Elenora Watkins and her daughter, Tildy, travel from Omaha, Nebraska to El Dorado, California hoping for a new start. Widowed, Elenora hopes to become a partner at Rutledge Mercantile. Having worked most of her life at her father’s mercantile, she knows she’s more than qualified for the job.
Unfortunately, when she arrives, the owner of the mercantile, Miles Rutledge, is stunned to find that she is a woman, and accuses her of deceiving him. He vows to not ever share his business with a woman, even though the misunderstanding is because his mother read most of Elenora’s letters and simply didn’t bother to mention his new partner is female.
Forced to take matters into her own hands, Elenora opens up her own shop right across the street from Rutledge Mercantile, selling unique wares more specific to women. Thus begins a competition between Elenora and Miles that not only involves their businesses but their mutual talent of violin playing as well. Attracted to one another, Elenora and Miles must put aside their pride and differences enough to see that what they feel for one another is much bigger than what’s they’re competing for.
Elenora is a strong female character and easy to root for. Miles is amusing as his old-fashioned ways cause him to be frustrated with this woman who has captured his heart. The competition between the two is fun to watch and adds to the romance of the story. Gwyn writes beautifully, bringing the historical Sierra Foothills to life in a way where one can feel the heat of summer and smell the dust in the air.
Anyone who loves historical romances will enjoy this story.
Book provided by the reviewer.