Heart of Gold by Robin Lee Hatcher
Book blurb from Google books : “When Shannon Adair accompanies her minister father to the western gold rush town of Grand Coeur, she's certain she'll never be happy away from her beloved Virginia, even though the South is still gripped in civil war.
Wells Fargo driver Matthew Dubois isn't sure the lovely Shannon belongs in Idaho Territory either, but he is a desperate man. His widowed sister is dying and leaving her young son, Todd, in his care. Matthew wants to return to driving coach for the express company soon-so he'll have to find a wife to look after the boy when he's away.
Shannon is determined not to lose her heart to a man who is neither a Southerner nor a gentleman. But love stakes its claim. Now, will her heart survive learning the truth behind the courtship?”
Why I like this cover: In my opinion, you have to actually look at this one for a little while before you realize how pretty it is. For example, Shannon. My first impression of her wasn’t anything to mention…a passable girl. But actually, she’s very pretty! She’s got that bright-eyed expression (for lack of a better word) and she really looks happy. I love the color of her dress – that blue is so pretty! The puffed sleeves, the black lace around the top of the bodice and sleeves… *sigh* She looks like she’s verbally sparring in a witty manner with someone; I think it’s the hands on the hips. And then that guy. Matthew. You know, he looks like a Wells Fargo driver. A little moustache and 5 o’clock shadow, that red shirt, and the muscles. Not to mention the hat! I’d better hurry up here…the whole wagon (come on, what’s the word…) and the horses – they add a wonderful part to the whole cover! When you’ve looked at it for a little while (in my case), you notice that little gold heart over the title. Perfect!