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Samantha Delaney sees the book of poems as clues that her father is in trouble, so she travels to the Nevada Territory to find him. Unfortunately, she must deal with two men of totally opposite persuasion, but both of whom think she needs a guardian. Her gentleman companion Roger Smith, and the ever-present Sheriff of Silver River Tyler Sloan, go out of their way to aggravate her, interfere with her investigation, and create a disturbing emotional upheaval in her life.
Roger has a somewhat reticent nature, which Samantha considers an asset since she feels she can, given enough time, mold him into the kind of husband she wants. However, as Samantha unravels the clues to her father’s whereabouts, she finds Roger is not who he seems and there is far more to Sheriff Sloan than she first thought. His passion for life, and the passion he awakens in Sam have her quickly rethinking her ideas of independence.
To know where your destiny lies,
Watch the sun and follow it down.
An adventure will soon begin,
Where the silver river flows through town.
The key to a room,
Though cold in the night.
Keep it close to your heart,
Desire may be in sight.
Samantha Delaney wiggled uncomfortably as perspiration trickled between her breasts to soak her already damp camisole. She dabbed ineffectively at her brow, but knew she only smeared the grit she had accumulated during the miserably long journey. Thick dust, churned up by the spinning wheels, filtered through the canvas flaps that covered the open windows. No breeze stirred the stale air within the stage as they bounced along a deeply rutted road.
The Pioneer Stage, declared to be the most luxurious ride through the Nevada Territory, remained a far cry from the carriages of Boston. Jabbed rudely in the ribs by a fellow passenger, Samantha wondered for the hundredth time if there might have been another choice.
“We are doing the right thing, aren’t we, Roger?” She reached across the stage to touch his arm. He looked equally uncomfortable, crushed between the pots and pans salesman and a large man dressed in flannel shirt and canvas trousers.
Roger opened his eyes, but didn’t smile. “Yes, my dear, though I am beginning to regret your talking me into this insufferable trip.”
Her devoted escort for the past year, Roger Smith had been a bookkeeper at the firm of Boswick & Chadwell, until she decided to travel out west. Sweet, dependable Roger proclaimed that being a lady she couldn’t travel alone, so he would have to accompany her to offer his protection. Thinking back on it, he had seemed rather reluctant, but Samantha credited that to his reticent nature.
“I did not talk you into anything. You volunteered.”
“Even so, it would have been better to remain in civilized Boston and await word from your father.”
“But the book.” She clutched her reticule tighter.
“A small, clothbound book of poems from your father, none of which make any sense, is not sufficient reason for all we have endured. Even Paul Cameron became extremely agitated when you informed him of your plans. He only reluctantly agreed when I told him I would escort you.”
“Just because he’s my banker, and was one of Father’s former partners, does not mean he has any say over what I do.” Samantha lowered her voice, though the other passengers appeared uninterested in their conversation. “I am certain Father is in trouble. The poems are word games, like we played when I was a child. I fully intend to find him and help him out of any difficulties in which he is embroiled.” She leaned back against the hard seat, confident once more.
“Yes, my dear, if you say so.”
Roger crossed his arms and closed his eyes, and Samantha took some time to study him. He wore a flat-crowned straw hat and a high-collared, serge suit which fit rather loosely over his medium frame. His skin was pale and soft, in fashion with other gentleman of his time who found indoor pursuits much more pleasurable than sunshine. Personally, Samantha would rather ride a horse than embroider her samplers.
Roger had patiently tried to impress on her the fact that ladies weren’t physical, but she ignored him when she chose, and he allowed it. She was comfortable with him and felt she could, given enough time, mold him into the kind of husband she desired. After all, it was 1863, and if a girl of her independent nature even contemplated marriage, it would be to a man pliable to her wishes.
The fact remained, she didn’t have a problem with Roger. The problem was her father. Well, that wasn’t exactly true, either. Oh, she knew her father was alive—quarterly deposits were still made to the bank. Mr. Cameron regularly gave her a reckoning of her account, very impressed with her holdings.
"Silver River Love is a contest of wills between Smith and Sloan, Samantha and the Sheriff, and ultimately between good and evil. With humor woven throughout the story, Barbara Baldwin has written an interesting and entertaining story of the Wild West and those who chose to make it their home." – Gail, Night Owl Romance Reviews
“Silver River has all the elements of the untamed West—saloon, brothel, livery stable, merchantile, boarding house and jail. Each of these plays a part in the unraveling of the intriguing events that propel the heroine and hero toward their destiny.
The reader sees hate, greed, loyalty, and love in the many secondary characters as the story unfolds. But most of all the reader is offered an emotional high with the love scenes that warm the heart and the body.
Oh, yes! SILVER RIVER LOVE is good reading.” - Reviewed by Camellia, The Long And Short Of It Reviews
Book Publisher: Whiskey Creek Press
No. of Pages: 240
Paper Weight (lb): 10.2
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