I loved the previous book in this series, but enjoyed this one even more. It was compelling and interesting. I dare say it is one of Tracey's best historical novels...at least that I've read so far. And it was very well-written.While Distant Heart has characteristics of a typical prairie "wagon train" western-type novel, it's far from the usual fare. The tension and conflict were awesome and real, and there was plenty of hardship and grit on the "journey" the heroine experienced. Real life issues such as shame, addictions, sin, jealousy, strife, deceit, murder, kidnapping, adultery, etc. They're all in there and comprise one incredible tale.I SO loved this story and the message it contains. And the perception Toni and Sam had in regards to each other made me crazy. I wanted to shake them both so they'd see the truth. But they were also self-sacrificing, and that makes for an awesome love story. The secondary characters were incredibly well done, too, and I'm looking forward to reading the final story in this series.