ANN BRIDGES’ unique style of ferreting out California’s untold stories and creating memorable characters renders history relevant to contemporary discussions through the eyes of Gold Rush losers in 1870 California. Five years after the American Civil War ended, Chinese women are imported and still 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.