. When a disgruntled ranch hand wants revenge it's Alex and a few of the loyal men that ride in to save the day. But can he work his way back into Maggie's heart and life? Or has his bridges been burned? I knew when I read the blurb for this book I was going to love it and I wasn't disappointed. I love a spitfire heroine that knows how to be tough in tough situations and Maggie was spot-on. She knew what had to be done and she took the lead and followed through. Alex was the kind of hero you fall in love with. He was honest, faithful and loyal to the core. I really felt how torn he was between his boss and his men and I loved the way he took care of Maggie when she didn't even have a clue. The storyline was amazing from beginning to end and thoroughly enjoyable. I didn't want to put it down. The characters were perfect from the most prevalent to the least. This was my first book by Susan Page Davis but it definitely won't be my last. She is an author to add to your favorites list and if you haven't read the other books in this series you will want to after reading Cowgirl Trail. Excellent story and I highly recommend it to anyone that likes historical western romance. Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Moody Publishers for my honest review. The opinions stated are mine and mine alone and I received no monetary compensation.
This wasn't worth taking the time for. If you like samples, it may be something you'd like.
Maggie's family owns a cattle ranch during the late 1800's. After her Mom dies Maggie returns to the ranch only to discover that the cowboys are threatening to strike for improved wages. Rather than give in to their demands, Maggie gets together a group of women who roundup the cattle and work the cattle drive. This is a story about girl power and perseverance. It is very engaging. The plot moves quickly and the characters are interesting. I had a hard time putting this one down.
It's easy to sympathize with Maggie. She's had a rough couple of years and returns home to find the successful and well-respected ranch she left has fallen into somewhat of a shambles. Her father is nasty to his employees for seemingly no reason. The foreman, a man she's loved for years walks out on them in solidarity with the other cowboys in their strike. When she learns of her father's illness and neighboring ranchers can't loan her help, she's left with no choice but to round up her lady friends and take the cattle to the stockyards. Alex is a sweet man who has no desire to turn against his employer and leave the woman he loves to join the men in their strike. But Porter's bad attitude and refusal to help those who've been loyal to him in the past cannot be tolerated. Still, when he discovers Maggie's plan, he won't let her go all the way to Ft. Worth without watching over her. This is an amazing book , But not what i expected i expected less romance more fixing what was broken and showing more of the pain from life, But i guess we all need a little romance to read.
Talk about female empowerment! Maggie is a strong daughter raised on a cattle ranch stuck between a rock and a hard place. She wants her father to appease the cowhands to prevent a strike, but his pride and hidden financial troubles won't allow him to give in. Alex is also caught in the middle as the ranch foreman, but while Maggie's family loyalty places her on her father's side, Alex strikes with the men and loses not only his job but a chance to win Maggie's heart. Since the cowhands from the surrounding ranches have already left on cattle drives, the only people Maggie can turn to are the women of the community, her friends who are also tough western gals :) Alex and Maggie's friendship suffers from the rivalry of the strike, but I loved that he ultimately places her safety and well-being over any bitter feelings. He completely redeems himself in my opinion. Maggie is completely humbled by her experiences and with some sage advice from her right-hand cowgirl Carlotta, softens her heart and allows forgiveness to bring peace during troubled times. Recommended for fans of Mary Connealy's The Husband Tree. (Thank you to River North Publishing for a copy of the book in exchange for my honest review)
Maggie Porter’s life had been pretty carefree as a young girl. She was able to freely roam throughout the rolling acreages of her father’s ranch, Rocking P. She was friends with all the ranch hands and treated fairly and respectfully by them all, including the handsome foreman, Alex Bright. However, Maggie’s life changes when her mother becomes ill. Maggie, 13, goes with her mother to a sanitarium. She cares tirelessly for her mother, but in five short years her mother passes away. After the funeral, Maggie’s father sends Maggie to San Fransansisco for two years to start the healing process while living with a cousin. At the age of 18 Maggie returns to Texas and Rocking P to find things are not the same as they were when she left with her mom. The ranch hands feel that they are being treated unfairly and paid less than what other area ranchworkers are making per month. They demand Mr Porter pay them fairly or threaten to strike, just at the time of roundup. Alex Bright, the foreman, is caught in the middle. He is loyal to his boss – who has treated him fairly for so many years and has a beautiful daughter to boot! -, but yet he is empathetic towards the reality his men face. As Alex tries to sort this out he is struggling to sort out his feelings for Maggie. Just as he thinks they can start a friendship that might lead to something the men decide to strike. At the same time Maggie finds out how deep in debt her dad’s ranch is as well as how advanced his cancer is – a cancer she knew nothing about until now! When the men strike and when her dad takes a turn for the worse, Maggie knows she must step up to save the ranch. With the help of some close friends, Maggie begins the roundup process. When the going gets tough she finds out that her trust in God is what will get her through. God will also have to set her heart straight too in regards to Alex and their future together. This is a must read for lovers of western romances. Susan Page Davis does not disappoint in this book 5 of the Morgan Family series! I received this book from Moody Publishers and am not being compensated for my review! Thank you Moody!
