Amelia Carson is looking for new beginnings and dreams, armed only with her hopes and the marriage contract she signed as a mail-order bride. When Amelia's train reaches Fort Worth, the man who steps from the shadows is not her fianc, but his brother, Houston Leigh.
Houston's shattered face is shielded by an eye patch and tilted hat brim. He's a man who's comfortable in his solitude, but he's come to escort Amelia on a three-week wagon trip to the ranch.
Houston and Amelia start the trip in careful politeness, but the rigors of the trail lead them toward friendship. Amelia's curiosity and optimism wear away Houston's wariness and when she's bitten by a snake, more barriers fall as Houston cares for her.
Soon Houston and Amelia are dreading the end of their journey. Amelia hopefully awaits Houston's proposal, but he won't ask for love because he believes she deserves a better man.
It's the characters that make a romance meaningful and Ms. Heath has created some gems. Houston and Amelia rise above the scars of the Civil War to show true courage as they continue to embrace life. TEXAS DESTINY is a pure pleasure to read and readers will eagerly await the sequel. SENSUAL (June, 379 pp., $5.99)