A Little Gentle Persuasion


Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,

Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God's great Judgment Seat;

But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,

When two strong [people] stand face to face, though they come from the ends of the earth.

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       September 1874

     Boston socialite Devon Wainwright is widowed and left penniless by her husband’s bad investments and is facing another loveless marriage arranged by her mother, when she receives notice of an inheritance from a little known aunt. In defiance of her mother and with her maid as her companion, she sets off for Blue Springs, Colorado, to lay claim to her legacy and a new life.

     All too soon however, she discovers that it is one thing to experience the Wild West through the dime novels she secretly loves to read; it is quite another to experience it in real life. From the minute she steps off the stagecoach in Blue Springs, her New England society values clash with the lax morality and lawlessness of the western frontier, and she finds nothing romantic about the lack of decorum and modernity in the former mining town. On top of that, she discovers that her aunt had been harboring a shocking secret.

     Neither does Cort Templeton resemble the dashing hero of her dime novels. Though undeniably an imposing figure, Devon finds his no-nonsense, taciturn manner disconcerting and insulting. For his part, Templeton has no time for the pretty redhead’s sanctimonious complaints. But when mysteries unfold and danger threatens, he soon finds her life in his hands. Over the course of events, harrowing and surprising, both come to realize that one can’t judge a book by its cover and find an unexpected love.

(Ballad by Rudyard Kipling 1889)