Alisha Gibbons A prostitutes daughter, escapes being raped by the tavern owner after the murder of her mother.
On the stagecoach, she falls in love with a young man, but the boys father, Quincy Salvador,
a wealthy rancher takes an instant dislike of Alisha and forbids his son to marry her because of her past.
Determined to marry the young man, Alisha slips into his darkened room to seduce him, only to realize, the next day, that she had seduced the drunken father instead.
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This is a western romance set in the 1800's. Therese's writing always presents a strong heroine that is somewhat at odds with her surroundings.
Her past haunts her and influences the decisions she makes. Her perception of the world is altered because of her past. Her mother was a prostitute but she was not however surrounded by that life style it made an impact and influences her decisions. Sex seems to offers her power over the men in her life and she will use it to get what she wants. That particular logic becomes problematic and the start of her escalating predicament. Her first sexual encounter produces disastrous results, pushing away the one she loves. Her life spirals out of control.
Can she win back the heart of the man she loves or is she doomed to repeat her mistakes and live in misery?
This has an adult rating due to some of the sexual content.
Colorado Springs, Colorado. 1855
Alisha Gibbons sat in the heated coach trying to feel relieved. The changing shadows of dusk crept into her soul leaving her anxious. She felt somewhat safe now that she was a distance from that awful town and place, and filled her lungs with a long needed sigh. Visions of recurring, horrible thoughts kept her from relaxing completely. She needed sleep; her body craved it but her nerves refused to settle resulting in fear. If she closed her eyes they would only open again to find her thoughts were still in the tavern.
Her weary eyes downcast, through thick dark lashes, Alisha studied the other passengers. At first, she and another female were the only two occupants of the stage. Under the mask of heavy powder, the woman was pretty in her dark blue dress. She had fine-lined cheek bones that were rose-tinged; catlike eyes were the shade of spring grass. Her nose was wide but perfectly straight, shadowing her full painted lips. The lady’s square jaw gave her the look of determination and spirit. Alisha guessed the lady to be merely a few years older than her, but she liked the woman even though she wore too much make-up, making her feature’s appear older.
Albeit, Alisha was only seventeen, she felt as old as the hills they were passing.
The two sat in silence except for a friendly smile and nod when they both sat down on the hard seats. After that, there was no other commutation between them. Alisha was content not to have to answer questions or partake in idle chatter. She was afraid that if she had to hear endless prattle of another human being, she would break down and cry.
As the coach bounced along the blemished dirt road, red dust wafted through the windows making Alisha and the other passenger cough constantly. She rubbed the burning particles from her sore eyes. Was there no end to her torment? Would she ever feel clean again?
And it wasn’t only her body she worried about, her soul felt as soiled as her flesh, though her past life was something she had no control over.
A bitter sigh escaped her dry lips, all she wanted was to get to Texas and start anew.
Written over 37 books mostly romance but also poetry and children's books