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Arriving from Arkansas*

Staking a Claim and Finding Romance in Old West Nevada

Josie and Jim meet when they are making the last leg of their journey to a small town in the Sierra Nevada. Ostensibly, Jim is the new foreman at a mill nearby, and she’s the new cook at a boarding house. But things are not as they seem on the surface. Both Josie and Jim have secrets. Josie’s uncle had been on the verge of finding a motherlode of silver before he died. He left a journal detailing where it could be found. Jim is actually undercover law enforcement, and he’s on the trail of his brother’s murderer.

Will Josie find her uncle’s motherlode? Will someone else have staked a claim already? If not, will the very fact that she is poking around draw interest? Will she be put in danger? Will Jim be successful in finding his brother’s murderer?

I grew up in California and visited Tahoe and Virginia City often, so it was fun to read about this area in a fictionalized, historical way. I also enjoy that this book focused on silver mining instead of gold mining, as these historical Western romances usually do.

I found the characters in this book to be very well drawn. The hero and heroine have secrets to hide, which add layers to their characterization. I didn’t think that Josie came across wholly as a woman of her time. She seemed to be more modern in her thinking than what one would expect, wanting to be so independent and striving hard to seek her own fortune. The romance was a super slow burn but believable. More time was spent with the intrigue than the romance.