The Last Woman Standing
Lake Union Publishing
Young Josephine Marcus runs away from her stifling home life in 1880’s San Francisco to marry Johnny Behan, a charming older man who’s aiming to become the sheriff of Tombstone, Arizona.
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“. . . will appeal to readers of Westerns and women’s historical fiction . . .”
But once Josephine finds herself in the booming silver mining and cattle baron town she realizes Johnny wants her to act as a governess to his young son and keep his bed warm without benefit of matrimony. After she catches Johnny in bed with another woman, she admits to herself that she can no longer keep up the charade of caring for him and lying to her conservative Jewish family back home that he’s going to make an honest woman out of her one day. She walks out. But how can a disgraced woman make a living in a boom town which doesn’t involve selling her body?
Luckily for Josephine, the handsome sharpshooter Wyatt Earp has taken a shine to her since the day she stepped off the stage coach. A competitor for the same position as Johnny, Wyatt and his brothers have all been discriminated against by the ex-Confederates in the territory. They don’t care for the Earp brothers’ Lincoln Republican leanings and want to exploit Tombstone any way they see fit. As Wyatt’s kept woman, Josephine experiences the aftermath of the Gunfight at the O.K. Corral and the false testimony of the traitorous Johnny Behan, which places the Earp brothers in jail and endangers their lives by vigilante action.
The Last Woman Standing is primarily a historical novel with a little added romance. The in-depth details of life in 1880s Arizona and the larger-than-life characters who dwelled in the infamous town will appeal to readers of Westerns and women’s historical fiction alike.
Reviewer: Cindy A. Matthews