In this story of the Old West, we find Suzannah Calhoun at a dance given by her sister and her husband. She meets U.S. Marshall Jedidiah Brown. Sparks fly between them, but neither of them seem too keen on each other. I must say that the first few pages of this book almost made me put it down without reading it. I was not impressed with the standard romance descriptions of the two persons, Susanna and Jedidiah (sinewy arms, strong, aristocratic cheekbones, sun-streaked tawny hair and sun-darkened skin, etc.) I really hoped that these cliché-type phrases were not going to be prevalent throughout the book. I was pleasantly surprised as I read further. I was not subjected to this schmaltzy rhetoric throughout the rest of the text.
Susannah seems to get herself into a lot of trouble, the worst being charged with the murder of her boss, who was not a nice man. Of course she had been seen with him and from there the story takes off. Susannah’s sister and husband seek out Marshall Brown to escort Susannah to Denver to be tried for them murder of this man, whose brother is a U.S. senator. The senator is determined to see Susannah hanged for killing his nephew. She is not guilty, but is still pursued by the decedent’s brother who just wants to hang Susannah and get it over with and not waiting for a trial.
Along the way, Jedidiah tries to keep Susannah from harm and deliver her safely to the Marshall in Denver to await trial for murder. The escapades along the way form the remainder of this story and bring lots of interesting dialogue to the characters. Of course, they fall in love and it remains to be seen whether or not we end up reading about a wedding or a hanging.
I think you will like this book despite the shaky (to my mind) beginning. I would recommend this book to all.
This review will appear on my blog: firstname.lastname@example.org and on Amazon.com
Finding the truth will take some fast talking—and a faster gun.
Susannah Calhoun has always been able to charm her way into anything she wants. But when she is arrested for a murder she didn’t commit, she realizes there’s no sweet talking her way out of this one. The victim is the brother of a U.S. Senator, who demands Susannah be tried in his home city of Denver. He’s even summoned a U.S. Marshal to make sure she gets there.
Marshal Jedidiah Brown reluctantly accepts the assignment as a favor to a friend. He already knows Susannah’s trouble from the way sparks flew the first time they met, but he doesn’t believe her a murderer. When a lynch mob busts her out of jail and tries to hang her, Jedidiah realizes he has to buy time to prove her innocence.
Pursued by the man who would see Susannah dead, the road to Denver is filled with peril as they search for the witness who could clear her name. Their time alone on the road brings them closer than ever, but the witness proves elusive, and Denver looms on the horizon—the end of a journey that could end with love. Or the gallows.
First published by Avon in March 2001