Steeple Hill, Jul 2004, 12.95, 288 pp.
In 1884 San Angelo, Texas, stagecoach owner and mercantile retailer Tyler McKinnon realizes that his driver is drunk so he plans to drive the stage to its destination Willow Grove. Before leaving, he flirts with one of the passengers, Camille Dupree, who says no to riding in the special seat next to him. Ty admits to himself that Miss Dupree is the first lady to excite him since his wife and child died three years ago during childbirth.
Camille reflects back on how her deceased mom must be horrified with the life she lives, but just because one comes from a family of former wealth and standing means nothing when one needs food and shelter. Camille has become a traveling card player staying in a town long enough to beat the locals.
In Willow Grove, Camille and Ty are attracted to one another, but both have doubts when it comes to relationships as he still reels over his loss and she over betrayal. As they fall in love, many townsfolk play matchmaker, but others want her out of his life.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner