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Wagon Train Cinderella

(Women of the West #1)

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  286 ratings  ·  43 reviews
Love can lead you out of the wilderness…

1851, Overland Trail to California. As a baby, Callie was left on the doorstep of an isolated farmhouse in Tennessee. The Whitaker family took her in, but have always considered her more a servant than a daughter. Scorned by her two stepsisters, Callie is forced to work long hours and denied an education. But a new world opens to her
ebook, 259 pages
Published February 3rd 2015 by Lyrical Press
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3.70  · 
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 ·  286 ratings  ·  43 reviews

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Rated 3.5 - A Cinderella rendition taking place on a wagon train journey to California, this novel will appeal to those who enjoy the adventurous spirit of those brave pioneers of the 1850s. More reviews at

Callie Whitaker is traveling with her family and their hired hands on the Overland Trail to California in 1851. Abandoned on the Whitakers' doorstep as a child, Callie is eternally grateful to her stepmother and stepfather for taking her in. Since leaving their farm in Te
Jan 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing

Book Description...

"Love can lead you out of the wilderness…

1851, Overland Trail to California. As a baby, Callie was left on the doorstep of an isolated farmhouse in Tennessee. The Whitaker family took her in, but have always considered her more a servant than a daughter. Scorned by her two stepsisters, Callie is forced to work long hours and denied an education. But a new world opens to her when the Whitakers join a wagon train to California—guided by rugged Indian, Luke McGraw…

A loner, haunte
Reading the summary for this, I was really excited because this is the type of book I love. So disappointed. There was nothing special about this and the romance really wasn't there in my opinion.
Jackson D'Lynne
Feb 08, 2015 rated it did not like it
Where do I even begin?

I guess I should start with the things I liked about the book, which are few.

What I liked (and I use the term loosely):
Callie grew some balls
It ended

Yes, I realize it’s a short list, but there’s a reason for that—it was a boring, terrible story with so little actual romance it pained me to trudge through it to the end. I wanted to throw the book into the recycle bin and rub my burning, blurry eyes. Burning and blurry because I had to force them to stay open while reading th
Taylor Caitlin
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

There are good romance novels and there are trashy romance novels. This book is neither. Set in the mid-1800s, Wagon Train Cinderella is exactly what it's uninventive title describes as Callie Whitaker journeys with her step-family across the wild west fueled by dreams of California gold. Along the way she meets her prince, a mountain man named Luke McGraw, and finds the courage to stand up for herself amongst the fa
Sonya Heaney
Hmm. What to say about this book? I liked some things and wasn’t so sure about others, but I think I’ll just do some dot points:

• This is not a great romance as such. The romance is largely a background situation, and what is at the forefront – and what I really enjoyed – was the long, terrible, difficult journey taken across America in a wagon train in the mid-nineteenth century.

• This is a Cinderella story, so you have to expect some of the clichés that come with it. One of my pet hates is the
Jun 09, 2018 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
I really wish I hadn't read this book. The writing was immature and weak, character development was nonexistent, I didn't buy the romance, and I hated the main character. She was too perfect and I couldn't relate to her at all. She had no negative emotions but wasn't strong enough to stand up for herself. She forgave far too quickly and suffered zero consequences for any of her actions. The love interest barely knew her - there was no love, only lust. I thought it was stupid. Don't read this boo ...more
Jan 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
A recommend for readers who are into old west stories.
Carol Metzger
Sep 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Adventure in love and life

This is a great adventure of love and life. This story leaves little to the imagination of the hardships of leaving their home for a better way of life.
Book Binge
May 15, 2015 rated it liked it
A loner, haunted by a painful past, Luke plans to return to the wilderness once his work is done. But he can’t help noticing how poorly Callie is treated—or how unaware she is of her beauty and intelligence. As the two become closer over the long trek west, Callie’s confidence grows. And when disaster strikes, Callie emerges as the strong one—and the woman Luke may find the courage to love at last…

Wagon Train Cinderella is one of those books that had a lot of enthusiasm and charm…but not really
Dec 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shirley Kennedy has written a very engaging novel in “Wagon Train Cinderella”. The story is set in 1851 and beyond on the Overland Trail to California. It involves a wagon train trying to get to California before the big snows start to fall. It is full of the dangers, limitations, deprivations and sorrow that accompany these folks on their way to a new life.

