A sweeping tale of adventure and danger, innovation and corruption, and two women whose lives intertwine in unexpected ways on America’s first transcontinental train trip.
May 1870. Crowds throng the Boston station, mesmerized by the mechanical wonder huffing on the rails: the Pullman Hotel Express, the first train to travel from coast to coast. Boarding the train are congressmen, railroad presidents, and even George Pullman himself. For two young women, strangers until this fateful day, it’s the beginning of a journey that will change their lives.
Sensitive Louisa dreads the trip, but with limited prospects, she’s reluctantly joined the excursion as a governess to a wealthy family. Hattie is traveling to San Francisco to meet her fiancé, yet she’s far more interested in the workings of the locomotive than she is in the man awaiting her arrival. As the celebrated train moves westward, the women move toward one another, pulled by an unexpected attraction.
But there is danger in this closeness, just as there is in the wilds of the frontier and in the lengths the railroad men will go to protect their investments. Before their journey is over, Louisa and Hattie will find themselves very far from where they intended to go.
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“Climb aboard the Pullman Hotel Express! Boston to San Francisco in the amazing time of eight days!
Experience the luxury. Observe the wonders of the continent speeding by your window. And meet the Excursionists, a collection of fascinating fellow travelers who will enrich your journey and come to life before you. Take the trip. Let Jodi Daynard reward you with characters you care about, details you cannot forget, and a romance that you will find unconventional indeed. It’s a beautifully drawn depiction of America at the dawn of the modern age… modern and surprising in so many ways.” — William Martin, New York Times Bestselling Author of Back Bay and Bound for Gold.
“This lovely novel takes readers on a journey that features the most advanced train travel of the day, and also on an exploration of the human spirit, courage, and heart. Daynard not only creates great characters, she paints them with vivid colors and light. Each one is unique and fully developed, and you will yearn to know the outcomes all along the way.” — Ann Howard Creel, bestselling novelist.
“Book an amazing trip back in time with A Transcontinental Affair. With complex heroines, impeccable prose, high drama and a view of the West as it was being won, this historical romance set on America’s first transcontinental train trip in 1870 offers the perfect must-read novel for a long, leisurely rail journey — or a commuter binge. Passionate, insightful, empathetic and unforgettable.” — Thelma Adams, bestselling author of Last Woman Standing
“As the Pullman Express rolls across the transcontinental railroad, an extraordinary world, part lost, part timeless, unfurls. With exquisite descriptions and a cast of intriguing characters, at heart, this is the story of two remarkable women. Daynard handles Hattie and Louisa’s burgeoning feelings with depth and sensitivity, but just as the untamed landscapes of the United States seem to open up possibilities of untold freedom for them, the constraints that await at the journey’s end begin to close in. With its dramatic twists and turns, I am certain that readers will love this story as much as I did.” — Ella Carey, bestselling author of The House by the Lake and Beyond the Horizon.
“A journey of the heart takes us cross-country and ends up nowhere I thought it would end. At first I thought, Okay, there are some interesting female characters. But it becomes much more than what you expect. You literally don’t know what’s going to happen until the very end.” — Goodreads reviewer