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Her vengeance tasted like dust in her mouth, hollow in her heart.

Charlotte Tate came to America with her sister Mary, and they headed west to Arizona, but she was left alone at fifteen when Mary died under questionable circumstances. Charlotte’s travels eventually bring her to Tombstone, where she dreams of fame and fortune on the stage – but all she can get is a job selling drinks on commission. Charlotte’s path constantly crosses that of widowed rancher Jake Cottrell, but Charlotte is too selfish and self-centered to see the forest through the trees (fool!), and moons after Morgan Earp (a married man, unbeknownst to her). Charlotte finally thinks she’s finally landed the big time, but her drive to get there with no consideration for those around her comes at a very high price.

The wrought-iron bars with their graceful curlicues were not merely decorative, but had a more malign purpose.

You think she would have learned her lesson then, but no…

So here’s the deal – this is a fairly good story and one with a lot of potential, but the main thing holding it back was Charlotte. I just didn’t like her, and it took her too damned long to figure out what kind of man she had in Jake. Then she lets her desire for revenge take over her life, just when she’s finally thisclose to getting everything she wanted. I think if Charlotte had been written as a woman you love to hate, like Scarlett O’Hara or Amber St. Clare this would have been a rocking good read. Mind you this isn’t a bad book by any means, it just isn’t great. I loved the Tombstone setting and the author did a good job setting the time and place so you feel you’re right there. While this has all appearances of a romance novel, just be warned that this book covers a span of several years and you aren’t going to have any insta-love and bed-hopping here, and any sex there is is fairly tame by today’s standards. Personally, that’s the way I prefer my romances to be anyway. If I just hadn’t disliked Charlotte so much…

This book has been previously published with a different author name, but same title, The Tombstone Rose. I did have a few odd typos that I suspect came from scanning or whatever it is they do to convert a dead tree book to digital, but I see from comments on another review that has been corrected. I picked this up as a freebie, but well priced otherwise at $.99.

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