Shea Kennedy, along with her ailing mother, widowed sister (husband died on the way over) and young brother are fresh off the boat from Ireland where they're supposed to be joining her father to start a new life in New York. But...pops caught the gold fever and headed west (he eventually ended up on Oregon Territory), so the Kennedy girls need to find work, and Shea lucks out getting a gig as companion to the daughter of the wealthy McAllister family. Yeah, I know that's a stretch, but the Kennedys are distant cousins to Mrs. Kennedy, plus Shea got some edumacation when she worked at a high end household in Ireland. Eldest McAllister son Kane finally comes home (along with a BFF of questionable heritage), and he's quite attracted to Shea, but she's not that kind of girl, plus she doesn't want to jeopardize her cushy job.
FF to the Kennedys saving enough to make the trip west and they're off to Independence to outfit themselves with wagon, et al so they can join a wagon train heading west. No surprise, but no wagon train leader wants the responsibility three women (one still in very poor health) and one ten-year-old boy, none of whom know how to drive a wagon (but they can learn! they says).
To the rescue comes Kane who has been sent to the head his father's new logging operation in Oregon Territory. This development opened up lots of opportunities for sex on the trail, and with nary an eyebrow being raised or anyone noticing our young lovers disappearing. At least as far as I got around page 190.
K. I really was in the mood for a lighter romance, and this seemed to fit the bill (I do love a good wagon train story), but this was just too much of a stretch for me. I was willing to overlook the instant acceptance of Shea into the McAllister household, despite the class differences (usually a big bugaboo of mine), but the sex on the trail was just a bit too much, especially since is was sex, and not any true love that I could see on Kane's part.
Life is too short, so I'm moving on.