Jenny Gray secretly takes her young sisters, Cassandra and Beatrice, away from her half-sister Margaret and her abusive husband. She soon discovers, however, that there is a marked difference between her school in Baltimore and the town of Sweetwater, Wyoming, their home for the next five years.
Hired as the new teacher for young Shoshoni Indians, Jenny knows nothing about surviving in the isolated, primitive land, but she is determined to stay even though a thieving Indian agent wants her off the land.
Handsome local rancher Trell McCall thinks Jenny is a fine figure of a woman: beautiful, spirited and with a temper when provoked. He can envision a life with her. But that life is almost ended when he is ambushed and left for dead.
Now as Jenny fights for the people and the land she loves, she must fight to save Trell's life as well as her own.
With a touching secondary love story, SWEETWATER is a slice of the Old West complete with the hardships and joys that settlers encountered. Ms. Garlock is the diva of Americana Romance. SWEET (Mar., 350 pp., $6.50)