Heartbreak Trail by Susan K Marlow

The second in the Circle C Milestones series

Andrea Carter can ride, rope, and cut out cattle with the best of her brothers’ ranch hands. Yet, her mother has always held the family’s youngest daughter back from fully participating in ranch activities. With the approach of her fifteenth birthday, even the ranch boss, big brother Chad, can’t deny that his baby sister is better at ranch skills than some of his cowhands.

When Andi announces that her quinceañera birthday wish is to join the upcoming cattle drive, her family is stunned. But after further discussion and multiple newspaper clippings about spirited women who balked at society’s expectations, even Mother agrees that the only way to get this cattle-drive notion out of Andi’s head is by letting her and her cousin Levi go along as Cook’s helpers. Andi is elated. What can go wrong on a two-week drive to Los Angeles?

Andi quickly discovers that a cattle drive is a dirty, dangerous business with little sleep and the same food day after day. Between late nights, dust, mosquitos, and an abrasive cowhand trying to win Andi’s attention, it is definitely not a holiday. Andi grimly determines she will stick it out. When a river crossing goes wrong and Chad is shot in a gunfight with suspicious men who have been shadowing the herd, Mitch the trail boss finds himself dangerously shorthanded. Andi and Levi can no longer just give Cook a hand. It’s time to pitch in and help Mitch get their cattle to market–any way they can.

Read an excerpt and download the study guide HERE.

About the Author

 Susan K. Marlow is always on the lookout for a new story, whether she’s writing books, teaching writing workshops, or sharing what she’s learned as a homeschooling mom. The author of the Circle C Adventures series and the Circle C Beginnings series, Susan enjoys relaxing on her fourteen-acre homestead in the great state of Washington.

My Thoughts

Are you looking for the next book to read aloud to your children, or next book to purchase for your 8-15 year old,  look no further!  Heartbreak Trail is the book you’ve been looking for!

The setting is California during the settling in the 1880’s near Fresno.  Andrea Carter, a tomboy whose only interest is to rope and ride with her brothers, is seeking excitement and adventure.  So her only gift desired is to go on a cattle drive.  Finally her mother agrees.

Along this fast paced, action packed plot, Andrea, her cousin Levi, her brothers, and ranch hands encounter cattle rustlers.  The life this girl, growing into a young woman who is noticed by a few cow hands, has experienced more excitement than most of her town friends have experienced throughout their adult life. Andrea is determined to do all she can to save the cattle and bring the thieves to justice!

With the study guide, this book would be an excellent tool to use in your homeschool, Christian school, or as a family read along.  It would also be a wonderful gift for the 8-15 child in your life.  Although this series was written for that age audience, it will be enjoyed by ones of all ages.  Although this is part of a series, the plot does stand alone.   

I enjoyed this book.  It held my attention and I appreciate the clean, yet thrilling style of her work. I look forward to reviewing more from this excellent children’s author.

Thank you to Susan K. Marlow and Kregal Publications for a copy in exchange for my honest review.