My rating: 4 stars / I really liked it
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?
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)