Published by Sourcebooks Casablanca on January 1, 2019
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
MEET THE HARVEY GIRLS: These real-life pioneering women were symbols of elegance in the wild frontier: taming rough manners, falling in love, and changing the face of the West forever.
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.
~~Reviewed by AnnMarie~~
Trailblazer is the first book in the Cowboys & Harvey Girls series by Anna Schmidt.
Grace Rogers’ family is barely making ends meet. Wanting adventure, but also wanting to help her family, Grace decides to apply for a job in New Mexico working as a Harvey Girl. Fred Harvey owns a chain of food houses which are known for their quality food and service. Their waitresses are perfect young ladies, unmarried, with spotless reputations. When Grace passes her interview and is offered a job she is thrilled. She will be able to send money home to her family plus enjoy her new life away from home.
Nick Hopkins works as a foreman on a Ranch owned by people who have pretty much brought him up from a teenager. His dream is to buy some land near them, build his own home, marry, have children and be a rancher. He first meets Grace on the train taking her for her interview and from that moment he is captivated.
A romance between them develops quickly despite the fact that Grace wants to concentrate on her job and being able to send money back home. She can’t battle her heart though and when passions come to a melting point they decide that they must get married. They love each other and although they will have to keep their marriage a secret in order for Grace to keep her job, they do marry. Are things good for them from then? Far from it. Trials and tribulations are plenty, not least a man of importance setting his sights on Grace and not wanting to take no for an answer!
I loved this book, the setting was wonderful and I loved how the Harvey establishments operated. It sounds like the kind of place I would have wanted to work if I was there back then! This book had everything, romance, suspense, hardships to be overcome, a horrid villain, a misunderstood woman, and of course Nick and Grace the hero and heroine of the story. I loved reading how their love developed and how wonderful Nick was when it came to looking after Grace and her family. It was truly a wonderful read. It was also a pleasure to read their passionate moments without the scenes going too in-depth. It was titillation rather than being just a sweet romance, or an explicit one. It was just right.
I am very much looking forward to reading the next book in the series which will be Lily’s story. Lily is a friend of Grace’s and also a Harvey Girl. If it’s anything as good as this book then I will be in for a treat. I definitely 100% recommend this book and hope that you will enjoy just as much as I did.