Love Unwillingby Shirl Henke
Big, blond and defiant, David Kane refused his family’s plans for a dynastic marriage, escaping to the California gold fields with an Irish saloon girl he had won in a poker game. The mirror image of his sire, David became one of San Francisco’s self-made millionaires. He could not guess what his run of fortune would cost
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A REBELLIOUS FIRSTBORN SON
Big, blond and defiant, David Kane refused his family’s plans for a dynastic marriage, escaping to the California gold fields with an Irish saloon girl he had won in a poker game. The mirror image of his sire, David became one of San Francisco’s self-made millionaires. He could not guess what his run of fortune would cost the woman he loved.
A DUTIFUL YOUNGER BROTHER
Wrenched from the seminary in his last year, Miguel had always been ignored by his father…until the shy bookish youth agreed to save their southern California estates by wedding a spoiled beauty who resented the forced match as much as he. Although Mike excelled at running the vast Kane holdings, he was an insecure young husband, deceived into believing his wife had betrayed him.
INHERITANCE OF STRANGERS
Miguel and Ellie were caught in a web of treachery when they inherited their fathers’ huge ranches. Only with the return of the prodigal David and his Kate did the brothers and their women unravel an evil that had driven them apart and threatened their very lives.
Meet the Author
SHIRL HENKE lives in St. Louis, where she enjoys gardening in her yard and greenhouse, cooking holiday dinners for her family and listening to jazz. In addition to helping brainstorm and research her books, her husband Jim is “lion tamer” for their two wild young tomcats, Pewter and Sooty, geniuses at pillage and destruction.
Shirl has been a RITA finalist twice, and has won three Career Achievement Awards, an Industry Award and three Reviewer’s Choice Awards from Romantic Times.
“I wrote my first twenty-two novels in longhand with a ballpoint pen—it’s hard to get good quills these days,” she says. Dragged into the twenty-first century by her son Matt, a telecommunication specialist, Shirl now uses two of those “devil machines.” Another troglodyte bites the dust. Please visit her at www.shirlhenke.com.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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The novel is set is 1850s California. It is the story of two brothers, children of an unhappy dynastic marriage between a Yankee sea captain and a wealthy aristocratic Mexican belle. Although the bond between the brothers is deep, on the surface they appear to be opposites. Miguel, the younger, is his "mother's son," dark, serious, even pious. Dave, the elder is his "father's son," blond, carefree, and a raucous devil. In a card game, he wins a beautiful redhead (actually an innocent) and is forced to kill the disgruntled loser. He and Kate flee to the northern gold fields, where they strike it rich and move to San Francisco where David makes another fortune. Everything comes easy to the laughing cavalier David Kane, until the night a friendly poker game at his mansion turns ugly when a rich, uncouth drunk challenges him to stake his Kate as a poker bet. After all, he won "that little piece" in a poker game, an enraged Kane refuses and has to kill again to make his point. A humiliated Kate flees and now after months a stunned David realizes that his spitfire "Irish," with whom he has laughed and loved is really the woman he LOVES and wants to marry. But it won't be that easy. For once the "golden boy" is going to have to struggle hard to get what he wants. Meanwhile, Miguel, who has been in the seminary studying to be a priest, is pulled out of school and called back to the vast estate, Hundred Oaks, to complete the dynastic marriage his older brother had run away from. He is bitter, and the intended bride, a fiery little blonde Americano is not happy. She doesn't want the marriage. She didn't want to marry David, but at least she recalled meeting him once. But now, she is being forced to marry a priest! A complete stranger! In their first private meeting, Miguel says something unintentionally hurtful. Ellie lashes back implying that she is not a virgin. Uh oh! Not a wise retort aimed at an uncertain, inexperienced boy. And that's what he is. If David and Kate's troubles stem from David's congenial thoughtlessness and Kate's insecurities, Miguel and Ellie's troubles stem from their youthfulness (I think he's only 22 and she 18) and their fierce prideful stubborness. Anyway, Henke twines two troubled relationships together skillfully and serves up plenty of tempestuous romance, adventure and a vivid picture of gold rush California and the characters that could be found there. This is the kind of book that they don't write anymore, but they should.