After the Guiltless Gang murders her family and burns their cabin, Grace is determined to bring the evildoers to justice.
Naïvely, Grace heads to Tombstone, Arizona, to ask the sheriff to go after the men—but of course, he is being paid to look the other way. In town, she is defended from an importunate cowboy by a young man who looks Apache (but isn’t); he rescues her again in the desert. Joe is his name, and his adoptive father is the leader of a community of Chiracahua, as the Apache prefer to call themselves. They will provide her with a new place to belong, if she will allow it. The Native American characters are, with one exception, amazingly gracious and welcoming, despite Grace’s bumbling ignorance—Joe’s infodump explanations of their customs usually come a bit too late to save her. A young girl named Sequoyah (readers familiar with the famous Cherokee linguist will be nonplussed by this) is witness to the growing attraction between Grace and Joe. This romance disguised as a survival tale that’s in turn disguised as historical fiction has a few believable moments, but they are usually disrupted by Grace’s repetitive internal dialogue in which she admonishes herself to put her vengeance first.
Lots of action, blood and death argue eloquently against those telling Grace to forgive and move on. Only the sequel will reveal her choice. (Western. 14-18)