When the last real family she has passes away, seventeen year old Samantha Hughes, must get away from an uncle who wants to do her harm. Samantha sees a wanted ad for Pony Express riders and decides to pose as a boy and seek employment with the Pony Express in order to survive. Samantha quickly becomes Sam by cutting her hair and dress as a boy to assist her in hiding herself until her eighteenth birthday, when she will be free from her uncle's clutches.
Sam arrives at the Pony Express offices, but misses her chance when all the positions are filled. There she meets Valerian Fitzpatrick, who instead of returning to the confines of his family in New York, joins the Pony Express as a rider. Val sees that Sam needs help and helps him get a job working with the Pony Express horses in the stables. Val also knows that Sam is hiding something, but won't push until Sam is ready to come clean about what or who he's running from,
An emergency arises and Sam gets his chance to be a Pony Express rider. Caught in the line of fire, Valerian comes to the rescue. Val discovers that Sam is actually Samantha and then a whole new set of complications arise when Val now has to protect Samantha's identity as well as her person when Samantha's evil uncle comes to hunt her down. By this time both Samantha and Val are goners for their emotions. Samantha fell hard for Val and he isn't far behind her with those feelings. Keeping Samantha safe from her perverted uncle is paramount until she is of age, and Samantha will not have Val placed in danger until that time comes.
Samantha's uncle tracks her, but Val helps her escape, only to be separated from one another, when they yearn to be together. The journey to their reunion is one filled with excitement and danger, making Expressly Yours, Samantha by Becky Lower a highly recommended read.
Although this is the seventh book in the Cotillion Ball series by author, Becky Lower, Expressly Yours, Samantha is easily read as a stand alone. Watching Valerian mature from impatient boy to caring man and Samantha from a desperate girl into a self-sufficient woman makes this tale all the more interesting along with the rich history and wild western struggles. This well written tale is a wonderful read and now that I've had a taste, I will be reading more from this talented author.