I loved this book! Susan Paige Davis executed the story phenomenally. I have never read another book with this concept, and it was fun and exciting to follow the cowgirls on the trail! The author chose to focus more on the story than scenery, which I appreciated because the story was so captivating. In a man's world, can a group of twelve women make it? I was cheering for Maggie from the beginning. The characters in the story were easy to relate to. Maggie Porter is a strong, spunky, independent woman who is still in touch with her emotions and feelings. That's a refreshing thing in a woman character. Alex Bright feels torn between his loyalty to Maggie's father and herself, and the men that he was chosen to lead. He knows he can't choose both. What a hard decision! The message of the story was simple, yet understated. Sometimes, even when we can't see the outcome, we have to rely on God and rejoice in our current circumstances. Have you ever been in a situation that you've had a hard time rejoicing? I know I have. That is God molding and making you in the refiner's fire! Overall, this was a short, sweet story and I recommend it to anyone who wants to read about cowgirls leading a cattle drive! **I received this book free from Moody Publishers in exchange for my honest review, which I have given.**
"Mhm. See ya, maybe." She saunters out.
I loved this book. I loved that for the second time while reading a historical novel that the main character is a woman she just takes over and does what needs to be done. In this book you get to see what Maggie goes through as she comes home from being away and has to basically take over rounding up the cattle and handling the cattle drive because the cowboys go on strike. I loved Maggie and I have to say that the author does a great job of making you understand what is going on and also understand the time period. FTC:I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. The opinions in expressed in this review are 100% honest and my own.
A who are you exzakly???????
I have the first few chapters if some one wants tp lend it to me reply and ill give u my e mail
This sampler made me want to buy the book to see how it ends.
Really like this and started reading the first book of the series. Hope to get to all of them in order.
Maggie Porter has grown up on the Rocking P Ranch and has come to love everything there is to about ranching, from riding horses, roping and driving cattle. As a young girl at 13, she had developed a school girl crush for ranch-hand Alex Bright because he didn't treat her any different because she was the bosses daughter. Now that she has returned to the Rocking P as an older women, she wonders if that same crush exists and she can't wait to see Alex again. When she arrives home on the ranch, she learns Alex has been promoted as foreman, but even though her heart continues to chase after Alex, she finds out that things on the ranch aren't running as smoothly as her father would like. Maggie returns home after a long stay from helping her ill mother at the sanatorium and later attending her funeral, she finds her father isn't his usual self. She believes he is taking her mother's grief harder than she expected and learns that he has relinquished most of the ranch's task to Alex instead of being there on hand to help. Maggie learns from Alex that most of the men are considering striking against the Rocking P, since her father has taken back some of the benefits they used to have working for him, from herding their own cattle on the ranch, to basic help in maintaining the bunkhouses and they haven't had a pay raise in ten years. Things get worse when Leo, one of the ranch hands is injured and her father refuses to help. He tells Leo that his wife will have to take him to town to see a doctor because he can't spare any men. That leaves Leo's wife, Sela to have to manage with an infant and leave her three young boys in the care of Dolores, the housekeeper. But when her father learns of this, he dismisses the boys and Sela to town because he can't afford to help them manage their family affairs on the ranch. This places Maggie and Alex in the middle as Alex attempts to keep the men working on the ranch at least til they finish the cattle drive and they can get paid, while Maggie tries in vain to find out what is going on with the change in her father. It goes against how he has managed the ranch up to this point and if they can't reach a compromise, the ranch will fail. In the novel, Cowgirl Trail by Susan Page Davis, the reader is transported back to Brady, Texas during the late 1800's for a look at what it takes to manage and run a large cattle ranch and how people made a living back then, either running a ranch or helping to maintain it. I feel for Maggie Porter, because as a daughter she is stuck between her loyalty to her father and toward helping the men when she feels her father is out of line. Will she be able to help them all find a compromise or will the ranch be lost along with her dreams of falling in love with Alex? I received Cowgirl Trail compliments of Moody Publishers and Net Galley for my honest review and being a huge fan of Christian Western Romances, I absolutely loved this one. Susan Page Davis creates a different type of conflict and the way she has Maggie attempt to handle this as the only child of the Rocking P is brilliant and virtually unheard of in most western fictional books but one that works well in this one. I rate this book a 5 out of 5 stars and shows the strength that can be required of us when faced with challenging and difficult situations if we are willing to look to God for answers! This is book 5 in the Texas Trails series and one I've really enjoyed if you love westerns!!
