Lane, Elizabeth, The Ballad of Emma O’Toole, (Richmond, Surrey: Harlequin (UK) Limited, 2013).
Title: The Ballad of Emma O’Toole
Author: Elizabeth Lane
Issues: Gambling; Gendered Expectations (Women); Orphan; Parenthood; Revenge
After he shoots a man, the stakes for gambler Logan Devereaux have never been higher. On trial for his life, he’s offered a shocking alternative form of restitution…marriage to his victim’s pregnant sweetheart!
Beautiful Emma O’Toole has sworn vengeance against him – and when a newspaper man puts her tragic story to song the whole nation waits to see what she’ll do. Their marriage is the riskiest gamble Logan’s ever taken, but he’ll put everything he’s got on the line for a chance at winning Emma’s heart.
This is a ‘Book of My Heart’. In the years that passed between its beginning and its publication the story never left me, and I never gave up on it. Seeing it in print at last, and being able to share it with you, is a very personal joy.
Park City, Utah, is an hour’s drive from where I live. Cradled by the beautiful Wasatch Mountains, its history is as spectacular as its setting. My own pioneer great-great-grandfather directed the first settlement of the high valley – then known as Parley’s Park. Its progression from farming community to silver mining boom town, from crumbling backwater to world-class ski resort and home of the Sundance Film Festival, is a true American saga.
The Ballad of Emma O’Toole is set amid the silver boom of the 1980s that brought wealth-seekers from all over the world. Young Emma O’Toole is determined to make a better life for herself, but her beauty is offset by every possible strike against her. She’s orphaned, impoverished, and pregnant by a nineteen-year-old boy as poor as she is. Fate and tragedy intervene to thrust her into the reluctant arms of gambler Logan Devereaux, a cynical man with a dangerous past. Can such an unlikely pair find happiness together? I hope you’ll be cheering them on, as I was, all the way to the end of their story.
I offer you this book with a piece of my heart. Enjoy.