1851 – California
To swindle a swindler is Jake’s idea of the ultimate revenge. His nemesis conned away his brother’s miner hat blueprints. In turn, Jake plans to woo his enemy’s bookish niece and then convince her to buy enough shares in Jake’s railroad ponzi scheme to bankrupt his nemesis’s miner’s hat business. Jake’s Trojan horse is a four-pound carnival trick dog.
Maxine Sweeten is a math whiz at keeping her uncle’s accounts on Pasley Miner’s Hats and dabbling in the stock market. She loves all God’s creatures.
When Jake brings Maxine the supposedly lame-legged terrier, she can’t help but soften toward the rugged stranger with his own emotional wounds that shadow his eyes. Once she realizes Jake is out to ruin both her and her uncle, she’s determined to discover why. His reasons open up a whole new bundle of trouble. What’s more, she must find a way to heal not only creatures from the forest, but Jake’s wild heart.