SAMANTHA AND THE COWBOY by Lorraine Heath (see her website)
Young Adult Romance
Avon True Romance, May 2002
Samantha Jane Reynolds knows it's her only chance to help her family survive the brutal years after the American Civil War. Even though it means sacrificing her hair and pretending to be a boy, she determines to join a cattle drive from Texas to Kansas, and Samantha becomes Sam. The hundred dollars pay could get them through the winter. Of course, if anyone finds out she's a girl in disguise, she'll be in serious trouble. Matthew Hart survived the Civil War, but many of the boys he led did not. He swears he'll never make a friend again, take responsibility for another again. Yet there's something sympathetic about the new kid, Sam. Sam can't help falling for the handsome cowboy, but she knows that when he discovers her lie, he'll never forgive her.
Bestselling and RITA winning author Lorraine Heath (see more BooksForABuck.com reviews of novels by this author) has written a charming young adult romance. 16-year-old Samantha comes of age and discovers feelings of attraction toward that special boy. Matthew is a convincingly damaged hero, aged beyond his 18 years by his wartime experience, and afraid to develop feelings again. Sam's mixed feelings about being a boy lighten the novel's touch. The adventure of the cattle drive and the dangers that Sam finds herself in, add spice to the sweet sensual tension between the two characters (especially once Matthew discovers Sam's secret).
Purchase SAMANTHA AND THE COWBOY from Amazon.com. (Available in paperback.)