Sweetwater Seduction

Joan Johnston, Author
Joan Johnston, Author Dell Publishing Company $7.5 (400p) ISBN 978-0-440-20561-6
Reviewed on: 12/01/1990
Release date: 12/01/1990
Johnston's ( Comanche Woman ) version of an Old West romance between a prissy schoolmarm and a jaded gunslinger is well paced and seldom takes itself seriously, the result being a palatable if unoriginal tale. It's 1880 in the Wyoming Territory, and the little town of Sweetwater is up in arms: the ranchers claim the farmers are rustling cattle and the farmers say the ranchers are destroying farm fences. Exasperated by these apparently insoluble problems, the town's ladies--prompted by the schoolteacher, Eden Devlin--adopt a scheme from the ancient Greek play Lysistrata: until the men abandon the hostilities, the women will abandon their husbands' beds. The ranchers bring in hired gun Burke Kerrigan to nab the rustlers. Irked by their wives' blackmail, they offer Burke an additional thousand dollars to seduce the meddling Miss Devlin. Burke's investigations ultimately reveal that appearances can deceive: a handful of Sweetwater's inhabitants aren't quite what they seem. Burke turns out to be more of a gentleman than he himself suspected, and Eden isn't nearly as starchy as she lets on. (Jan.)
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