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Trail of Hope (Hot on the Trail, #2)
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Trail of Hope

(Hot on the Trail #2)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  717 ratings  ·  116 reviews
Callie Lewis is alone on the Oregon Trail. After her brother’s death, she has been left to fend for herself on a journey she never wanted to take. Her only hope for safety and a life at the end of the road is to become a trail bride and wed grieving widower John Rye. But John is harboring secrets that could end their hasty marriage before it has a chance to begin.

When a vi
Published November 24th 2014 by Merry Farmer
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Average rating 4.03  · 
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 ·  717 ratings  ·  116 reviews

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Merry Jewelhound
I don't read Westerns often, so I looked around a bit until I found this one for a RATA. It was an enjoyable plot about a marriage of convenience. The couple are cute and become friends before they become lovers. The mystery part of the book was rather obvious. I rate this 3.5 and round up for a fun well written story. ...more
Ivana Azap Feješ
* received ARC in exchange for honest review

I am not a writer, I leave that to those that are talented with words. But I will try to explain why I liked this story.

This is a story about John Rye and Callie Lewis.
John is a grieving widower.
Callie is alone on the Oregon Trail.
I am very happy for not missing the second book in Merry Farmer's new series.
Both Callie and John have been hit by grief and due to circumstances find themselves together and pushing forward.
We don't realize how hard life was
Nov 16, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a lovely slow burn historical story that was unexpectedly hot.

I wasn’t as convinced by the conflict, it was painfully obvious what was going on and the fact that both of them didn’t seem to get it was a bit aggravating.

Still, I thoroughly enjoyed escaping into this.

Complete story, available on ku.
Monica Burns
Sep 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A well-written story with characters who were easy to like and root for. A nice, getting-to-know-you romance. Great escape reading. I rarely have time to read a book in one sitting, but this one I did, because it kept me turning the pages. A recommended read.
Diane Peterson
Very well written. Compelling marriage of convenience Western historical. The relationship between H and h was realistic and developed naturally. I enjoyed it very much.
Jacky Faber
The reason I gave this novel 1 star is because of the heroine, Callie. What a woos! This woman had absolutely no backbone. On the Oregon trail with her brother and his family from Pennsylvania, her brother, wife, and his son catch a fever and die. Callie is left all on her own. Because she is such a woos, she thinks she needs protection, someone to take care of her so she marries John Rye, a recent widower.

I can't stand women who are complainers and can't stand up for themselves. All Callie did
Jun 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Callie's brother, sister-in-law and nephew die on the trail, she is prompted to marry and do so quickly. A single girl with no protection is in danger on a wagon train. A quick glance around and a visit or two convince her that John Rye is her best hope. But John is a widower, still in love with his dead wife. And he's keeping terrible secrets.

This was a great story, watching John and Callie become friends and learning to care for each other. A tornado brings clear thinking to John and thi
Nov 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book better than Trail of Kisses. The progression of the relationship seemed realistic and unrushed. I liked the changes that John had to go through, and the natural insecurities that Callie had as the new wife of a widower. It was really interesting how these two books happened in the same wagon train, with the same major events, but were completely different stories. Now I want to see what happens with Emma and the Doctor.

p.s. (view spoiler)
Arc provided in exchange for an honest review.

I found this book A LOT better than the first one. Both characters were very relatable to me, especially the heroine. Their relationship was meaningful and well written and the love scenes were HOT!
I will definitely be continuing with this series. Recommended to fans of western romanceç
Sep 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was really different in that it showed the hero with realistic issues and challenges . The Hero is very depressed and suicidal with plans to complete this trip and then end his life when he meets and enters a marriage of convenience. The book does a great job showing his journey from grief to regaining his will to live and love again. I really enjoyed it.
This was a free book on Amazon and it wasn't bad considering. The romance was sweet but much of the plot cycled round and around before reaching a conclusion. ...more
Oct 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Pros: strong writing, likeable characters, good setting descriptors but not overly heavy. Character driven. Sex scenes nice, not over the top. They're NOT spicy, based on this reader's interpretation of spicy. I'd rate it a 2.75 level. While i would have enjoyed more heat, it wasn't a big drawback for me. If you're looking for more this book might not satisfy you, but the lack of spice didn't detract from the pleasure of the read. This actually read more like a sweet, getting to know each other ...more
Sandra Aaron
This is an OK Western romance novella, with a likable couple, but I would have liked more backstory on both John and Callie.

Callie was likable, but I found it difficult to believe she could have dealt with her grief as well as she did. I get that she had no choice, since she was on a wagon train -- but losing your entire family all at once (3 people!) would have been enough to emotionally cripple almost anyone.

John was likable too, but it seemed like he held on to his grief over the loss of hi
Jan 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When you whole family dies on a wagon trail you have little choice but to do what everyone wants you to. It is not allowed for a woman to travel alone. When the group tell Callie she must marry she is beside herself. Who would she marry the choices aren’t the greatest. After looking over each single man she finally decides to go with one she thinks she can live with. Not only does she have to get use to a husband but there is someone out there that is trying to make trouble. Something is missing ...more
Jan 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Callie was travelling west by wagon, she was with her family. Two weeks before they left Independence, Missouri; her brother, his wife and baby came down with high fevers. They didn't make it very far, her family passed away. Now she was all alone on a wagon train going where she didn't want to go. Going west was her brother's dream, not hers. What was she to do now?

