Samantha Collins father is slowly losing his health. Before he dies he wants to see his daughter married and had his heart set on a certain gentleman. The problem is they will have to travel along with a wagon train for Samantha to meet the man her father hopes she will marry. As the wagon train begins its journey, the travelers are introduced to John O'Hara, a half breed that will help them as they go. Samantha has never been up close a man like John. Although he is forbidden to her, she can't help but daydream about him. When John is badly injured, Samantha helps nurse him back to health. As a result the two become friends.
Sadly, life on the wagon train is dangerous and tragedy will strike before Samantha makes it to her destination. John will be there for her as their friendship culminates into a night of passion. But John knows Samantha can't marry him because of his mixed race.
This novella is an enjoyable read that has an authentic quality which enables the reader to picture life in the west and what it must have been like to travel by wagon for long distances. Samantha is a girl that wants to please her father, but is very nervous about this arrangement he is hoping will take place. She has never met the man her father hopes she will marry and is concerned that they won't suit. Besides, it’s John O'Hara that makes her heart beat faster.
John is a man that has lived with racial prejudice his entire life and is loath to subject Samantha and any children they may have to the life he has had to endure. He will have to decide if what his head tells him is right or if he should follow his heart.
The characters did not have a lot of time to fully develop in this story, since it was so short. We are given Samantha's inner thoughts but not a lot John's thoughts. I guess he was the strong silent type. I did like how realistic the author made things. Life was not easy in those days, especially for a woman all alone. I did like how the story started and how it ended with Samantha telling the story of how she and John met to her grandchildren. That is a special thing that people don't really do anymore. I would like to see more Western Historical Romances out there. It seems there are so many Regency Period and Highlanders and so on, but not nearly enough Historicals set in America or in the old west.
I read this book in less than an hour. It's an easy read and perfect for a break or lunch time read. Overall I will give this one a 3.
The mountain man won her over with his acts of heroism and bravery … and blazed a trail straight into her heart! The West comes alive in Marie Caron’s grand tale of romance and adventure in What the Heart Wants.
She never expected to find lust and love on a wagon train through the wilderness, but she had never met a man like John O’Hara before. Tall and tan, the half-breed scout’s body was as taut as a bowstring and as strong as a bear. Together they scorched the prairie grasses with their passion. Would her love for him be enough, or would he leave her for the mountains that were a part of his soul?
Content Notes: Spicy, Historical 1800’s, Western, Multi-cultural