Trail of Destiny (Hot on the Trail: Book 5)


In 1863, Alice Porter and her father are traveling by wagon train from New York to Oregon. Depressed and withdrawn, the young war widow is determined to mourn the husband she’d lost a year earlier. When her father falls ill Alice is forced to remain with him at Ft. Bridger in Wyoming territory. Alice pours herself into work around the fort, to keep her hands busy and her mind off handsome militia man Jarvis Flint. Jarvis can’t keep his thoughts from Alice and how best to convince her to shed her oppressive mourning black and enjoy life again. When help is needed to settle a land dispute between a well-to-do brother and sister, Jarvis convinces Alice to help. 

This was an entertainingly light and steamy historical read. While it was gratifying to see Alice shed her grief and become more productive, believability issues arose. First, a father, who’s barely recovered from an illness as serious as influenza in the 1860s, pushes his daughter to take a trip with two men she barely knows. Second, concerns of wild animal and Indian attacks vanished as they slept on bedrolls under the stars. The somewhat weak sibling rivalry plot line with the incessant, childish name calling grew tiresome. The contest would have used up valuable resources, man-power, and time for that locale, and era. Still, Ms. Farmer does a fine job creating an enjoyable, steamy, uplifting story of second chances on the Oregon Trail.

Lori Leger