Holding the Fort
Jennings Winningly Combines Humor, History, and Romance
Louisa Bell never wanted to be a dance-hall singer, but dire circumstances force her hand. With a little help from her brother in the cavalry, she's able to make ends meet, but lately he's run afoul of his commanding officer, so she undertakes a visit to straighten him out.
Major Daniel Adams has his hands full at Fort Reno. He can barely control his rowdy troops, much less his two adolescent daughters. If Daniel doesn't find someone respectable to guide his children, his mother-in-law insists she'll take them.
When Louisa arrives with some reading materials, she's mistaken for the governess who never appeared. Major Adams is skeptical. She bears little resemblance to his idea of a governess--they're not supposed to be so blamed pretty--but he's left without recourse. His mother-in-law must be satisfied, which leaves him turning a blind eye to his unconventional governess's methods. Louisa's never faced so important a performance. Can she keep her act together long enough?
Jennings introduces readers to an abundant cast in this first installment of The Fort Reno Series set in 1880s Kansas. Louisa "Lovely Lola" Bell is the featured singer at the Cat Eye Saloon until the owner replaces her with another performer. Out of a job and with no prospects in sight, Lola heads towards Fort Reno, an outpost in Indian territory where her brother is stationed. On the way there, Lola meets Mrs. Townsend, a Mennonite governess dispatched to the fort to educate Major Daniel Adams's daughters. When Mrs. Townsend falls ill and can't continue the trip, Louisa offers to deliver the girls' textbooks. Arriving at the fort, Louisa is mistaken for the governess and falls into playing the part. Daniel and Louisa's relationship deepens despite secrets, deceptions, and an Indian uprising. In this character-driven series launch, Jennings offers a powerful lesson on the freedom of truth and forgiveness wrapped in a delightful story of love against the odds.)\n