First in the Texas series from the #1 New York Times bestselling author. “One of those rare books, the kind the reader doesn’t want to end.” —Green Bay Press Gazette
Young Billie Ames was naive but a real knockout when she met Moss Coleman at the Philadelphia Navy Yard during World War II. Within a few months she was pregnant and married to him. It was a marriage that brought Billie—and her mother, Agnes—across the country to Austin, to a 250,000-acre spread called Sunbridge, and into the world of the Texas rich. Billie works to acclimate to Texas and her new home at Sunbridge, her role as Moss’ wife, and the challenges she faces from her social-climbing mother, her gruff and demanding father-in-law, and the events of the world around her. We see Billie grow stronger in heart, mind, and belief as her children are born, her marriage to Moss changes, and she comes into her own as a Coleman—and a woman in her own right.
“A big, rich book in every way . . . I think Fern Michaels has struck oil with this one.” —Patricia Matthews
“A steaming, sprawling saga . . . As always, Fern Michaels writes a full story with bigger-than-life characters we would look forward to meeting.” —Romantic Times
“Fine fare for Fern Michaels’s fans!” —The Philadelphia Inquirer
Playing off her bestselling Texas series (Texas Sunrise, 1992, etc.), Michaels ventures into a Vegas trilogy that introduces the Thornton dynasty but also revives the Coleman family of the Texas books. The new saga begins in 1923, when Sallie Coleman, saloon singer and prostitute, inherits a fortune from an eccentric millionaire. Determined to acquire polish and breeding, Sallie moves into her benefactor's mansion and hires Philip Thornton, a handsome tutor whom she eventually marries. The birth of Sallie's first son, Ash, is quickly followed by the arrival of her second, Simon, with whom she forms a deep bond that eventually pits the boys against one another. Before then, however, Philip's distaste for his wife's vigorous sexuality has propelled Sallie into a love affair with attorney Devin Rollins that's destined to last for decades. After Philip suffers a massive stroke, Sallie assumes responsibility for his care, losing her dream of someday marrying her lover. Meanwhile, her sons wage a rivalry that culminates when Ash's wife falls in love with Simon. Further plot bumps will keep readers on their toes, including a severe accident and the building of a palatial gambling hall. Michaels isn't a master stylist ("You don't know me at all, Ash. I'm not that stupid, starry-eyed girl you married 30 years ago"), but her characters are well constructed, with appropriately dysfunctional flaws, and she lays on enough melodrama to please a J.R. Ewing or Alexis Carrington. Major ad/promo; author tour.