Susanna Ward Kirkland, a journalist for the Virginia City Pioneer, was raised by Gus and Minnie Kirkland when her parents and her brother died on the wagon train coming West. Her foster father wants her to marry Jesse, his son who…while never doing anything to get into serious trouble…has come close. But, as Gus Kirkland says, “all he needs is a good woman to straighten him out.” She is also told that Jesse knows nothing of this, so she is expected to “win him over.” Out of a sense of obligation, she agrees to do this.
But Susanna has met Rab Trudeau. A wealthy businessman who lives in San Francisco, Rab has interests in a silver mine in the Comstock Lode. But unscrupulous mine managers are manipulating the stock prices. They are aided in this by the very paper that employs Susanna, so Rab comes to Virginia City posing as a detective from the Great Western Detective Agency (which he also owns). A strong attraction develops between Susanna and Rab…but there are many obstacles in their path. Can they eventually find happiness together?
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The Oregon Trail, 1859
Five-year-old Susanna Ward stood in the middle of the wagon ruts looking at the mound of dirt. Even though the dirt had been pounded down to almost level with the trail, Susanna could see where the hole had been dug. Behind her, she could hear the hushed voices of the women who were preparing supper and the men who were all talking in low, somber tones.
Last night Susanna had been watching her little brother, Caleb, while their mother, Sophia, was helping the other women prepare beans, bacon, and biscuits for the communal supper. Her father, Byron, had been with... see more