John Rye was a sad soul, just having lost his wife six months
Sep 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Quite Different!
I just loved the way John suddenly 'wakes up' to realise that there is in fact life after death (the death of his beloved wife whose memories seem to haunt him).
Callie also faces family death yet she is stronger and deals with it far better than John does, but she needs a husband's protection and so they marry.
This is a beautiful love story with some interesting supporting characters thrown in for good measure and it was a pleasure to read how Callie and John managed to cope with
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An addictive book about love on the Oregon Trail

I couldn’t put this book down! Really couldn’t! This moving love story set Oregon Trail was a perfect alchemy of loss, hope, love and bad guys that you can’t wait to see caught! I loved that John Rye wasn’t the best looking guy but that Callie chose him because of his kindness. I loved how their relationship grew and progressed in the novel. And now I can’t wait to read the other books in the series as well!
Sep 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wagon Train Tales

This is one of many tales of life on wagon trains moving West to open the frontier. What happens to a woman traveling alone? What types of people traveled in this manner? What disasters awaited these weary travelers? How did they lighten their loads (not those on their wagons)? This story tells of life and death, love and greed, honor and dishonor, good and evil. I will follow this series to read more of these times, both the good and bad.
Lydia E Winters
Jun 14, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4-star
A fun, Western romp in a wagon train. I've read A LOT of romances set in this era so i was surprised that there was actually an... event (without giving any spoilers) that I'd never encountered before.

Sure, there was a lot about the plot that was very predictable. I can't imagine many people haven't figured the big mystery out by the end. But the main characters are delightful and their love story beautiful, so I honestly couldn't care less.

Stephanie Bolen
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: got-it
Cute but dumb

The hints and bumbling of the villains were laughable. The main characters were nice. I liked that he was a glasses wearing merchant. There were some genuine moments of realism, but they were quickly overshadowed by the dumb. Any trail boss worth his salt would have kicked the trouble makers out.
Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John's Life is Saved

John's wife and infant son were dead. His only thoughts were to join them. Callie needed a man to help her through the trail so she asked John to marry her. He thought he could and still go on with his own plans after they arrived in Denver City. Then Callie would be free to find true love. The best laid plans and all.
Mandi Morgan
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sweet fun

A very sweet fun story. I didn’t think I’d like him when we first met him. But his character developed to a very sweet, loving, fun character. It was a little disappointing how long it took for them to come to the conclusion of what was going on. But they got their happy ever after and that makes me happy.
Lucia Marano
Sep 25, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Not hot...

The only thing hot about this book was the weather and the air each character had spewing out of their 1 dimensional mouths. I had to give it 1 star because the elements of a story were kind of there and the plot kept me busy. But thank goodness the trail is over. I’m tired.
Glaidene Ramsey
Aug 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Historical Western Romance

This book was funny in the end and sad in the beginning . The Bride and groom met on a wagon train. The rest of the story you will enjoy reading I did!!!
Mikola Fuhrman
Aug 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it!

A wonderful story with great characters. Callie and John both suffered heartache. But do they overcome it to find love? Only one way to find out. This one is going on my list to be revisited again later.
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Were trail brides really a thing? A single woman asks a stranger to marry her for protection? And why did it take so long for them to figure out what was happening, when the clues were so obvious? It’s a nice story, but, honestly, the cluelessness of these people had me wondering.
Deb Shank
Sep 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good Read

Good read. Flowers easily. Charge were easy to like. Some suspense, trying to figure out which ones were the bad guys. Had figured them out ending with a good outcome. Tough journey for all, in that time.
sandy forguson
Sep 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
John and callie

Well written and good story . John and allied lost so much on the train to Denver City. John his first wife and child and callie her brother his wife and little. But they came through by finding each other . Great characters and wood highly recommend.
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fabulous book and series!! Great love story between Callie and John that will have you glued from start to finish!! Recommend this fabulous love story with lots of drama and hardship along the way!! Don't hesitate to grab this book!! ...more
Nov 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This has a good storyline even if a bit unbelieving in some of the events. It captures your heart with the tragic stories of the 2 main characters and how they come to be together, and is worth the read.
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Merry Farmer lives in suburban Philadelphia with her two cats, Justine and Peter. She has been writing since she was ten years old and realized she didn't have to wait for the teacher to assign a creative writing project to write something. It was the best day of her life. Her books have reached the top of Amazon's charts, and have been named finalists for several prestigious awards, including the ...more

Other books in the series

Hot on the Trail (9 books)
  • Trail of Kisses (Hot on the Trail, #1)
  • Trail of Longing (Hot on the Trail, #3)
  • Trail of Dreams (Hot on the Trail, #4)
  • Trail of Destiny (Hot on the Trail, #5)
  • Trail of Redemption (Hot on the Trail #6)
  • Trail of Passion (Hot on the Trail #7)
  • Trail of Aces (Hot on the Trail #8)
  • Trail of Chances: Trail's End (Hot on the Trail #9)

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