USA Today bestselling author Beverly Jenkins returns with the first book in a breathtaking new series set in the Old West.
Rhine Fontaine is building the successful life he's always dreamed of—one that depends upon him passing for White. But for the first time in years, he wishes he could step out from behind the façade. The reason: Eddy Carmichael, the young woman he rescued in the desert. Outspoken, defiant, and beautiful, Eddy tempts Rhine in ways that could cost him everything . . . and the price seems worth paying.
Eddy owes her life to Rhine, but she won't risk her heart for him. As soon as she's saved enough money from her cooking, she'll leave this Nevada town and move to California. No matter how handsome he is, no matter how fiery the heat between them, Rhine will never be hers. Giving in for just one night might quench this longing. Or it might ignite an affair as reckless and irresistible as it is forbidden . . .
In this appealing launch of a series set in the 19th-century American West, veteran romance author Jenkins (Destiny's Captive) introduces the warm and supportive mining town of Virginia City, Nev., where a diverse community mostly manages to live in harmony. Eddy Carmichael is a lovely young African-American woman on her way to California from Denver, with the goal of opening a restaurant. Robbed by a man posing as a priest and left in the desert to die, she is rescued by one of Virginia City's most noted citizens, Rhine Fontaine. Rhine was born a slave, but he's light-skinned enough to pass as white and has used this to rise to prominence in the town, less for his own gain than to advance the rights of the African-American community. He owns real estate and a popular saloon, sits on the town council, and is engaged to the daughter of a prominent white family. Rhine is captivated by Eddy's courage and beauty, but he knows their love is forbidden by those who think they are from different races, and revealing the truth would jeopardize everything he has fought for. Jenkins combines vivid characters and sexual intensity with historical accuracy in a story and setting that will appeal to her core fans and newcomers alike.