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  • By joycescarbrough
    Apr 22, 2012
    Isabel Bennet boards the New York Central Orphan Train in 1868 as a fifteen-year-old veteran of the carnival circuit who dreams of a better life in Kansas thanks to a rich benefactor named George Winston. Winston promised Isabel's parents he would give her a stable home and a good education, but he had a much different life in mind for her. She soon learns that men can't be trusted, a lesson she got a taste of as a child when her only friend in the carnival, a flaming-haired boy named James, disappeared without so much as a goodbye. Instead of going to school, Isabel is put to work in Winston's saloon, performing her sharpshooting skills for the crowd and waiting tables between shows. Virtually a prisoner, she is watched constantly by Winston's paid goons and his loathsome son Jeffrey, who barely waits for the beautiful Isabel to come of age before he also puts her to work in his bed. As much as she disliked the gypsy lifestyle of her parents, Isabel would much rather go back to being... More > a carni girl than having to endure the horrors of being Jeffrey's carnal slave. She tries to escape once, but the beating she gets when she's caught makes her terrified to try again. Until the day the saloon doors swing open and in walks a cowboy with fiery red hair who goes by the name of Flame—an appropriate moniker considering the way Isabel is immediately drawn to him like a moth. He is kind to her and seems different from the other men who inhabit her world, but can she trust him? ONCE WAYWARD will take you back to the days of cowboys, saloons and gunfights, and the beautiful prose and endearing characters make the journey an emotional one you'll never forget. Isabel is a heroine who will steal your heart with her spirit and optimism despite the hopelessness of her plight, and Flame will ignite a bonfire of feelings in readers the same way he does in Isabel. Their love story is just as sweet as Isabel's struggle to escape her captors is heartrending, and it makes for a page-turning mixture of adventure, poignancy and romance. I don't usually like historicals nor romances, but I loved this book because of the characters and the writing skills of the author.< Less
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Product Details

First Edition
Champagne Books
May 30, 2010
Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink
Black & white
0.99 lbs.
Dimensions (inches)
5.5 wide x 8.5 tall
Product ID
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