Schoolmarm Eden Devlin was too tall and too doggone smart. Most men in Sweetwater wouldn't tangle with her. Until Burke Kerrigan rode into town. Big, hard, and handsome, he wore a pair of six-guns and a bold, lazy smile.
Johnston's ( Comanche Woman ) version of an Old West romance between a prissy schoolmarm and a jaded gunslinger is well paced and seldom takes itself seriously, the result being a palatable if unoriginal tale. It's 1880 in the Wyoming Territory, and the little town of Sweetwater is up in arms: the ranchers claim the farmers are rustling cattle and the farmers say the ranchers are destroying farm fences. Exasperated by these apparently insoluble problems, the town's ladies--prompted by the schoolteacher, Eden Devlin--adopt a scheme from the ancient Greek play Lysistrata: until the men abandon the hostilities, the women will abandon their husbands' beds. The ranchers bring in hired gun Burke Kerrigan to nab the rustlers. Irked by their wives' blackmail, they offer Burke an additional thousand dollars to seduce the meddling Miss Devlin. Burke's investigations ultimately reveal that appearances can deceive: a handful of Sweetwater's inhabitants aren't quite what they seem. Burke turns out to be more of a gentleman than he himself suspected, and Eden isn't nearly as starchy as she lets on. (Jan.). -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
There are no customer reviews available at this time. Would you like to write a review?
October 25, 2004
Number of Print Pages*
Adobe DRM EPUB
* Number of eBook pages may differ. Click here for more information.
Excerpt from Sweetwater Seduction by Joan Johnston
The West is where water has the same value as blood.
Miss Eden Devlin, spinster schoolteacher, felt a chill of foreboding as she watched Bliss Davis, a nester's fifteen-year-old daughter, and Hadley Westbrook, a rancher's sixteen-year-old son, making cow eyes at each other across the schoolroom. It wasn't that she disapproved of young love. In fact, at an on-the-shelf twenty-nine, she envied the blushing glow on Bliss's cheeks and the liquid warmth in her eyes that was sparked by Hadley's admiring gaze. What concerned Eden was the violent reaction their fathers would have if they discovered that their children didn't share their parents' enmity toward one another. Because, as sure as hell took sinners, Big Ben Davis hated Oakley Westbrook's guts.
To Miss Devlin's horror, it seemed the once peaceful community of Sweetwater was only one short step away from a full-fledged range war. Eden knew there were honest grievances between ranchers and nesters. The homesteading nesters had fenced water holes the ranchers needed for their cattle. The ranchers had retaliated by cutting fences and ruining crops. Cattle were being rustled in alarming numbers.
But Oak Westbrook had denied the ranchers were cutting fences. And Big Ben Davis had denied the nesters were rustling cattle. There seemed to be no hope of working out their differences peacefully.
With the exception of Bliss and Hadley, the animosity of the adult ranchers and nesters was being played out among their children at school, disrupting Miss Devlin's teaching efforts. It was a good thing she was a peace-loving woman, because Miss Devlin had a good mind to knock some heads together. She had about decided that if she wanted the sixteen young minds in her one-room schoolhouse to concentrate on geography and arithmetic and spelling again, she was going to have to do whatever was necessary herself to get the situation peaceably settled.