Claiming the Heart
History in the making . . .
July 1876: Building a railroad that reaches Fort Worth city limits by a midnight deadline is an all-consuming obsession for track supervisor Gabriel Corrigan—while his socialite wife, Marthalee, daughter of a powerful Louisiana politician, heads home to arrange a marriage annulment. But when Gabe crosses paths with Josie Laclede, a vivacious businesswoman from St. Louis, he sees a sassy lady bold enough to stake her claim in the wild Texas plains—yet soft and sweet enough to win his heart.
Love for the keeping . . .
Though her past is a mystery—Josie was a foundling, raised by a kind widower who now runs a shop and hotel with her—Gabe dreams of a bright future with Josie by his side. Tantalized by his gentle kisses, and swept up in the thrilling track-laying race that has all of Fort Worth pitching in, Josie is tempted to fall hard for Gabe. But Marthalee returns, vying for the T&P fortune he stands to make. And when her father offers Gabe a senate seat and a chance to get back into his wellconnected family, a heartbroken Josie vanishes with the prairie breeze. Will their dream of a once-in-a-lifetime love go up in smoke?
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Fort Worth, Texas
After the storm of the Civil War had passed, Henri saw opportunities in Texas. He sold out in St. Louis, and when Josie was sixteen years old, they and the Lanes, along with the Lanes’ two-year-old son, Julius, moved to Fort Worth, where Henri started the Laclede Grocery and Dry Goods store. They had been in Fort Worth for five years when seven-year-old Julius, who was sweeping the boardwalk in front of the grocery store, looked up to see the stagecoach arriving.
Dropping his broom, Julius ran inside to give the news.
“Miss Josie, the stagecoach is comin’ in! The horses are... see more