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27 January 2012

Magnificent Passage

Magnificent Passage by Kat Martin was her first published book. It has just been reissued after more than twenty years.

Samantha (Mandy) Ashton lives with her father at Fort Laramie in the Dakota Territories. Mandy's cousin Julia lived with her father - the governor of California - before she was sent to finishing school back East. Now, after spending the summer together at Fort Laramie, Julia's father is sending someone to bring her back to Sacramento City. But Julia has no intention of going. She is in love and has a plan to run away with her fiancee.

In order for Julia's plan to work, Mandy must agree to pretend to be Julia. They look enough alike that someone sent with a description who only saw one of them would be fooled. By the time Mandy reaches Sacramento, Julia will be married. Mandy agrees to the plan for her cousin's sake - and because she is up for an adventure.

What Mandy did not count on was who would be escorting her to California. Travis Langley, who she briefly met two years earlier and cannot get out of her mind, and his friend are the governor's most trusted men. And Travis was raised by the Cheyenne and knows the route better than most.

Martin's first book is what you would expect of a romance about a young woman being escorted across the wild county that was the US in 1867. But before your brain goes to the stereotype of romance books, note that her characters are great and you will not be able to put down this book. Martin's slow building of interest between the characters combined with Mandy's secret identity makes for a fun read.

Martin, Kat. (2011). Magnificent Passage. New York: Vanguard Press.

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