The heroine is Callie Whitaker, a foundling who was taken in by the Whitaker family when she was a baby, but who is really nothing more than
Mar 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I absolutely loved this story1 I am a huge western romance fan, and not too many authors seem to write in this genre. This book was reminiscent of the old western movies and television shows such as Wagon Train, Death Valley and Rawhide. The wagon trip was so realistic and written so well that I felt like I was on the trail with them.

This is very much a Cinderella story. Callie was found as a little baby and the Whita
Mignon Mykel
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
received in exchange for an honest review; full review with tour goodies at blog:

It was cute and sweet -- not anywhere near as 'raunchy' as what I typically read, but sometimes it's nice to tame it down a little bit... you know, once every ten books or so ;)

Callie is very much a Cinderella in this book -- even her stepsisters giggle and tell her so. She's not overly pretty, she cannot read or write because her stepfamily (or what we would simply call an ad
Kimberly Rocha~ Book Obsessed Chicks
Taken in by the Whitaker family when she was left on their doorstep as a babe, Callie has grown up the outsider in the family. Never quite a real member, the Whitakers used her to perform all the tasks to menial for their true children, in other words, Callie is basically their servant, and is constantly picked on by her step sisters, who do nothing while Callie does it all.

Now on a treacherous journey by wagon train to California, Callie sees the world like she never has before, and thanks to
Kimber Wheaton
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Wagon Train Cinderella is a fast-paced read with lots of adventure and sweet romance. I haven't read a book from this time period in a long time, and I really enjoyed the rich history. Keep in mind, everything isn't all sunshine and roses-- after all the story does take place among a wagon train heading West.

But since it is a romance at heart, you know that no matter what is thrown at main character Callie, she will come out
Dec 30, 2014 rated it liked it
Callie stepparents decided to sell all their stuff and properties and start an amazing journey to California. Of course this journey, to Callie, will be an immersion to herself and an improvement to who she will want to be at the end of their trip.
Callie is treated like a slave from her parents and sisters, but during the trip she will start feeling brave and more selfconfident, so all the family will have to change their perception about her and start treating her with more respect.
Shirley Kenn
Jan 03, 2015 rated it liked it
"Wagon Train Cinderella" by Shirley Kennedy. This is truly Callie's story. Although there is a romance aspect to it, Callie and Luke, it is definitely a background story. I would have really liked to have seen more of the two of them. They fell in love but I didn't really understand why. For me, there wasn't enough interaction between the two. Callie - at times I liked her and times she annoyed the heck out of me. She discovered many things about herself during the journey, which were awesome. S ...more
Dec 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was a very good western story about one woman who decided her own destiny. She wasn't always that way because she began life as a foundling at a farm in Tennessee. Callie grew up uneducated in a family who took her for granted. She was the one who did all the chores while her two step sisters did nothing but harp at her. Her Ma and Pa Whitaker treated her like a slave but she knew no better. Then one day the family decided to leave the farm and go West. So they loaded up a wagon and off the ...more
Clare O'Beara
Mar 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The cover picture bears little resemblance to the story. No ball gowns. The girl we meet is called a stepdaughter, though she was an orphan taken in by a family; probably people used whatever terms suited them. She has to do the cooking and washing for the family as they trail a hundred head of cattle for sale.

The guide to the wagon train which the family reluctantly join, thinks this young woman is by far the finest of her family and he has no time for slackers. But it's going to be a long jou
Jan 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-review, netgalley
I received a copy of this book from netgalley for an honest review.

4 1/2 Stars

I'm not usually a fan of this type of romance, where there is as much, if not more, suffering than there is good times. But Ms Kennedy did such a wonderful job of making the story so realistic, that at times I felt like I was on that wagon train with Callie and her family. Though this book was a romance, it was more about personal growth, specifically Callie's growth, than anything. She went from being a true Cinderell
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Romance, Hisotrical
Callie is on a wagon train with her so called family. Her step family as she was dropped off at their door step. They have treated her like a slave but this trip across the the states might be a good thing to happen to her.

