In 1882, Welshman Evan Jones is desperate to escape the Copper Mule Mine and the Arizona Territory to return with his two brothers to Wales when his worst nightmare is nearly realized in a disastrous explosion. A mysterious native healer he knows only as The Señora saves his life, then seemingly disappears into the vast Sonoran Desert. Evan’s quest to find her leads him into thrilling adventures from the brothels of Tombstone to the gambling halls of New Mexico and the rugged beauty of Sabino Canyon, earning him the hatred of a vicious outlaw who vows to exact a terrible revenge.
The horses plodded along, loaded with saddlebags and supplies. Two sacks of flour perched behind Huw, strapped to the back of his saddle. Evan had a large smoked ham wrapped in burlap tied behind him. Dylan's horse looked like an old prospector's mule under a small mountain of canvas packs. Evan watched the sun kiss the mountains in the western sky. He'd hoped they would've been back by now. Shadows, long and purpling, meant they would reach the house right at dark. The load on the horses slowed the pace more than he'd thought it would. The time he'd spent in Steinfelds had flown faster than he'd thought it could. But the weight of her gift in his shirt pocket reassured him with each bump on the trail. The pendant on its silver chain matched her eyes. Sparkling amethyst.
He pictured those eyes when he told how he'd searched for her, when he said her name. Reyna. What a lovely sound off the tongue! He sang her name to himself in his heart, imagining soft lips smiling when he spoke of how he'd dreamed of her, always—
Wind sang and whistled near Evan's ear. The red-tailed hawk swooped down, its talons grazing his hat, knocking it askew. Wingtip feathers brushed Huw's. Gliding above the trail, it circled once, flew up and away again.
Sweet Jesus! The hawk from the dream, the one that always flew over her! Evan's heart jumped against his ribs, his stomach cramped into a rock. Huw's voice filled him with dread.
Evan stared at the trail. Long shadows stretched out from the boulders, sunlight fading fast. But there was no mistake.
A group of horses, four, maybe five, came through here today—going up. Came through on a trail rarely used, for it went over the Santa Catalina Mountains. Only Apaches and bandits used this trail in the early spring.
They were over a mile from the house when they heard the pistol shot echo through Sabino Canyon.