And none of them could know how many were the tears of shame, and how few the tears of grief.

New York, 1870. Pride Dawson and longtime friend and companion Tim McCarthy land in the big city with their grubstake read to hit the big money like everyone else – but then Pride manages to lose it all. Down on their luck, they meet seamstress Sharon O’Neal who gives them what little support she can provide (and it’s not much). Pride loves Sharon about as much as his shallow soul is capable of love, and Sharon loves him back forever but love is not enough for Pride. He connives gets himself a job as bodyguard of wealthy tycoon Thomas Stillworth, who just happens to have a young daughter named Esther who is tired of her wealthy suitors and decides to hitch up with up and coming Pride, and that leaves faithful Sharon in the dust. Now you would think Pride would let Sharon go and move on with her life, but no, he’ll have his cake and eat it too.

Esther can’t understand that-how a man can love two women at the same time. I know that if I had Sharon all the time, I wouldn’t want Esther. But if there weren’t any Sharon I’d love Esther with all my heart…God, it was a mess!

What follows is quite a ride of ups and downs, fortunes won and fortunes lost, dirty dealings and plenty of heartache as Esther patiently bides her time waiting for the right moment to get her revenge for all the times Pride done her wrong. All in all I liked this a lot, despite a slower moment here and there. Definitely recommended for those interested in New York in the days of those filthy rich railroad barons. 4/5 stars.

This old gem has had plenty of fun covers over the years. Click on any thumbnail to enlarge.