#1 He came to her pursued by the law and she used him to seek revenge. Love saved them both.
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Abandoned and alone in a soddy on the plains of Nebraska, Tressie Majors vows revenge against her father who left her and her mother alone to chase after his dreams of gold.
After her mother dies in childbirth Tressie buries the bodies on a rise and from there spots a rider coming.
Reed Bannon is wanted by the law for stealing a horse from a Union soldier and heading west away from the savagery of the war. He has been wounded and Tressie nurses him back to health seeing him as the one who can take her west to find her father.
Heartbreak and happiness in the untamed wilderness of big sky country faces the two as they become friends, then lovers while pursuing their dreams. Settling in Virginia City, Tressie learns forgiveness and Reed is freed from his past.
A prayer came to her then, as it wouldn't earlier over the grave. It was only a simple plea for help, and she offered the words up with little hope they would be heard. She asked for just enough strength to see her through one more hardship. Goodness knows, there'd been plenty of those in her seventeen years.
Gasping in a breath, she spread her long legs and once more lifted the heavy rifle to sight on the rumpled shirt of the stranger. "Stay right where you are." The steadiness of the tone amazed her.
"I don't think I have much choice," came a feeble reply. The voice, though cracked by weariness, held an edge of determination. "I could use a hand here. I'd surely hate to fall off this horse, but I reckon it's about to happen."
Expelling a breath of relief, she leaned the gun against the house. There wasn't enough punch left in this fellow to hurt a rabbit, let alone her. Though she was a strapping young woman, the man almost knocked her to her knees when he slid from the saddle into the support of her arms. For a while she thought they wouldn't make it inside. A couple of times she had to stop and rest, and he wasn't doing a whole lot to help her, either. He did drag one leg after the other, but for the most part she supported his weight. He groaned with each step. Head tucked under his arm, the gamy smell of his body nearly overpowered her. He must have been on the trail a long time without benefit of a good washing.