Wednesday, September 11, 2019

4.5 stars-- Trailblazer (Cowboys & Harvey Girls #1) by Anna Schmidt

Oh my! Anna Schmidt never fails at delivering a knock out read that simply captivates.
The Gist: Grace has taken a job out west working as a waitress at a railway restaurant. She wants a little adventure and desperately needs to earn money to help her family back home. She most certainly does not need to get distracted by a pretty cowboy with dreams of his own.

I absolutely loved Grace and Nick. They're wonderful people. Incredibly hardworking, kind, thoughtful, determined. They both have plans-- Nick wants land of his own and Grace wants to help her family-- and will do anything to make them happen. It was impossible not to love them.

Their romance. It just left me smiling. Harvey Girls --what the chain restaurant waitresses are called-- are supposed to be very proper and Grace is intent on being the best Harvey Girl. So spending time with a sexy cowboy? Absolutely not! It was pretty darn funny watching the two as he slowly won her over. They're sweet and earnest and just perfect for each other.

The setting had me falling even more for this one. New Mexico and a bustling railroad town. The fast pace of the diner and how proper everything was in the middle of chaos. The dusty little town in the wilds of the west and friendships made. The hard back-breaking work and the life changing opportunities mixed with frustrations, disappointments, moments of joy and hope for a better life.  Schmidt paints such a picture of the time. The secondary characters were wonderful, too. I want ALL of their stories. From the other employees to the mercantile owner. They just come to life on the pages.

All in all, Trailblazer was a fantastic read. From characters to setting to the peach desserts I was captivated and felt like I was right there sitting at one of the dining room tables watching everything unfold.

Grace Rogers is ready for the adventure of a lifetime. With her family's farm falling on hard times, she accepts a position with the prestigious Fred Harvey Company and heads for Juniper, New Mexico. There she meets a handsome cowboy who quickly turns her head. Too bad the Harvey Girls are forbidden to marry...

Nick Hopkins has a plan: buy a little land, marry, and raise a family―in that order. But after meeting Grace, he can't keep away. Their only choice is to marry in secret...but Nick isn't the only man entranced by Grace's charms, and this unexpected rival doesn't plan on taking no for an answer. He will have her, no matter the cost: to Grace, to Juniper, or to the happily ever after Grace and Nick fought so hard to make their own.

Amazon | Goodreads | Schmidt on HCBS
*covers link to Amazon

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