Luke is helping his widowed sister on the wagon train. As time goes by He sees right through the family and sees how bad they treat Callie. He starts to protect her a bit on the way and keeps her company some times. Her sisters are always wanting to go off to parties that they
Apr 18, 2015 rated it it was ok
It's been a long time since I've read a western novel. I had high hopes. The thing about this novel is that the storyline is pretty compelling which makes you keep reading but the characters are too stock and one dimensional. The character arcs are trite and the book is too didactic. It doesn't give the reader enough intelligence but has to continue to "tell" us how the characters are growing and changing instead of letting us "see" that for ourselves. "Amateurish" kept popping into my head as I ...more
Amanda Richardson
Mar 13, 2015 rated it liked it
I liked this book, but it didn't have enough romance for my tastes. Callie is moving to California with her step family, she was left on their door step in Tennessee right after she was born, they pretty much treat her like a slave instead of a member of their family. Callie meets Luke by chance on the wagon train and becomes interested in him, but she doesn't think she is good enough for him or that he would ever be interested in her.
This story had a lot of action in it about the hardships on a
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
This enjoyable romance set on the wagon train to California and Oregon made for quite the engaging read. The terrible treatment meted out to Callie by her family has turned her into a quiet shadow, but watching her blossom on the trail felt real, as she vacillated between spreading her wings and retreating back into herself. I was also glad to see that her sisters also eventually grew and matured as their circumstances changed. Luke and his family were also great characters, sharing knowledge an ...more
Jess F. (From Me to You ... Book Reviews)
"3 out of 5 stars. Callie (an adopted daughter who is actually treated like a servant instead of family) follows her family on a wagon train from Tennessee to California. Throughout the journey, Callie comes into her own and becomes independent, learning that she is stronger than she thought.

I liked the beginning and its steady buildup. However, I found that while the ending might have been more historically accurate in regards to the toughness of the trip, I just wasn't happy with how it turned
Judy C
Jan 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This was an interesting spin on Cinderella, minus the cute mice. It was labeled a romance but that wasn't the main focus in this book. Callie is emotionally beaten down by her stepfamily. They embark on this horrible wagon train ride to California where she learns very to become a strong woman rather than the meek slave she is treated like. It enjoyed the book but would of liked more romance but the writing and story
Feb 02, 2019 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: people who don't care about history. or plot. or anything.
Meh. I've learned not to judge book names or covers d/t The Book That Shall Not Be Named. However, this book was forgettable and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone I know. It was fairly clean which was nice. My biggest problem is because most of my Oregon/California Trail knowledge comes from Jubilee Trail by Gwen Bristow, which is entirely unfair but there you have it. This book shows very little research and mostly a bunch of commonly known facts about traveling West. It also disagrees with the ...more
Negar Arvanaghi
Dec 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wow, I thought Cinderella's family was bad! At least she had a loving father to remember.

She doesn't know what she looks like? :(

Ooh, intrigue.

Wow, we really don't appreciate trains and airplanes as we should. Two hundred years ago, they would never have imagined going cross-country in a matter of hours.


Karma. Enough said.

Hot damn!

I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
May 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Roughly halfway through this book I thought to myself that this might be at least a 4-star book. Unfortunately towards the end of the book there was a strange plot twist which I immediately saw through and then the pace became very hurried. It seemed like the author was on a deadline. I did like a lot of the storyline and the character development of our main character. There were many things to like about this book, I only wish she had taken more time with the ending.
3.5 stars

Very simple story but a bit too much on the poor, overworked girl who works incessantly, without any rebellion and loves her tormentors who never showed her any affection. Suddenly, while trekking, west, the heroine gets a spine and starts standing up for herself. The romance was hard to feel as the hero is busy trying to avoid the heroine as much as possible. Just a bit too sappy to get 4 stars.
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Sinopsis en Español // Synopsis in Spanish 1 2 Feb 16, 2015 07:53AM  

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First place (GOLD) winner in the Romance category of the 2013 Independent Publisher (IPPY) awards for THE LAST OF LADY LANSDOWN.

I was born and raised in Fresno, California, where I graduated from Fresno High School. I lived in Canada for many years, enjoying skiing and riding horses, and am a graduate of the University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada with a B.S. in Computer Science.
I've had many job

Other books in the series

Women of the West (3 books)
  • Wagon Train Sisters (Women of the West #2)
  • Gold Rush Bride (Women of the West #3)