But traveling west is not what these two well-bred, innocent ladies expected. A raid on a stagecoach way station would have seen them dead if not for the quick thinking of one of the other passengers, handsome rancher Ty Eldridge.
In the midst of the deadly raid, Mea Ann finds an orphaned Indian baby that she adopts as her own. Once the stage reaches Deer Meadow where their uncle is being held, Mea Ann and Xenia discover the deep-seated prejudice that pervades the town. Indians are not welcome—even Indian children. Ty and his cousin Wilt are all too familiar with the bigots in Deer Meadow, being half Sioux, themselves.
Ty wants to protect Xenia from her uncle’s schemes to use her and Mea Ann as prostitutes in his saloon—sold to the highest bidders—but can he? Though romance blooms for Wilt and Mea Ann, Ty has been burned in the past by his love for a white woman—and he won’t risk his heart again.
Though others say they’re all wrong for each other, Xenia has never felt more “right” than when she’s in Ty’s arms. She is determined to show him she’s strong enough to adapt to ranch life—his life. For Xenia, prejudice doesn’t exist—there’s enough love in her heart to hold Ty and heal his wounds. But Ty knows if he gives in to Xenia, he runs the risk of being hurt again. Is true love worth the chance of becoming XENIA’S RENEGADE?
“When you get to Deer Meadow, I’m sure you’ll find the men will appreciate you more. Then you won’t have to be subjected to an Indian raid or a man like Ty Eldridge.”
“Mr. Eldridge doesn’t seem so bad,” Mea Ann said. “He was careful to make sure there was no danger in here before he let us come in.”
He shook his head. “Now I know how innocent you and your sister are. Don’t you know what Eldridge is?”
Xenia interrupted. “I don’t think we should be discussing Mr. Eldridge or anyone else. It looks to me like we should be trying to find out what’s going on here.”
“Xenia’s right,” Mea Ann said.
“You don’t have to worry. I’m sure the stage driver will know what to do if Eldridge doesn’t kill him first.”
“What do you mean?” Mea Ann looked scared.
“Don’t you know what he is?”
Xenia wasn’t sure what Lou was going to say, so she said, “It doesn’t matter what he is.” She stood. “I’m going to look out the window and see if I can tell why Mr. Eldridge told us to stay in here.”
“The breed probably put us here to wait for his friends to come back.”
She whirled around and glared at him. “What are you saying?”
“Can’t you tell he’s part Indian? They’re all alike. I got in a little trouble with one in Deer Meadow last time I was there. Just hope it’s all been cleared up by the time we get in.”
“What difference does it make if he has some Indian blood in him?”
“Oh, Miss Xenia. It’s an important factor in this area.”
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