THREE RIVERS by Carla J. Mills

THREE RIVERS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

From newcomer Mills, a sturdily romantic western about a Chicago girl who finds love and adventure in scenic Wyoming of the 1870's. Doreen Anderson and her Aunt Cary, once from a wealthy family, have fallen into not-so-genteel poverty in Chicago, running a seedy boardinghouse and watching their money dwindle. Twenty-year-old Doreen has just about given up all hope when her gruff old Uncle Jacob out in Wyoming Territory dies and leaves her his Three Rivers Ranch. With no other options, the two women journey by train to the little town of Janesville and settle on the isolated ranch--only to be faced by a number of problems. Their nearest neighbor, ne'er-do-well Englishman Sir Adrian Granscombe-Whitly, wants Doreen's water-rich ranch, and is willing to kill her riders to get it. There's a gang of rustlers about, too, led by the thoroughly nasty Tic Bekkerson, who are stealing everybody blind. Finally, Doreen has to hire a bodyguard, the handsome but mysterious Laramie Smith, who takes care of Sir Adrian in short order, and forces Bekkerson to flee. But Doreen learns that Laramie himself is on the run for having killed two Union soldiers who were trying to rape his mother back in Tennessee at the end of the Civil War. While he now searches for Bekkerson, a bounty hunter named Mattheson inexorably tracks him down. But Doreen fervently writes letters to President Hayes, begging for a pardon. The pardon, Doreen, and Mattheson all arrive in Abilene, Kansas, where Laramie is lying severely wounded after killing Bekkerson in a classic shootout. In a tear-jerking finale, it's Doreen who (just barely) saves the day. Plenty of gritty western versimilitude, strong romance, and shoot-'em-up action.

Pub Date: May 16th, 1988
Publisher: St. Martin's