Skyhorse Publishing and Edelweiss gave the opportunity to read this book for review (thank you). It will be published March 28th.
It takes a bit for the pieces to fall into place here. You meet a young boy in London who is good at being a thief. When he gets in trouble, he heads for the states. He's an indentured servant who learns about the slave business. He takes to it like a fish takes to water and soon he's rich enough to buy the firm he used to work for. He does have a slave revolt and there are more to come, so he moves himself and his slaves to New Mexico. He'll become a land owner there and be very influential over future development. While this is happening, he loses his woman and his child. He's not worried, he'll find another.
The baby is given to an Indian woman who still has breast milk and she takes care of her like her mother would. Reuben functions as her father. Everyone is doing fine until Journey gets older and sees a mountain lion trying to kill a colt. She and the colt's mother protect him. His mother gets killed and he fixates on Journey. She takes care of his wounds and keeps him well fed at home. Then the slave owner says it's his horse and he'll take it back or hang for her for horse theft. They don't have the money so she says she'll work for him six months.
The mountain lion is like another character in this book. He's old, has tricks and has been successful for a long time. There might be a reward for him but he's not above taking out humans, too.
When the slave owner realizes that Journey is his grand-daughter things go south. His behavior is offensive and nasty in general. The ending surprised me. Just remember things really weren't very nice in the old west.