Expressly Yours, Samantha (Cotillion Ball #7)


In a day, Samantha Hughes’ life has completely changed. After her Aunt's death, she must flee the home she’s known in the years following her parent’s untimely demise in order to protect herself from her lecherous uncle. Her plan is to disguise herself as a man and join the Pony Express as a rider, soon becoming Sam Hughes, the orphan. 


Valerian Fitzpatrick is eager to leave the easy life he’s had with his affluent, yet loving family. He’s ready to branch out on his own and the Pony Express seems to be his ticket to freedom. Until, however, he finds that his new friend, Sam, is actually Samantha, their growing friendship turns to attraction. But when Samantha’s uncle finds her and she’s forced to run again, Val learns that maybe not all ties are bad - and in love, perhaps he can find the true freedom he seeks. 


This historical romance is a great divergence from the norm, with its unique time setting and interesting characters. Val and his relationships are multifaceted—he’s related to a number of American Indians by marriage and the author deals with this dynamic with great sensitivity and creativity. While the relationship between Val and Samantha seems to be fraught with contrived strife at times, especially towards the end of the story, Samantha’s strength shines through the page—readers will connect with her plight and root for her until the end. Ms. Lower’s extensive research of her topic - The Pony Express - and careful consideration of her readers is evident throughout the story. This interesting, engaging read is highly recommended for lovers of Americana and historical romance. 


Mia Francis