IN 1870 CALIFORNIA, THE GOLD RUSH LOSERS HAVE ACCEPTED THEIR FATE - OR HAVE THEY?
Five years after the American Civil War ended, Chinese women are imported and sold as slaves on the streets of San Francisco. Too many Californios, the native-born residents of Spanish-Mexican descent, fight for legal ownership of their ancestral property in a prejudicial world of land politics and dishonest lawyers.
Kit Lee never had the knack of controlling her destiny. Her mixed American-Chinese parentage targets her for enslavement, and her gender makes her a laughingstock for daring to work her family's gold mine. She has just one week to meet Papa at Kit's Mine, so if bartering her knowledge of Gold Country trails for a stubborn Californio's reluctant protection on their journey is her only choice, she'll grab it.
Michael Rivers holds a grudge against females and his own troubles claiming inherited acreage, yet shares Kit's dream of justice for all. He may not want her help, but he needs it. He needs her. And for once in Kit's unorthodox life, she has a chance to beat the odds, and dares to change their future.
Ann Bridges' unique style of ferreting out California's untold stories and creating memorable characters appeals to readers of both genders. Through her dramatization of human trafficking, unfair immigration and naturalization laws, and the rights of a population to defend their homeland and cultural values, she renders history relevant to contemporary discussions.
Freeing his foot from the stirrup, Michael gripped her forearm and set her in front of him. With a light tap of heels, he guided Midnight into a rolling canter southbound, away from San Francisco.
Kit's straw hat fell askew, bathing her hair in sunlight. Should he simply leave her, an open invitation to another attack, or protect her and hope she knew the trails?
With a resigned sigh, he tugged on his gloves. "Kit, I am truly sorry that happened to you. But...how does that prove you know the route to your property, let alone mine?"
"Are you relying on directions of some sort?"
"Of course. I'm not wandering around to stake a claim-it was my father's."
"If you get us to the outskirts of Gold Country, I promise I can lead us the rest of the trek. I memorized Papa's sketch." She regarded him over her shoulder, her reddened eyes sparkling as brightly as Mother's emerald ring. "Mama and I promised to meet Papa at Kit's Mine next week for my birthday celebration. Do you want a guide to your property or not?"
Respect and a tinge of awe swept through him. Just like him, fire ran in her blood. She carved her individual path-even as a woman, overcoming her Chinese heritage, besides. She had no guarantee her father would meet her. Michael wouldn't rest easy until he assured her safety, and the obvious options of sanctuary in Chinatown or at a Mission were impossible. He prayed her father hadn't met with disaster already. California politicians and lawmen applied more pressure on Chinese than Californios.
"On one condition, Kit."
Jubilation brightened her face. "What's that?"
"We get you a decent pony and clothes to wear. Midnight can't carry us both for the long trek, and the way you look..." He clicked his teeth with his tongue. "Strangers will assume you're either my slave or my-what did you call it?-fancy lady. I won't stand for either reputation in my new home."
Big boasts, yet where could he obtain the mount she needed? Kit doubtless possessed scarcely a dollar to her name. His paltry coins represented all he had in the world. And returning to his childhood ranch begging for another horse from Diego was chancy. Even if Diego were in a good mood, groveling to him stuck in Michael's craw. Besides, what price might Diego exact for publicly flouting his will last week? No, there must be a better approach.
She held out her hand. "You've got yourself a partner, Michael Rivers."
He swallowed with difficulty. What had he gotten himself in
|Product dimensions:||5.98(w) x 9.02(h) x 0.52(d)|
About the Author
Years of intimate business experience earned in the diverse world of Silicon Valley form the foundation of Ann Bridges' addictive, intelligent fiction. She captures real-world elements and balances complex plots with genuine characters and provocative twists in a literary style that appeals to both genders.
The "Silicon Valley Series" of novels redefine contemporary suspense by blending her unique insider's knowledge of Silicon Valley within the framework of sexy, fast-paced, international thrillers depicting China's growing influence on America's economic powerhouse.
Her debut novel, Private Offerings, was named Best Business Fiction of 2015 by Wealth Management Magazine. San Jose Mercury News and Upside journalists, as well as fellow businesspeople, acclaim it for its authenticity and timeliness. Its sequel, Rare Mettle, tackles the controversial issue of global free trade juxtaposed against rising political tensions. Ringing endorsements from industry experts and military insiders validate her fictional account of the critical significance of rate earth metals to our 21st century lifestyle and national security.
In her latest novel, Kit's Mine, Ann Bridges exposes the plight of immigrant Chinese and native Californios fighting injustice in 1870 post-Gold Rush California. It is the first in the historical "Daring California Series" of untold stories of Northern California's immigrants.
Ann Bridges is a featured speaker at leading business conferences and universities, talking about the impact of technology worldwide and the need to better understand the role of China in our past, present, and future. She is also a frequent guest on national radio shows sharing insights on today's Silicon Valley and the issues affecting today's consumers and investors.