Since orphaned at age twelve, Carmela Wade has lived a lie orchestrated by her uncle, pretending to be a survivor of an Indian kidnapping and profiting from telling her made-up story on the speaker circuit. But as she matures into adulthood, Carmela hates the lies and longs to be free. On a stagecoach in Arizona Territory, Carmela and her uncle are fellow passengers with US Marshal Freeland McKay and his handcuffed prisoner.
The stage is attacked. Now a chance to make a new life may suddenly be within Carmela’s reach. . .if she can survive the harsh terrain and being handcuffed to an unconscious man.
Will Carmela’s wish come true, or will she forever be branded by her past?
This was certainly a Wild West adventure in the Arizona territory for one Carmela Wade and US Marshal Freeland McKay. Since being orphaned at 12 years old, Carmela has lived a life of bondage and lies with her charlatan uncle never allowed to grow up in a normal home with love and affection. I was actually shocked and amazed at the lengths her uncle went to make the act Carmela had to put on as believable as possible. There was quite a bit of action in this story: outlaws, Native American attacks, and kidnappings all taking place in a country that was just beginning to recover from the American Civil War.
I liked how the author showed how such fictitious stories can start and how mobs can quickly be formed with so little evidence or truth, especially when there is little to no forgiveness and she compared that to genuine forgiveness and love. There were also some great lessons that no matter what you have been through, your past can be a positive influence to help others in their current dilemmas.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing and was under no obligation to post a positive review.