Book: Trail of Deceptions by Beverly Mendenhallcategories: Book, Romance, Goldrush Era, Early California, Northern California, Fairy Tales, Struggle, Geography, Industries, Historical Fiction
Beverly Mendenhallabout this book: Trail of Deceptions is written for readers who enjoy a romance sprinkled with a bit of humor, and are intrigued with California history.
The year is 1873.
On the north coast of California, in the seaside town of Trinidad, a gambler and the ward of a fanatic preacher are forced into a marriage that neither want. Appalled that she is wed to a stranger, Jade Morgan quickly realizes her situation can provide the freedom she desperately longs for. She knows Rand Holliday plans to ride inland along the Trinity River and lighten the pockets of miners in games of chance. The river runs past Weaverville, the town where her friend Claire Parker owns a mercantile business. Jade hopes the kindly widow will offer her employment. Before they mount up and ride out of town, Jade convinces Rand she will get a divorce once they reach Weaverville. He will then be free to continue on to Sacramento where he plans to book passage on a steamer bound for San Francisco.
Rand soon discovers that Jade is ill prepared for independence. Her knowledge about life is bound in the pages of a Bible, the only book Abel allowed her to read. Nor does she realize she is pretty. Forced to wear the cast off clothing of women of the church. and a floppy hat to cover her coppery hair, Rand is stunned by her beauty when she sheds her ugly wool clothing for something he purchased that would be much more comfortable for the heat of the interior.
Neither are willing to admit the depth of their feelings for one another by the time they reach Weaverville and frustration shows its ugly head as anger.Forced to share a hotel room with Rand, but not a bed, Jade works for Claire by day and Rand gambles late into the night.
When Abel suddenly appears in Weaverville, deceptions are revealed and new ones are created. Rand learns that he and Jade are not legally wed. His love for Jade compels him to take Claire into his confidence and together, they convince Jade to accompany Rand to San Francisco. Before Abel was jailed for assaulting Jade and Claire, Rand learned that Jade's mother is living in San Francisco.
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