In 1884, Maggie Porter thought loosing her mother to a terrible disease was unbearable. That is until she returns home to the Rocking P Ranch to find her father deathly ill and unable to care for the ranch. He had kept this a secret from almost everyone. The ranch hands were ready to strike leaving no one to drive the cattle to market. How will Maggie pay bills and give the cowhands their wages? The head ranch hand Alex wants to help Maggie but he feels pressured to stand with the other ranch hands decision to strike. So Maggie stands her ground and decides that some of her female friends are going to help her drive the cattle to market. The men are dumbfounded at this idea. No way did the men believe that a bunch of women would make it to market without their help. Can a group of women really handle themselves on a long cattle drive? You just might be surprised. The author writes of death, sorrow, danger, excitement, adventure and humor. Oh,let's not for get about romance. Who do you think will save the ranch, the cowgirls or the cowboys? This is another wonderful read in this series and only one more book to go. I highly recommend this book. Disclosure I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/Moody Publishers for review. I was in no way compensated for this review. It is my own opinion.
Cowgirl Trail is the fifth book in Texas Trails: A Morgan Family Series. The connection to the rest of the series is subtle so this book works very well as a standalone yet still holds its place with the other stories. Maggie Porter has been away from the Rocking P Ranch, helping to care for her mother in a sanatorium. After her mother passes away, Maggie returns to find her home in turmoil. The cowboys threaten to strike after some harsh and arbitrary decisions by her father. Alex Bright, the foreman, tries to mediate the dispute but can’t understand Mr. Porter’s obstinate attitude. The men walk off and, conflicted by divided loyalties, Alex reluctantly joins them. Maggie and Alex have been sweet on each other and, in the beginning, both look forward to Maggie’s return. This relationship is strained to the breaking point when Maggie holds Alex responsible for not keeping the men on the job at a crucial time. Maggie learns that her father is facing huge bills from the sanatorium and may lose the ranch. This is why he could not negotiate with the cowboys. He is also dying of cancer and the pain has affected his judgment. To pay the bills, the cattle need to be rounded up and driven to market. With her own cowboys gone and none available from other ranches, Maggie recruits women from the nearby town and surrounding ranches to get the cattle to market. Alex and some of the other cowboys follow. Alex wants to keep an eye on Maggie. Some of the others, however, look for opportunities to harass the women and show the need for Porter to meet their demands. One prank ends up costing Maggie more money than she can spare. When she learns who pulled the prank, she accuses Alex of being part of it, severing their relationship. Other cowboys have more sinister plans to disrupt the drive and steal the cattle. They start a stampede. When Maggie sees Alex riding among the herd, she believes he is part of the group looking to take her property away. Maggie eventually learns Alex was trying to stop the stampede at the risk of his own life and he had nothing to do with the expensive prank. She realizes he was doing his best for her, her father, and the ranch. As always, Susan Page Davis presents an exciting and tense story with enough twists and intriguing characters to keep you turning pages. She provides the right amount of detail to give authenticity but doesn’t overwhelm you with myriad facts just to show off her research. You are with the women on the cattle drive, sleeping on the hard ground, enduring the boredom and routine, burning the hide of a calf with a hot iron, and enduring the danger and excitement of a stampede. The women are believable in their roles. The minor characters add just the right amount of humor, insight into the major characters, and tension. Maggie and Alex are two people in love but struggling with inner conflicts and loyalties that present major stumbling blocks to the relationship. You are wondering until the very end if they will make it. If you enjoy historical romance, this will be a most satisfying read.
