This tiny town (from the Sunset Valley series) is in the grips of an evil man. Mr. Augustus King controls the commerce and the townspeople, and no one dares to stand up to him.
No one, that is, besides the mysterious Black Ace.
River "Hart" Hartwell was raised by his Crow grandfather to do the right thing...even when it means sacrificing everything.
For several years, the town of Black Aces, Montana has been under the control of a nasty piece of work, Mr. Augustus King. He's got the brains and the muscle to keep the townspeople cowed, so no one stands up to him.
Except the Black Ace.
This masked vigilante swoops out of the hills with six-guns blazing, protecting the town from Mr. King's machinations and economic ruin. He's a local hero, a folk legend, and everyone--including Regina Vickers, the daughter of the town doctor--would love to know his identity.
With her father under King's control, Regina is the only doctor available when Hart's grandfather breaks his leg. At his ranch outside of town, Hart is handed the opportunity to spend more time with the woman he's always loved.
But between King's suspicions, a ranch to run, the arrival of a mysterious child, and Hart's midnight masquerades as the Black Ace, there's not going to be anything "typical" about this courtship at all. If Hart wants to play such a dangerous game, it's time for him to ante up!
Three of a Kind
He's been sent to capture the notorious Black Ace for trial and hanging. US Marshal Quint Diamon arrived in Black Aces, Montana to a rude reception. He's used to not being taken seriously because of the color of his skin, but to be shot as soon as he began his investigation? That's a new one. All signs point to the culprit being the town's mysterious vigilante, the Black Ace, the man he was sent to hunt down...but Quint isn't convinced.
And now that he's laid up in the High Stakes saloon, being tended by the intriguing owner, Miss Finnie Pompey, he's had plenty of time to think about it.
Which is awkward, because she is The Black Ace.
Finnie is taller and stronger than most men, a fact which has served her well as Black Aces' only female saloon-owner. She knows she lacks most feminine graces, but that was a benefit when it came time to save a friend and accept the mantle of The Black Ace. She'll do anything to save her saloon and her town... But it sure would be easier without the gorgeous Marshal Diamon laid up in the bedroom next to hers.
Add in the arrival of a wounded little boy in desperate need of a family, the upcoming Christmas holidays, and the diabolical Mr. Augustus King still making life miserable for the residents of Black Aces, and Finnie is faced with way more than she can handle.
But when they're snowed in together over Christmas, these three have a chance to solve each of their mysteries, and realize they're far more alike than different. Which is good news, because with the hand they've been dealt, they'll need to work together to have any chance at winning this game!