Reviewed by: Linda Tonis
Member of the Paranormal Romance Review Team
Once again a wonderful book by a wonderful author. Ms. Woolf’s books are not only entertaining but also informative. I now know there is more to panning for gold than just putting your pan in the water and shaking it, who knew. She also does not pack her stories full of so many characters that you lose track of who is who. The West comes alive when you read one of her historical westerns.
It is 1876 in St. Louis, Missouri when Jake Anderson finds his fiance Elizabeth lying on her living room floor dying of a gunshot wound with her killer and rapist standing over her. Jake is able to kill one of the men, Elizabeth’s ex-fiance, whom she left when she and Jake fell in love. Now Jake is not only wanted for murdering a captain in the army and attempting to murder the colonel who was also there, but he has lost the woman he loves.
The first thing Jake does is go to the sheriff to report what happened and he is instantly believed. Unfortunately, the colonel manages to give the army and Elizabeth’s father his version, which of course puts Jake as the killer. Now the army has sent men to arrest Jake and bring him in. The arresting officer turns out to be none other than Jake’s brother, Zach, who saves him at the expense of his own reputation. Now Jake and Zach are wanted men. When they go to their older brother Liam for help they are invited to join him and his two young children to Deadwood, in the Dakota Territory to search for gold.
This is where Jake’s life will change forever. He meets Becky Finnegan who pans for gold right next to their claim. She is twenty-three and has been living with her drunken, abusive father since her grandmother died when she was just seven years old. Her father, Billy, takes all the gold she is able to pan so that he can go to town and drink until unconscious. When Becky’s mother died in childbirth, Billy decided Becky was the cause of his beloved wife’s death. He has made her pay dearly ever since.
Jake once again finds himself in the role of protector when he sees Becky’s father hit her. He is not willing to allow another woman to die like Elizabeth. There is an instant attraction between Becky and Jake, but he is a wanted man with a price on his head and cannot offer anything but trouble. Can these two people find love and happiness? Can Jake and Zach be cleared of the charges against them?
Jake, Becky, Zach, and Liam are such wonderfully strong characters. I cannot wait to see what is coming next, after all, Zach and Liam need love too.