Out of money and out of luck, lonely orphan Eve Starr deals with deft, steady hands and coolly stares at her opponents at the poker table: the Culpepper brothers who cruelly killed her guardians and stole their jewelry, an ancient map and diary. Gold hunter Matt “Reno” Moran decided to join the game, so taken was he by the girl with eyes and hair of the purest gold and a mouth that trembled.
Initially, Eve and the Culpeppers betted on money and the jewelry the brothers stole. Later on, Eve bet herself, and the Culpeppers upped the ante with the map and diary known to lead the way to a hidden Spanish treasure. Knowing that she is outnumbered, she hatched a plan to create chaos in the saloon, grab the bets on the table and scramble out and hike out in the mountains to find the treasure. Luckily, the man people called Reno was fast enough to outgun all the brothers, and a few customers besides. When the fight was over, Reno rode at a dead run and followed Eve.
Though instantly attracted to Eve, the stunt she pulled off strengthened Reno's conviction that women are only concerned with their own needs and comfort. Finally, he corners her and demands that she give up what he had won. Eve makes a deal with Reno to join forces with him in searching for the mine, and split the share fifty-fifty. Reno distrusts Eve, but the lure of gold made him agree. Their journey will take them to distant places equally beautiful and dangerous, and in the end they will discover the one thing more precious than gold.
The book's plot is the classic “once bitten twice shy” theme, but Ms. Lowell compensates it by raising the sensuality bar to a sizzle with the third installment to the “Only” series. Readers will sympathize with Reno for being fooled as a young man, but will empathize with Eve for loving a man who loves only gold. Their final confrontation, which leads them full circle, will make readers' eyes mist a moment or two. A book that will never disappoint loyal fans and will make instant fans out of first time readers.
This synopsis report prepared by Levi