Susan Page Davis in her new book, “Cowgirl Trail” Book five in The Texas Trail Series published by River North Fiction Division of Moody Publishers takes us back to Texas in 1884. From the Back Cover: A young woman determined to save the family ranch A devastating loss An answer to prayer as shots are fired Maggie Porter returns to the Rocking P Ranch. The sanatorium was not able to save her mother and now her father’s health is failing. When the cowboys walk off the job leaving no one to drive the cattle to market, head ranch hand, Alex Bright, cannot convince the men to stay. How could Alex let this happen? Maggie is desperate to save the ranch. To everyone’s surprise, she turns to the town’s women for help. The cowgirls must herd, rope, and drive the cattle to market. With only two days left, outlaws charge the small band in an effort to start a stampede. The cattle begin to scatter. Will they lose everything? Where will their help come from? Doubt meets hope, and fear gives way to faith in the Morgan family. Do you remember the old Television series, “Rawhide”? Every week we were treated to a new adventure about cattle drivers or “drovers” as they were called on a cattle drive. In “Cowgirl Trail” Susan Page Davis has given us a distaff episode of “Rawhide”. This book is a lot of fun. The men want to go on strike right at market time. The ranch is in debt and needs the revenue the cattle sale will bring but what to do without the cowboys? Maggie has a lot of women friends who are daughters or wives of ranchers and who know their way around a horse. So she rounds them up for the drive to Fort Worth. If the men will not do their job the women will just have to do it for them. “Cowgirl Trail” is another romance set against the backdrop of Texas. Susan Page Davis takes up the story of the Morgan family that she began in the second book, “Captive Trail” as Alex is the son of those two main characters. Me, I really like Westerns and Ms. Davis really knows how to write a Western. If you enjoy history like I do then this book is for you. Ms. Davis really makes you feel the heat and the dust and the danger. Every one of her characters seem to come alive and it is like actually being there in Texas with them. “Cowgirl Trail” continues being all about families and relationships and that is what makes this book a winner. I enjoyed this book a lot and am looking forward to the next one. If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand. To listen to 24 hours non-stop Christian music please visit our internet radio station Kingdom Airwaves Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free from at Wynn-Wynn Media for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
This review is for the SAMPLER only. Don't bother. The description isn't clear, but you only get 32 of 304 pages. Get the full book
I found this to be a really great read. Susan Page Davis has woven such an interesting tale....woman Cowgirls. Back in the late 1880's they did the unexpected, and probably not approved. Maggie Porter returns home from a delightful time in San Francisco to find that things are really bad at the Ranch. Her father appears not to be himself, and he is doing unexpected things. As a result the Ranch Hands are besides themselves and are about to strike. The Ranch Foreman Alex Bright, who Maggie has felt sparks fly about, feels he needs to stick by his men. When we find out what is going on, we are fully supportive of Maggie. Love the reaction of the small town Brady TX, and wish I could have been there with them. Once you begin this journey one you won't be able to put it down...Enjoy! I received this book from the Publisher Moody, and was not required to give a positive review.
Cowgirl Trail by Susan Page Davis Texas Trails: A Morgan Family Series Book 5 This is the 5th book in a six book series written by three different authors. In Cowgirl Trail we find that the cowpunchers on Rocking P Ranch are wanting to strike. Mr. Porter won't let them have a few head of cattle like he had in the past and he refuses to raise their pay. Alex Bright is caught between loyalty to his boss and the men. And mostly Alex's heart. Maggie Porter has just returned home after two years. As the ranch foreman now, Alex was hoping she'd notice him in a more personal way. Like he noticed her. The way things were going it looked like any hope between them was being torn away. After a cold hearted decision by Martin Porter the choice is made to strike. Maggie Porter thought that maybe her feelings she had for Alex since she was thirteen were only a young girls crush, but now as a young woman she knows they are true. Only he won't stand up to the men for her dad and her dad has issues that he is too proud to share with his men, thus leading up to this turmoil. When everything seems to be falling apart, Maggie and her friend Carlotta decide they will get a group of Cowgirl's to round up the rest of the cattle and to drive them to Fort Worth. At this point in history the cattle drive is not as far. They need to get to Fort Worth and the train delivers them the rest of the way. There still are dangers and with growth in the area they are not as free to travel over land like the old days. But the threat of the Indian's no longer existed. Another exciting adventure in this series. Alex is the son of Billie and Ned Bright. Billie's story is in the second book. She had been kidnapped by the Indian's as a young girl and not found until she was quite a bit older. If you enjoy adventures, check out Susan's other books. She has a great series that takes you on a journey down the Oregon Trail. I find her writing to be descriptive enough that I feel I have been in the wagon train or on the cattle drive. **Received through NetGalley for review.