Twelve-year-old Emma Bertrand witnesses her mother’s horrifying and suspicious death in her lavish bedchambers and writes her widowed aunt, Doña Melissa, to return to New Orleans from her rancho in Sonoma, California. Dealing with her own extensive troubles and now destitute, Melissa is offered a way to Louisiana by posing as a married woman to miner Sebastian Henderson when he needs a companion for his pregnant and unmarried cousin as he escorts her back to family in the east on a steamer owned by Melissa’s estranged family. The couple quickly finds love, but the odd deaths and secrets twisting around every single person they know make their future all but impossible.
Set between the western edges of California and the high society of New Orleans in the mid-1800s, Fool’s Gold seems at first to be a classic western tale, but within the first pages, the novel is filled with extremely well-executed mystery, fully developed characters, and constant action. With straightforward storytelling, Davis captures urgency, excitement, and passion within a well-timed, fast-paced plot. Western historical romance readers will certainly not be disappointed in the least.